How to Collect Your Company’s Energy Data

In order to respond to their energy and environmental challenges, organizations need to clearly understand their energy costs, identify areas for improvement in operational practices, reduce energy costs and environmental impact, develop a baseline to compare against industry benchmarks or future performance, and finally, to track and report their performance. These key initiatives require expertise in various areas, but have one crucible element in common. If you guessed energy data then you are correct. The gathering of energy data is the first step in effective and environmentally-forward energy management. To begin, your organization will need a complete and up-to-date set of utility billing information. But what happens if you do not have this information or if it is difficult to obtain? Where do you start?

The purpose of this article is to help identify ways that companies can collect their utility bill data and establish a comprehensive and accurate energy data set. The first step is to create a data foundation. In order for any company to make informed decisions about energy management, it must establish a data foundation. The age old saying you can not manage what you do not measure is as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago. Why is this important? Well, once the raw data is collected, data manipulation, analysis, trending and comparison can be completed.

Seems easy, right? Now all you have to do is find the data.

The Challenges

Every organization is different. Some companies track data but not all in one place, others rely on utilities or third parties, and some do not track it at all. In every case, establishing a data foundation that is accurate, transparent and complete can prove quite difficult. Finding and collecting the right data can be an arduous task.

Where do you look for this data? It can be very time consuming poking around your organization or even contacting utilities for this information. The challenge is compounded when you have multiple locations, across provinces and / or states, and are searching for multiple data types, such as natural gas, electricity and water data, that include data data like demand, consumption, and total costs.

Once you've obtained the data, the next challenge is to determine how to compile it. This is most pertinent if you are gathering the data from different places. It's important to have one location, whether a file or a database, that will contain all the data, making it easier to manipulate for analysis.

Where to Find Your Data

So where do you start? There are four sources that can help you find and collect your energy data, outlined below:

  • Directly Contact Utilities. All utilities keep a historical record of data. You can call the utility and ask them to send you historical information for your account. Each utility has its own policy, but some will send a soft copy of your utility bill, known as a historical print out, which is a screenshot shot from their system of some data points, including amount of bill, consumption, and demand. If you request a hard copy of the utility bill, you may be charged a fee per bill.
  • Utility Online Databases. Some utility companies have online databases that allow users to log in and view account details and utility bill information. You can download the utility information online and compile this data in one document. Some utilities offer e-billing services, advising you by email when your bill is ready to be downloaded from their site. Examples of utilities that have online databases include Union Gas, Enmax, BC Hydro, Hydro One, Hydro Quebec. Other utilities partner with Canada Post; they post your bill on their site, and E-post sends you notification by email that your invoice is available.
  • Company Accounts Payable Department. A good place to start is your company's accounts payable department. They should have utility data for the current year.
  • Third Party. You can hire a third party to help with the 'heavy lifting'. If you use a third party to help collect, track, and manage your utility data, then you are a step ahead of the game. Third parties have the expertise and knowledge to work with utilities and to ensure the right information is being collected. Most third parties will have online portals that give you access to your utility data 24/7.

The Types of Data to Collect

Now that you know where to collect your energy data, what type of data should you ask for? I've outdone some considerations below:

  • Size of the Data. Are you looking for a full data set, spanning all of your company's locations, or a sample set that includes only a few? If you are looking for a data sample, you need to consider some factors that may affect the overall complementess, including the location, the weather (winter vs. summer) and the type of business you are in. For example, if you operate a restaurant in Alberta, you would use more natural gas in January due to cold weather than a similar operation in California.
  • Number of Years. Are you looking for 12 months or 24 months' worth of data?
  • Data Types. These can include electricity, natural gas, water, steam, propane, and furnace oil.
  • Data Points. Having all the data points on a utility bill would be ideal, but in the event that this is not possible, the most important ones are consumption, demand, and total amount of bill. You should also inquire if the total amount of bill includes taxes.

Collecting energy data will always be a challenge for organizations. I hope this article identify some steps that may ease this process for your company.

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Industrial Real Estate Switch To Green Janitorial Supplies To Avoid Pollution

Many cleaning companies are making the switch from the traditional toxic cleaning agents to the new green janitorial supplies and products. This is the latest trend and many green products are available nowdays. If you have not adopted the green janitorial and cleaning products yet as a company, your business, may be at a great loss.

Many small cleaning companies have switched to non toxic and biodegradable items. These products are preferred over chemicals or other dangerous materials. Many offices and other institutions have switched to the green cleaning methods to ensure healthy environment for their employees.

With the advent of internet and other technologies environmental threats have become the most debatable issues over the years. People are getting constant awareness over the internet as well as television and other sources to control pollution and save the environment of our planet.

Generally it is considered that cleaning with green products might be a daunting task. This is not true because it is same like using the regular cleaners. You can very well use them with same ease as the other cleaners which are potentially becoming a cause of pollution on our planet.

The new innovative green methods of cleaning ensure us to save our environment since they are derived from various natural resources. These are renewable products that do not contain any petroleum and toxin-based ingredients.

The basic ingredients for green cleaners are vinegar and various oils such as coconut oil. The vinegar and oils combination is applied to soiled surface in conjunction with water. This agitating process lifts every kind of dirt from any soiled surface and breaks solid particles of dirt.

Green means environment friendly and these cleaning products are safe for the environment around us. They do not contaminate the underground water once seen into the ground. They are not harmful and have no fumes dangerous for breathing. Green makeover is helping us to convert our planet into a healthy and safe place to live in the years to come.

Just not long ago janitorial supplies were made from chemicals and other toxic substances that were broadly in use from household to hospitals. However the green products are equally capable of killing harmful germs and provide hygienically safe surfaces. They are contributing to the clean air we breathe in and help us avoid various dangerous diseases associated with chemicals and toxins.

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LEED Rating System For “Green” Home Certification Program

LEED Rating System in Palm Coast Florida Green Homes

LEED is a point-based method qualifies and calculates overall performance of a “green” home , which needs to be engineered to have a beneficial impact on energy efficiency, eco-performance and human well-being. LEED is known as a voluntary rating system that stimulates the construction and designs of high-performance “green” homes, which include easily affordable homes, stand-alone custom designed single-family homes, town homes and duplexes, urban and suburban apartments, condominiums and lofts in historical buildings.

For home-buyers , LEED is a scorecard, that provides a clear picture of all the ways and means a “green” home executes at a higher level.

For residents , LEED is a level of quality, sharing reassurance that they are resident in a building “green” home to provide fresh air indoors and enhanced water and energy efficiency.

For home builders , LEED is an instrument accustomed to set targets and keep track of progress through the design and construction of a “green” home.

Normally LEED calculates measurements on:

* Indoor Environmental Quality It is not a secret, that the quality of the air in the house is often 2 to 5 times worse, and sometimes more than a hundred times worse, as compared to outdoor air, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Actually a LEED home method was created to reduce exposure of pollutants and toxins in order to enhance fresh indoors air.

* Energy Efficiency The typical American family spends approximately $ 1,500 each year on energy bills, according to the US government's Energy STAR program. Based on average Energy STAR scores of LEED homes constructed to date, have the potential to use 20-30% less energy, as well as some up to 60% less amount of energy, than the usual home built to the International Code Council's minimum criteria for energy efficiency. “Use Less Energy” indicates reduced utility bills each month through the lifetime of a house.

* Water Efficiency Inefficient water use is costly and risky at the same time. When human population increased and a climate changed, clean water became an extremely scarce source tied to wasteful energy. LEED green homes use revolutionary approaches to decrease a home or office's water usage and to discover innovative ways to help you recycling water.

* Site Selection The classical meaning of real estate – location, location, location – is extremely true for green homes. LEED recommends houses that are usually near schools, shopping, work and transportation, exploiting the quality of your life and minimizing the amount of time you spend in traffic.

* Site Development While in construction, a home can pollute waterways and interfere with natural habitats because of storm water results. LEED “green” homes prevent harmful construction practices and additionally protect the land by landscaping.

* Supplies Selection The supplies and resources that chosen for a house should be thoroughly selected from sustained sources and approved providers. LEED homes also use recycled, reclaimed and reliably acquired materials wherever available.

* Resident's Information LEED is educating property owners and tenants regarding a house's “green” features and ways of how to get the highest performance from them. In addition, a LEED home stands as an example of a well-built home and encourages others in the community to follow.

* Innovation LEED motivates builders and designer companies to come across inventive ways to enhance a home's efficiency, taking into consideration local and regional demands as well as approving longevity of your comfortable “green” homes.

To get your “Green” Home LEED Certified, you need:

* “Green” Registration The building team registers a new home project with the LEED for Homes program.

* Good “Green” Teamwork The architect, engineer, builder, and the others, involved in the design and construction, are working closely in concert to optimize the benefits of a “green”, eco-friendly home and make sure that all the parts function effectively.

* “Green” Verification Throughout the construction, home inspections at significant milestones, frequently integrating an Energy STAR rating to verify that the project is on the right track.

* “Green” Certification In the final of the process your “green” home is granted points for its accomplishments. Based primarily on the amount of points it receives, the actual green homes will be certified at one of four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. For more about LEED method Green Homes in Florida go to:

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Risks of Having a Rooftop Garden

The main reason people are scared of rooftop gardening is that they think it would be so expensive. This just is not the case. Especially if rooftop gardens are included in the budget prior to constructing the building. In comparison to the price it actually takes to construct these buildings the price of the rooftop gardens will be a bargain. Most of the buildings in Seattle with rooftop space are multi million dollar facilities.

Some of these buildings actually reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars so building a garden on the roof would only be a tiny fraction of the price. At Seattle University the price of the flat screens in dormitories is greater than what it would cost to plant extensive gardens on all those roofs. There are just so many benefits of the rooftop gardens that it would be silly to think of it as an unsound investment. It would be possible to plants thousands of square feet of garden space for a mid four figure investment. Consider a hundred million dollar condo high rise.

If they were to spend ten thousand dollars creating one of the most extravagant rooftop gardens to date that was open to the people living there it would surely increase the value of their building substantially. How much is hard to say but in terms of return on investment building that garden would be a no brainer. Another benefit of spending the money to build a garden would be the media attention it would attract. In comparison to spending money on advertising the gardens would seem cheap.

There are some other reasons that hold people back from planting rooftop gardens. Sometimes the structure of the building is just equivalent to support such a weight. Other rooftops may not have access or proper draining. Although not completely necessary it is much easier to build a garden on a flat surface. Having a upside down V shaped roof is a holdup for most residential housing.

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Eco-Friendly Steel Buildings For Environment Purposes

There are many reasons that some people choose to construct steel buildings for environment purposes. This type of building is far more eco-friendly than the structures of the past. From the actual eco-friendly nature of the ores that are used, all the way to the actual construction process, these structures are kind to the planet. This article will be explaining this much further detail.

The actual nature of the ores that are used in these structures is one of the factors that help to make these structures so environmentally friendly. These ores can be melted down and reused for other purposes if a building has to every be disassembled. Any type of recycling like this is great for the planet, especially when one considers that the materials could be recycled into another similar building.

A lot of older structures from the past have always been made from wood and brick materials. The bad thing about these materials is that they wind up in a landfill if the building is every disassembled. The average consumer's household garbage is enough of an issue; having an entire building wind up in such fills only makes the problem much worse.

The type of insulation that is typically being applied to these structures is far more eco-friendly than insulation alternatives of the past. A lot of structures from the past utilized fiber glass insulation. The processes involved in creating and transporting fiber glass are all very hard on the environment. A simple and light weight reflective material is used for insulating the type of building being discussed here.

The fact that these structures are constructed much quicker also lends to them being a more environmentally friendly option. Anybody that is even vaguely familiar with the construction process might already know that this process is hard on the environment. A lot of energy is being burned by many parties involved, and this takes place until the process is completely finished.

A lot of the materials that are used to create these structures have been pre-fabricated into ready to go parts by the company that is selling the. Just think of all the materials that have to be cut on a traditional job site. Traditional construction sites are typically over littered with left over materials that lie about. When these are thrown away they wind up in a land fill.

It is also very important for people to consider how much more cost effective these solutions are when compared to traditional structures. It never hurts to save a little money while being kind to the environment. This cost effective nature combined with the eco-friendly nature of these structures is likely to make them the wave of the future. This is starting to occur already.

By now, the reader should be well aware of the many reasons that some people choose steel buildings for environment reasons. It is very hard to find a kind of structure that is as friendly to the earth as this type. The fact that they go up much quicker and do not cost nearly as much is also very attractive to many people.

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The Benefits of Going Green for Homeowners

In this day and age, everyone sees to be jumping on the proverbial 'green' bandwagon. From multi-national corporations to small local businesses, there is an environmental angle to just about every consumer product. For homeowners, the benefits of going green can be numerous and while some of them can cost money up front, there are many advantages to this new environmental movement.

Of course, the environmental movement is not new; it's actually been around for many decades. Yet a fair majority of people throughout the country has either been aware of a distance or dismissive of it as a cost and 'tree-hugging' waste of time. The reality, however, has changed in recent years as the price of gasoline, home heating, and electricity has gone through the roof, in a manner of speaking.

Homeowners who are looking to either add value to their homes or save money in the long run, or both, are beginning to turn toward the benefits of going green as a serious way to make an impact, if not on the environment, then on their budget. There are quite a few things people can do to turn their home into a green home.

Update appliances

For older homes, many of the appliances that may be leftover from the seventies and eighties will likely be chugging down electricity like an athlete downs Gatorade on a hot summer day. By updating these appliances with modern, Energy Star efficient ones, a homeowner can save up to several hundred dollars a year. Some homeowners have reported saving several thousand dollars every year by doing this.

The initial cost is often a deterrent, but given that a homeowner will likely remain in their home for many years, the cost of upgrading now is outweighed by those long-term savings. It can be looked at in another light as well. When a homeowner updates his or her appliances, such as the refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and even the smaller ones like a toaster oven, then the value of the home also goes up slightly.

Having new appliances attract potential homebuyers' attention when it's time to put it on the market. The key is to choose the appliances that have the highest energy efficient rating, fit within a reasonable budget, and add aesthetic value to the house.

Solar panels

Depending on where in the country a person lives, solar panels can be a great advantage and a boost in the home's value. In Southern California, for example, solar panels will be working overtime nearly year-round, with the constant glare of the sun peering down on this region, but in Seattle, Washington, they might not offer the same value.

A homeowner in a high sun region of the country can take advantage of a number of government programs that help subsidize the purchase, installation, and use of solar panels. The initial out-of-pocket expenses for these solar panels can be jaw-dropping, surely, but there are many homeowners who run their own house on solar energy, paying nothing or next to nothing to the utility companies.

There is some upkeep with batteries and the like, but when the home goes on the market, the selling point of being able to supply a significant portion of the house's power through solar energy, the savings can add up very quickly.

Wind energy

Just like solar panels, wind turbines can be an asset for many homeowners, especially those who live in high wind regions. Wind turbines for home use can be small and unobtrusive, and many are even ornamental in nature so that they fit in with the natural surroundings. In most cases, the wind turbines will not produce as much energy as solar panels, but any savings adds to inherent home values ​​and the homeowner's pocket at the end of the day.

Going green does not have to be a major expense. In fact, simply changing out traditional incandescent light bulbs with new CFL lights can increase savings and add a selling component to the house.

David

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Background Of Green Belts And Their Share To Mother Nature

A Green Belt is not only about your expertise level in martial arts but also with the improvement of the earth. A Green Belt is really an unseen line specified as undeveloped, which remains so to allow wildlife to come back and gain a foothold in the area. These are similar to but distinctive from “greenways” and “green wedges,” which can run through an urban area instead of around it.

Green Belts greatly benefit the people that live within them despite the fact that such specific areas are seriously restricted in terms of development. It's priorities relate to the natural environment, the air we breathe, wide open spaces and the integrity of the countryside.

Green Belts will not work well in all areas, and success hinges a great deal on the surrounding environment. These areas are often end up in uneven borders and the creation of “satellite towns,” which work more like suburbs than independent communities even though they are technically detached from urban areas by a Green Belt.

Although there is evidence that it is an ancient concept, in the contemporary world this kind of policy was started in the 1930s in Great Britain. You can find fourteen Green Belts in England today. Known as green space or greenspace in the United States, the boundaries tend to be smaller and are usually confined to small spaces, such as parks.

Mandated city plans, restrictive covenants, or land use designs are the usual ways in which these are established. Several communities have placed a priority on such installations, encouraging people to think about the significance of city planning on the natural environment.

A major criticism of this derives from the fact that a Green Belt is reasonably to spur the expansion of areas a great deal further away from the middle of the city, increasing urban spread. Urban sprawl has become a genuine predicament in Ottawa, Canada, in the suburbs of both Kanata and Orleans. Other problems, such as traveling difficulties and land reserve issues, can develop with this.

A Green Belt has its pros and cons, but it is more optimistic concerning its effects on the environment. Conserving water, regulating temperature and giving a home for wildlife are three important priorities relating to a Green Belt. It is a move in the right direction, even according to its many critics.

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I Am the Eggman

Tired of high rents in your neighborhood? Why not do what one Beijing man did and build your own apartment? And why not build it in the shape of an egg? And while you're at it, why not put your egg house right in the middle of the sidewalk for all to enjoy (and step around)?

That's just what Dai Haifei, a 24-year-old architect in Beijing, did. Fed up with the exorbitant rental prices in Beijing, Haifei built himself a six-foot high, solar-powered mobile egg shaped house – all for just about $ 1000. Made out of bamboo, wood and grass seeds that are expected to grow in the spring, the egg home also contains a solar panel that powers a small lamp inside the pod (before you ask, Dai had all his sanitary needs taken care of at the local gym). Cozy, right? Ordinarily it would be, but with winter temperatures in Beijing often dropping below freezing, Dai was facing the prospect of a very chilly New Year.

Heifei parked his tiny egg palace right outside of his office building (hey, we feel you man – the traffic in Beijing can be brutal), much to the chagrin of city officials, who declared the “egg cabin” to be illegal. Sadly the authorities intervened a few weeks ago and had the house carted away, leaving Heifei no option but the time-honored one of crashing with friends in town while he meets affordable housing, but we fully support his innovative endeavors – lovers of cheap apartments ( egg shaped or otherwise) need to stick together in these tough times!

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Cost Drill-Down of Lead Paint Abatement Projects

Since being banned since 1978, lead paint abatement activities still cost an amazing hundred of millions of dollars every year. This is because many pre-1978 properties are still testing positive for lead in their coating systems. The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reveals that nearly 75% of properties in the United States are old houses built prior to 1978, or equivalent to more than 50 million properties!

Costs of Lead Paint Abatement

To property owners, the going price for lead removal for every square feet of property ranges from $ 10 to $ 15. If the property is a pre-1978 construction, the total lead paint abatement cost for a 1,500-square feet property rates $ 15,000, while a 2,000-square feet property can be anywhere from $ 15,000- $ 30,000.

What goes into this total cost? Contractors' labor fees, sampling costs, and laboratory testing charges are just some of them.

Encapsulation, which seals the lead-painted surface instead of removing the paint, costs around 50 cents per square feet or around $ 1,000 for a 2,000-square-foot property, which is far less in cost than lead removal. However, the danger of lead exposure is not totally removed.

Contractor Costs

EPA regulations require all abatement contractors to be trained and certified for the task. The costs of these certification programs are additionally charged to customers. State-level certificates alone cost around $ 300 per program, and more advanced abatement trainings cost higher. Contractors also accrue additional costs to obtain business licenses and accreditations.

When on a project, the costs of obtaining project permits add up to the total project costs. Specialized equipments and materials for lead paint abatement work, such as HEPA vacuum filters, sheeting materials, and worker gear, are expensive and adds further costs to the project.

Project Grants

To lesser the costs of lead paint abatement, the HUD's Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) takes charge of grant programs for abatement projects. Below are a few of them:

1. Lead-based Paint Hazard Control Program (LHC), which awards 30 $ 3M-grants annually to local Governments, States and Native American Tribes to for lead hazards identification and control.

2. Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program (LHRD), which awards 12 $ 4M-grants to the same target recipients living in 1940s-built rental properties.

3. Operation Lead Elimination Action Program (LEAP), which awards 6 $ 2M-grants for private organizations willing to co-fund lead paint abatement programs.

4. Lead Outreach Program (LOR), which awards $ 4 500,000-grants to academic organizations and local governments for public awareness campaigns on childhood lead poisoning prevention and lead paint abatement activities.

Consequences of Lead Exposure

The ill-effects of lead in paint has been well-documented, that is why despite the economic costs, lead paint abatement activities continue up to this day. The monetary costs are far less than the societal costs of lead exposure and poisoning.

Lead exposure in children and adults can cause delayed mental and physical development, behavioral and learning disorders, organ damage, and even pregnancy losses. New studies reveal a direct correlation between lead poisoning and crime, and adult diseases sourced from childhood lead exposure and poisoning.

The menace of exposure will not be over without lead paint abatement activities have removed all traces of lead in every property in the United States.

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How to Incorporate Green Sustainable Architecture Into Your Existing Home

As more people around the world try to find more ways of reducing their carbon footprint, environmentally conscious homeowners are turning to ideas for the incorporation of green architecture into their existing homes. Sustainable architecture is based on the idea that the design of a building or home should have the least impact on the environment as possible. Green architecture therefore creates a cleaner living environment, while using cost effective energy saving building techniques.

In order to incorporate sustainable green architecture into your already existing home, you will first need to contract the services of a sustainable architect to bring to reality your dream for greener living. A sustainable architect knows that every component in a building can assemble of sustainable architecture, such as renewable building materials, building design, active and passive heating and cooling, water conservation methods as well as natural and artificial lighting. The architect will be able to advise you on how to best incorporate green architecture into your home through the use of sustainable materials for your home finishes. For instance, you may include sustainable materials for your wall surfaces, countertops and flooring with finishes such as salvaged steel, recycled plastic as well as locally mined and produced tiles and stones.

When it comes to paint, opt for the low toxic paints and finishes to coat both the exterior and interior of your home. Install a low flush toilet which will enable you to conserve water usage. As you do shopping, always check the product labels and only buy home building products that contain low levels of volatile organic compounds. Be sure to conduct an energy audit of your home where it will be inspected for any spots with leaks which require added insulation. Remember that a tightly sealed home which is properly insulated will help you save on heating bills and usage.

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How To Achieve Maximum Material Resource Efficiency Using Insulation Alternatives

Material resource sustainability comes as a result of sustainability. Builders with an eye on the future of this planet choose and use resources that will reduce emissions and conserve energy. Managing resources used for insulation and other purposes in an endeavor to decrease our carbon footprint must be an integral part of any plan for all developmental sectors, including construction. By reusing resources recycled from demolished or renovated buildings, developers can dramatically boost construction sustainability.

High-embodied energy levels, fire retardants and adhesives are present in a lot of the insulation materials used nowdays. The transport of traditional building resources is the reference to elevated-embodied energy levels. There are a significant number of green insulating alternatives on the market including: hemp and lime solid composite, flax fiber and wood fiber. Two other insulation options that are both highly energy-efficient and more advantageous to the environment compared to other more conventional materials are cellulose and sheep's wool.

Sheep's wool is highly desirable as an insulation option because it is thermally efficient. Sheep's wool is a great deal more energy-efficient than fiber glass insulation, requiring 15% less energy to manufacture, and it is likewise an insulation material that fares well under all temperature fluctuations. When it is cold, heat is discharged from the wool and moisture is absorbed in the form of energy, and this same moisture causes a cooling effect as it is naturally released during the warmer months of the year.

Recycled newspaper and other paper connected sources are converted into cellulose, which often serves as insulation when it is blown into cavity walls. Cellulose needs less energy than fiberglass or foam items to manufacture and it has a low-embodied energy level. According to the Canadian Building Magazine, fiberglass utilizes around 10 times more embodied energy than cellulose. Realizing that the use of petroleum-based insulation resources, such as fiberglass and foam, is not harmonious with material resource sustainability has caused builders to look elsewhere for insulation materials in their search to decrease the effect of the overall embodied energy of buildings.

Alternative masonry methods must be developed to be able to boost the renewal of the construction process. This involves a slow moving away from conventional resources that are now known to have elevated levels of embodied energy. It is an important step for builders who can now begin constructing really sustainable buildings.

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What Is a Domestic EPC? Let Us Explain

What is an EPC? An EPC is a chart which displays the Energy Efficiency of a building, they are now a legal requirement for any home being sold or rented and must be made available free of charge to anyone who requests it. Within an EPC, you will find “Actual” and “Potential” figures with a graph ranging from “A” the best, through to “G” the least energy efficient, a recommendation report, information about the assessor who completed the EPC and a figures relating to the average current / potential running costs.

What is it for? EPC's have been bought in by the Government to enable house buyers or tenants to understand the efficiency of a property which they may be interested in buying, or renting. If you were to buy the property, you could use the information and recommendations provided within the EPC to help reduce the carbon footprint and save yourself money in the long term.

Who cares? Because EPC's are a reliably new stage in putting your property up for sale / rent, not many people are aware of what they do or what benefits they provide. With time, EPC's will become much more of a standard practice and will provide new homeowners with a broad range of information to help them save money or ways to make improvements.

How much, and how long? The prices of EPC's very up and down the country depending on demand in the area, in most regions of the UK you will be looking somewhere in the region of £ 50- £ 80 and sometimes more if you decide to instruct your EPC via your Estate / Letting agent.

The EPC will last you 10 years and can be re-used an unlimited amount of times which is handy if you are a landlord planning to rent your property out for a long period.

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Energy Star Home Builders

When you're in the market for a house, it is good to check what type of home the builder built during the construction process. If you see that the house is a energy star home, using modern construction techniques to ensure the home will have low monthly bills, it might be a good idea to choose that home over traditionally built houses. Many people that are in the market for a new home will more than likely be searching for a house that has efficiency in mind, and also the environment in mind. If you are looking to get into building homes, or you are already someone who builds homes, it might be a good idea to look into how you can become an energy star homebuilder.

The main things for builders to consider is that energy star homes hold their value better than normal houses, and they do not cost all that much more then building a house the normal way. Its not like an energy star home is a completely different building process. There are just many small differences that will end up being seen when it comes time to pay the electric bill, water bill, or your gas bill. The entire idea of ​​these types of homes is to conserve energy so that people will not have outrageous monthly bills while living in the home.

The larger the house a builder is constructing, the more it will cost to upkeep each month, and the higher the energy bills will be. A great selling point of a large house that is built with energy savings in mind is that it does not use as much power as smaller homes that were not built with energy star rating. People are looking to save money, and are looking for a house that will hold a constant temperature consistently, which is what an energy star home directly represents. A builder will have an easier time selling a highly efficient home than selling a house that was not built with energy in mind.

For builders to become energy star builders, there will be independent inspections done by third parties to ensure a builder is not making false claims as to how they built a home. This protects homeowners from buying a house that is claiming something that it is not, and will also make sure that these builders stand out from builders that are still building homes traditionally.

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Energy Star Homes

New homes that are being built right now are using many methods and materials that are not only cost efficient, but they also have energy savings in mind so that they are not only helping to bring down your monthly bills but they will also have benefits in helping the environment. Owning a home that is significantly more efficient than a standard home will mean that you use less electricity to run your home, which will directly translate to your electric bill. This also holds true for other bills that a home may have such as your water bill. The building process of an energy star home also does not bring down the quality of the house itself, which makes sure you still have a custom home with all the amenities of a traditionally built home.

One main feature that is installed in a home that has an energy star rating is the type of insulation that is used to hold heat or cool air inside your home. This insulation is installed in the floors of your home, the walls, and the attic of your house so that your heating and air units are not constantly running and trying to keep your home at a consistent temperature. Insulation is very important when it comes to keeping your house at a constant temperature. If you do not have the proper insulation, this means it will be nearly impossible to keep your home comfortable at low costs.

Other areas of the house that can directly affect your heating and air, and energy costs, are the type of windows you have in your home. Energy efficient windows will be installed that are designed to keep the air in your home in, and whatever the temperature is outside out of your home. This will allow for your heating and air to run less of the time, and will help cut costs on power bills. These windows are also rated to block UV rays from coming through and fading not only your furniture, but also your hardwood floors.

Your entire HVAC system will be installed with efficiency in mind. The ducts themselves will be installed to wear less duct is used around your house, making your units work less. The units themselves will be high efficient, and will be built to last a long period of time. The wiring of your house will also keep your electric bill in mind by using state of the art equipment and wiring. Everything about an energy star home keeps your monthly costs down every year, and also has less of an impact on the environment.

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New Home Builders – Benefits of Energy Star Homes

If you are a current builder, it might be a good idea to look into building more homes that are energy star rated. This holds true for not only affordable homes, but also for very large custom homes. The saleability of a house that is built to be efficient and cost effective is much higher than a house that is built traditionally. Many people are starting to really keep their finances closely monitored and watched, so a great selling point for an energy star home is that it will cost less per square foot than other homes that were not built with energy star ratings.

When building a house to be energy efficient, there are many areas of the home that will be directly affected by the way you install certain things. This ranges from specific windows, to specific heating and air systems. Some builders might believe that the cost of an energy star home will be much more expensive than building a house traditionally, but this is not true. There are certain techniques in building a house that is friendly to the environment and low on monthly utility bills that home builders can learn and use so that the construction cost of the home does not go up too high.

The main thing to consider when building an energy star home is how well the house will hold heat, or how well it will hold cold air. A major consideration of this is where you plan on installing insulation around the home, and what type of insulation you use. Be sure to use energy efficient insulation that is proven to hold heat better than other types of insulation. After selecting the right type of insulation, a builder should not only install it in traditional areas such as an attic or exterior walls, but also plan to install it in some interior walls as well. The floor is also an area where builders should install insulation to truly separate the different levels of the home.

Things that work well with the highly efficient insulation that is installed is to use high grade windows that protect the interior of your home from UV rays, and help keep outside temperatures from making your HVAC units run continuously. Your HVAC system will be highly efficient from the units all the way to the how the duct work is installed. Most steps to becoming an energy star home are small to take, but they end up saving the future home owner a lot of money on cost of living.

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