23 Jun

PPL Electric Energy Efficiency Rebates to Save Money

Posted by Norman F, June 23rd, 2017

Air purifier, Gas Furnace
New rebates have been added for 2017.

Utility Company PPL Electric has a bunch of programs and incentives to help save energy and money.

  • $150 Energy Star Central Air Conditioning rebate
  • New Refrigerator Energy Star rebate $35
  • $300 Heating and Cooling Rebate for Heat pumps
  • Up to $400 rebate on water heaters
  • Up to 75% on Insulating your home’s attic
  • Up to $350 back for switching to a variable speed pool pump
  • Low income: Home Assessment, weatherization, and appliances
  • Appliance Recycling Program $35 rebate and haul your old appliance away for free through the Appliance Recycling program. Pick up your old room air conditioner and dehumidifier at the same time to qualify for a $25 rebate

New Home using PPL

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12 Apr

California Ban on Toxic Flame Retardants (PBDEs)

Posted by Norman F, April 12th, 2017

organic mattress, green mattress

California has a Ban on Toxic Flame Retardants (PBDEs or polybrominated diphenyl ethers) that took effect in 2011. These commonly found chemicals are toxic and accumulate in breast milk, harming kids development. Several other states have followed California. If you live in other states, you may want to verify this. House dust gets mixed in with PBDE’s, causing this chemical to spread.

Since 1975, manufacturers of furniture have treated their products with inexpensive flame retardant chemicals. Tobacco firms have even pushed for this treatment, preventing them from having to create a fire safe cigarette. These chemicals don’t really cut down on flammability. They cause toxic gasses and smoke to occur, which causes most fire deaths and injuries.

In 2005, some fire retardant chemicals were banned. A study in 2012 that appeared in the journal, Environmental Science and Technology by UC Berkeley and Duke University, found that toxic and untested flame retardants were present on most couches that they examined. These chemicals are linked to cancer and other health problems. It is literally almost impossible to buy furniture without flame retardants. Additionally, furniture with flame retardants are not required to be labeled.

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MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet

Do you worry about what is in that detergent or cleaning product?  How green is it really? What do I do if it gets on my skin? Is it dangerous?

We have often cited Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDS in our analysis of cleaning and construction products. What are they?

Newer SDS’s have a structured format and required information that MSDS’s were not required to have.

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Last Update: 2/2/2017

The weed killer Roundup is facing lawsuits over claims that it gave people cancer, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I saw a newspaper article with lawyers looking for more victims.

The lawyers base their cancer lawsuit claims on a 2015 report from the International Agency for Research on cancer, IARC – a division of the WHO. It found Roundup aka glyphosate to be “probably carcinogenic.” The report says glyphosate caused cancer in lab tests on animals and found that the chemical damaged DNA in human cells.

The Scotts Company sells the popular line of pesticides Ortho Home Defense MAX as well as Roundup. They produce everything from bug killers to rodent control products to Scotts Miracle Grow.

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30 Jan

Living with a Tesla Model S 70D Electric Car Review in the Real World

Posted by Norman F, January 30th, 2017

Last Update: 8/28/2018

Tesla-Factory Super Charger Model S

Tesla Factory

We recently purchased a Tesla Model S 70D. Much has been written about this excellent electric car—instead of providing a more technical review, we will provide insight gleaned from day to day use of this car in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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30 Jan

PSE&G Energy Efficiency Rebates

Posted by Norman F, January 30th, 2017

Air purifier, Gas Furnace
New rebates have been added for 2017.

Utility Company PSE&G or Public Service Electric and Gas has a bunch of programs and incentives to help save energy, go green, and save money.

Questions, call 1-800-854-4444.

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20 Jan

Optimizing Setting a Programmable Thermostat for Winter

Posted by Norman F, January 20th, 2017

Easy Eco Blog Electric Programmable Thermostat

The average household will spend over $1100 staying warm during the winter.  This cost just keeps going straight up.  You can lower your heating costs by 2-5% for every 1 degree lower you set your thermostat. Easily save $200 a year.

Housing accounts for 20% of total US energy use with heating and cooling consuming a whopping 44% of residential energy use.

We realized that we were not setting our programmable thermostat optimally, when we saw some tips that result in lower energy use. We would set the thermostat to heat to my desired temperature of 65 degrees from 6pm to 7am. Many people will prefer 68 degrees, but we like wearing sweaters at home. (Or are so cheap we have to)

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variable Speed Pool Pumps, multi speed pool pump

Swimming pool pumps use a ton of electricity. It is estimated that they use up a shockingly high percentage of all residential power and use almost 1500 kWh of power each year. Spa pumps and heaters use up to 2250 kWh of energy every year. The pool pump uses most of the power, so finding energy efficient pool pumps is very important. It pushes water through filtration units and has not changed in many years. New variable speed pool pumps are now available. They are energy efficient and are quieter by running motors slower, but run for longer periods of time.

Pool Pump Power Usage

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vitamin water zero sugar fructose soda obesity

Everyone now knows: The consumption of sugar-sweetened drink is among the world’s strongest risk factors for obesity, some studies showing up to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children, for each daily serving of this poison.

Is Vitamin Water a low calorie nutritious drink or a virtual soda-like drink in disguise? Is it good for you? Vitamin Water made the news recently. Center for Science in the Public Interest sued Coca Cola, who owns Vitamin Water over deceptive and unsubstantiated claims on its  original Vitamin Water line of beverages.

Coke has marketed it as a healthy alternative to drinking soda. Adjectives like “defense,” “rescue,” “energy,” and “endurance.” make it even more appealing to sugary soda. Phrases like: reduce the risk of chronic disease, reduce the risk of eye disease, promote healthy joints, and support optimal immune function, also reinforce this healthy image.

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Siemens ECO DECT green cordless phones

Did you know that (DECT) 1.9Ghz digital cordless phones emit the same type of pulsed microwave radiation (about 1.8 GHz) as ordinary (GSM) cell phones. Emissions can be about 6 V/m within a metre of the base unit, for as long as it is plugged in. Companies push these phones because they do not interfere with Wifi networks. Many base stations emit their radiation even when the phone is not in use! Microwaves are continuously emitted 24 hours a day as long as they are plugged in. Not good. More Warnings. – “DECT cordless phones work at a fixed power. Mobiles turn their power down to the lowest level possible, so when you are near a base station this can be much lower than a DECT cordless. DECT pulses are far more aggressive than for mobiles.”

3rd Generation DECT

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