Mother Earth Living

solar energy





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4/6/2011
With 67 percent growth in one year, the solar energy industry eclipses even the telecommunications industry, according to a new Solar Energy Industries Association report.
4/7/2011
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
10/22/2010
Without federal subsidies, the future of solar power looks grim. Fortunately, the Obama administration is giving solar a boost with four new large-scale solar projects.
4/2/2010
Senator Bernie Sanders’ new bill would promote installation of 10 million new rooftop solar energy systems and 200,000 solar hot water heating systems in the United States in the next decade.
2/21/2011
In a move that could devastate Colorado's thriving solar industry, Xcel Energy slashes incentive program.
6/15/2011
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
3/23/2011
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
6/17/2011
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
6/21/2011
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
4/7/2014
See how an energy-efficient house faired it’s first winter in Maine.
3/22/2011
Sixty-one percent of Americans say they understand our nation's energy issues, but more than half have never heard the term 'smart grid.' We have a lot to talk about.
8/31/2009
Conserve your iPod’s energy with these eco-friendly tricks.
10/21/2010
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller offers an introduction to the Passive House standard, including what makes Passive Houses energy-efficient and how they differ from passive solar homes.
3/14/2011
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
3/24/2011
Covering an area about the size of California with solar panels would provide enough power to handle the world's needs.
5/8/2009
As tough economic times hit the renewable energy industry, unsold solar panels are collecting dust in warehouses in many parts of the country. But in Gainesville, Florida, homes, buildings and schools are glittering with brand new panels, installed after the city passed a feed-in tariff law, requiring the power company to buy renewable energy from local producers.
2/23/2011
Colorado's once-thriving solar industry has ground to a halt following Xcel Energy's move to slash incentive rebates for homeowners.
8/30/2013
My home is going nearly 100 percent solar thanks to a local solar leasing program.
1/21/2011
Enter Natural Home’s Go Solar Giveaway to win a solar hot water heating system from Sunward.
1/12/2011
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
6/17/2009
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
3/25/2011
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
5/3/2011
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
5/6/2011
Michael Funk's 6,000-square-foot off-the-grid home and retreat center on 1,200 acres in the Sierra Nevadas is an heirloom, handbuilt with reverence for the spectacle that surrounds it. He hopes it will inspire every visitor to preserve the paradise.
3/11/2011
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
5/12/2010
Following a disastrous investigation into the Energy Star program’s certification process, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency are making major changes, including scrapping automated approval and requiring stricter lab results.
11/15/2010
Two new federal programs, the Home Energy Scoring program and the PowerSaver program, make it easier for homeowners to save energy.
5/4/2009
The Environmental Protection Agency releases a list of the top green power purchasers in the United States.
3/21/2011
Dan and Karen Cripes made a few big upfront investments—including solar panels and a geothermal system—when they built their home in Round Rock, Texas. Now they're reaping the rewards with nearly nonexistent utility bills and a home they love.
5/2/2011
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
4/20/2011
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.
3/24/2011
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
6/10/2009
A solar-powered cooker made out of cardboard boxes, which aims to reduce carbon emissions, deforestation and the spread of water-borne diseases, took home the first prize at the Climate Change Challenge.
10/6/2010
The Obama administration announced yesterday that it will place solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the White House roof by spring 2011.
4/25/2011
Kate and Jeff are building their off-the-grid dream near Taos, New Mexico. As they build themselves a small straw bale house and make do with a few solar panels, they're realizing how little they really need.
4/20/2011
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
3/9/2009
Last weekend more than 12,000 people flocked to Washington, D.C., for a three day demonstration to demand the creation of green jobs, cuts in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.
6/29/2009
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains why wind energy is growing in popularity right now.
11/13/2009
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program reached a major milestone this week when it qualified its 1 millionth Energy Star home.
1/11/2010
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
2/24/2010
The Greener Gadgets competition in New York called on designers and entrepreneurs from around the country to come up with the greenest electronic gadgets around. From toys to tents, they didn’t disappoint.
11/9/2009
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
6/21/2011
At the Healthy Homes Conference in Denver, a health care pioneer said healthy housing is as important as diet and exercise in maintaining well being and that access is a social justice issue. The Home Depot Foundation is addressing that.
5/11/2011
Building homes using dangerous and impactful industrial chemicals--in the name of energy efficiency--is not sustainable or ecological, a green building veteran says. His Health-Based Building model is an important step forward for green design.
3/18/2009
Sustainability starts at home—but it sure does help to have community backing. Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence takes a closer look at the Cambridge Energy Alliance, a nonprofit, community-supported program that offers free energy audits and customized plans to make homes and buildings more eco-friendly.
4/12/2010
Looser standards and self-certification have led to a market flooded with Energy Star appliances—many with questionable qualifications.
3/26/2009
Turn out the lights. Light the candles. Tomorrow night (March 28) from 8:30-9:30 (in your time zone) is Earth Hour.
6/14/2011
After a wildfire destroyed their off-the-grid compound in Colorado, Betty and Rolland rebuilt—better than before—following Rolland’s creed: no plywood, no plastic and nothing that smells bad when it burns. The wildlife around their home approve.
5/20/2011
MIT students have developed an outdoor rocking lounge chair that doubles as a solar charging station, recasting power generation as an integrated and distributed public activity.
5/12/2011
Deb and Tommy have spent just $7,500 to set up their off-the-grid homestead in Oklahoma's Kiamichi Mountains, which relies on one 80-watt solar panel for power. As they learn more, they will continue to build their systems.
7/26/2011
The solar powered RainPerfect pump system is a great way to harvest the rain that does fall and recycle it to help your gardens and lawns stay hydrated and rejuvenated.
4/27/2011
Liza Fleischer was a suburbanite through and through when she met her husband, Ted, who she says was 'born 100 years too late.' Now they live in a solar- and hydro-powered hand-built home on 160 acres in Vermont—and she loves it.
3/10/2011
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
5/4/2011
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
5/31/2011
When a fire destroyed their home and office near San Luis Obispo, Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper seized the opportunity to build the off-the-grid straw bale home of their dreams. Their comfortable compound now houses two other families as well.
5/28/2014
Summer is heating up! Discover how you can cut costs, lower your energy usage and reduce your carbon footprint all while beating the hot summer sun.
7/27/2009
The new Microsoft Hohm application makes it easy to track your energy use and provides simple recommendations to save energy and money.
5/10/2010
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, which passed the House on May 5, would provide $6 billion in rebates to homeowners who make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes.
6/22/2009
Summer marks the start of buzzing AC units, but this doesn’t have to waste energy or drain your wallet. By accessing the energy leaks in your home with a simple energy audit, you’ll save money on utility bills. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how to perform a home energy audit.
6/11/2009
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares exciting information about the Google PowerMeter, a new device that helps homeowners find ways to reduce their electric bills.
3/30/2009
A survey by the Shelton Group, a Tennessee-based advertising firm, reveals why energy-efficient products are flying off the shelves during this tough economic time.
2/18/2011
Consumers are intrigued by smart grid technology, but they need a lot more information and better tools before they'll participate.
3/7/2011
Homeowners and renters who made five or more energy-efficient improvements found satisfying savings, a new study finds.
12/29/2010
U.S. energy consumers will rely more on natural gas and renewables and less on imports in 2011. Coal remains dominant.
7/2/2009
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains a Pew Charitable Trusts study that finds that jobs in the clean energy sector are growing faster than jobs in the fossil fuel industry.
2/8/2011
Ranging in size from 528 square feet to 960 square feet, miniHomes are a combination of park model trailer, manufactured home and code-compliant residences that combine modern design with state-of-the-art building technology.
3/22/2011
An affordable prototype home helps revitalize a blighted Syracuse, New York, neighborhood--and could be the city home of the future.
4/18/2011
This tiny kit home—less than 90 square feet—is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
3/7/2011
Leap Adaptive's 480-square-foot, energy-efficient Hummingbird kit house makes green living affordable.
4/21/2011
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
9/22/2010
The World Community Grid uses grid technology and idle computers to power environmental and humanitarian research projects.
3/10/2011
Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.
2/14/2014
The Geothermal Exchange Organization provides geothermal heat pumps to help reduce heating costs during this brutal winter.
1/20/2010
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove narrows down her choices of Energy Star-rated appliances for her LEED-certified home in Tennessee.
7/20/2009
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
9/9/2009
MyEmissionsExchange.com stimulates the economy and combats global warming by paying registered users for reducing their energy use.
7/15/2009
Improvements in incandescent light bulb technology give compact fluorescent bulbs a revamped competitor.
2/27/2009
Weatherizing your home saves you money. Just a few simple changes can greatly reduce the amount of energy your home requires to stay comfortable. Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence fills you in on how to weatherize your home and collect stimulus money.
2/22/2011
Now playing in select theaters, Carbon Nation is a non-preachy, solutions-based documentary that proves the benefits of a low-carbon economy.
1/31/2011
Cree's new dimmable LED bulb emits a warm, incandescent-like color.
4/28/2010
The Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
10/27/2008
If night sweats are causing you to lose sleep and costing you more on your air-conditioning bill, consider a Bedfan.
7/28/2014
When it comes to “going green” at home, the purpose is clear: to conserve and manage your home’s energy intake and expenditure. A good start, especially during the hot months of summer, would be to take a look at fiberglass windows.
6/16/2011
Mother Earth offers many natural energizers that wake you up without compromising your health.
6/25/2008
Jessica talks about her recent travels to Wisconsin for the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair and gears up to find an energy-efficient vehicle.
5/4/2010
With Earth Day afoot, it’s important that the rest of our nation keep a close eye on Chicago’s green initiatives.
3/28/2011
Guest blogger Mike Samsel provides an overview on how the iPad and new apps relating to home automation can help you save energy through better control of heating and cooling, lights, window coverings, irrigation and security systems.
6/10/2011
  Existing homes that are certified as “green” sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to an analysis of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region released today by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource. Newly constructed homes with a sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more than non-certified homes. This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified. The term 'certified home' includes homes that received an Earth Advantage New Homes, ENERGY STAR, or a LEED for Homes designation, or a combined Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR certification.  
3/26/2010
Natural Home guest blogger John Patrick explains why he and his wife, guest blogger Rebecca Selove, designed their sustainable Tennessee farmhouse for passive solar gain and a 5.17-kilowatt photovoltaic system. John and Rebecca are building their sustainable Tennessee farmhouse home to LEED Platinum standards.
3/3/2011
A wonderful, whimsical Austin eco-remodel is the playful expression of two highly creative minds.
2/25/2011
A graduate student experiences the comfort and efficiency of a superinsulated, passive solar home in Taos.
9/17/2010
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove shares the lessons she learned building her now completed green home.
11/30/2011
Although winter is setting in, that doesn't mean an end to the garden season in desert climates! Get inspired by this beautiful rainwater-harvesting, food-producing desert landscape!
5/19/2011
Simone Swan built her off-the-grid domed and vaulted home in Presidio, Texas, as a model of how financially and thermally efficient adobe can be. For $50 a square foot, she built a masterpiece. She says you can, too.
2/22/2012
The Recharge Mower Ultralite is a Cordless Lithium-powered push mower that weighs under 35 pounds.
11/16/2011
Alchemy Architects builds its first weeZero, or net-zero weeHouse, in the desert near Moab, Utah.
5/27/2011
Since they built their solar- and wind-powered cordwood home in Desboro, Ontario, Lisa and Ray Racicot have never looked back. The only thing they'll do differently next time is install the renewable energy systems first, to power the construction.
3/17/2011
A California couple is hitting the road in a greened-up Airstream to share and gather lessons on living sustainbly.
1/6/2011
Enter the Go Solar Giveaway Sweepstakes for a chance to win a solar powered hot water system valued at over $10,000.
8/19/2013
Think having a green home is out of your price range? Here are some easy, realistic ideas to create an eco-friendly living space that might actually save you money!
8/4/2014
In Belfast Cohousing and Ecovillage, high-performance houses experience much more comfortable temperatures with little electric output.
7/26/2012
Scheckter’s Organic Beverages introduces Scheckter’s OrganicEnergy, a natural, vegetarian-approved organic energy drink.
9/23/2010
Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report.Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, says an American Institute of Architects report.
4/16/2012
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses the southern-facing 17-inch-deep windowsills of her Passive House-certified home to grow seedlings.
10/6/2009
Panasonic Everleds offer new energy-efficient lighting that lasts almost two decades with regular use.
2/10/2010
A National Association of Home Builders report and a Better Homes and Gardens survey find that builders and homeowners are moving toward smaller, more energy-efficient homes.
10/16/2008
Guest blogger Tracy Herz juggles greenspeak 101 while considering what products and certifications she will use in her West Virginia condo remodel.
5/21/2008
Jessica discusses her experience as a judge at the Lighting for Tomorrow energy-efficient lighting design competition.
6/29/2010
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has invented an air conditioner, the DEVap, that’s up to 90 percent more efficient than traditional ACs.
1/15/2010
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
6/14/2011
Now Pacific Yurts introduces one of its most exciting innovations to date the unique Custom Curve™ window system. Custom Curve™ is the first glass window system with a structurally engineered framework that follows the curved wall of the yurt.
10/14/2010
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
3/3/2010
President Obama revealed plans for his new Home Star Program, also known as Cash for Caulkers, which will offer rebates for energy-efficient home renovations such as replacing windows, adding insulation and sealing ducts.
3/10/2010
Exercising is good for you—but what about for the environment? Getting your workout fix outdoors, using retrofitted or energy-efficient machines and buying sustainable workout gear will lessen your carbon footprint by pounds of CO2 a day.
6/16/2011
Cable set-top boxes in the United States consume 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity—equivalent to the annual output of nine coal-fired power plants. Cable providers have a lot of energy-efficient improvements to make.
10/10/2014
Switch out old, rusted windows for new, stylish ones while cutting down on energy costs by choosing new windows wisely.
9/16/2010
Save money and energy by ditching the dryer and air drying your clothes instead.
10/1/2009
The recipe for a well-lit room involves combining energy-efficient bulbs with stylish, sustainable light fixtures.
10/20/2010
Follow along as architect Mark Miller takes his energy-efficient design skills to the next level with the Passive House standard.
5/9/2011
Designed to be a comfortable, modern home with a minimum impact on the environment, the Cube generates its own energy and proves that you don't have to sacrifice creature comforts to live in a small space.
1/27/2011
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller shares discusses the lack of energy-efficient, insulated doors in the U.S.
7/14/2010
Next time you need a boost of energy, put down the caffeinated beverage and pick up one of these natural remedies for boosting energy.
11/18/2010
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller explores high-performance windows, a key element in reaching the Passive House standard.
10/22/2010
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller continues his introduction to the Passive House standard.
7/15/2010
This smoothie recipe, courtesy of Driscoll's, is perfect as a quick breakfast, a post-workout snack or a healthy summertime treat.
2/12/2012
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse tests the performance of her new Passive House by not turning on the heat—and enthusiastically reports that you can comfortably live furnace-free in Wisconsin in the winter.
4/16/2012
Here Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses her southern facing 17 inch deep window sills to grow seedlings. She also notes that their electrical bill for February in the furnace free home was only $11 -- $8 of which was service fees.
3/8/2011
Experts say that that bathroom and kitchen remodels--once a sure-fire way to move a home for sale--aren't necessarily the ticket anymore. Creating a house that feels homey and welcoming is most important.
11/29/2011
The NewenHouse kit home has officially received Passive House certification! The Passive House is also the highest-rated Energy Star home in the state of Wisconsin.
2/4/2011
While corporate progress toward sustainability may seem agonizingly slow, GreenBiz editors found plenty to cheer about in 2010--and believe 2011 will be a banner year for green initiatives.
3/1/2012
Urban Moonshine will introduce its new certified organic Energy Tonic at Natural Products Expo West, the industry’s largest event taking place on March 8th.
5/10/2011
In my quest for the most energy efficient ceiling fan, one model blows the rest away. Now is the time to install ceiling fans for lower electricity bills this summer—here's how.
4/19/2011
Jeld-Wen's new Custom Wood line combines character with energy efficiency in windows and doors made from salvaged, reclaimed wood. It's the best of all possible worlds.
7/29/2009
President Obama and the Department of Energy are creating new standards for energy-efficiency in lighting.
1/7/2011
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller pinpoints areas where unconditioned air could be leaking into or out of homes.
2/14/2012
To address consumers' growing desire to save money and be environmentally conscious, GE is launching GeoSpring, the first hybrid electric ENERGY STAR-qualified water heater manufactured in the U.S.
8/12/2009
Use these herbs to relieve stress, increase energy and stimulate sleep this school year.
7/11/2011
Southwest Windpower launches a program to sells its Skystream 3.7 personal wind turbines at select Home Depot stores.
6/5/2011
Jessica reports about all the fun and wonderful information at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
6/18/2010
The “Cash for Caulkers” home-retrofitting program, known as the Home Star program, is expected to pass the Senate this summer. The bill offers rebates for 13 different types of retrofits, including insulation and air and duct sealing
6/25/2010
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, expected to pass this summer, offers rebates for windows, doors, skylights, window films and storm windows and doors.
7/6/2009
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley examines the successes and failures of the Beddington Zero-Energy Development.
7/27/2010
What you eat throughout the day can affect how you sleep at night. Avoid these five foods for a better night’s sleep.
6/21/2010
When the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 passes (as expected) this summer, be prepared by learning what to expect when you buy a water heater, heating system, air-source air conditioner or heat pump.
8/3/2011
GE Lighting’s full line of light-emitting diode (LED) GE Energy Smart incandescent replacement bulbs are anticipated to be on store shelves within the next 16 months.
7/22/2010
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will stop accepting loans from the nationwide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which helps homeowners pay for the cost of energy-efficient retrofits.
8/16/2011
Zephyr’s new range hoods are quieter, more powerful and more energy-efficient with DC Energy Technology, HD LED Bulbs and an Integrated PC Board.
12/1/2011
These powerhouse herbs are great for runners. They act as natural energy enhancers, improve stamina and endurance, heal aches and pains and improve circulatory health.
3/16/2011
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller offers solutions to thermal bridging.
6/11/2009
Reading books from your local public library is a greener alternative to buying new books.
12/16/2008
Third-party certifications are extremely helpful. While you’re out shopping, look for the following logos.
6/2/2010
Natural Home editorial intern Samantha Schwartz helps her family plan an eco-friendly road trip complete with a hybrid car, organic snacks and energy-efficient hotels.


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