Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Should You Go Solar?

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

There’s no doubt that a solar electric system will cut your monthly utility bill. But will it save you money in the long run? That’s a tricky question. The upfront costs average about $15,000 to $25,000 (after financial credits and rebates). For a lot of folks, the discussion ends right there. But for people who live in areas with lots of sun, high electricity rates and significant financial incentives, the payback period for a solar electric system can be less than five years. This article will pose five key questions to help you decide whether solar makes sense for you.

http://www.power-eng.com/news/2011/09/1504857883/should-you-go-solar.html

Japan’s Fukushima Disaster Creates Opportunity for Alternative Energy

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

As thousands of Japanese protest against the nuclear power industry in Tokyo, it may be time to consider investing in the alternative energy sector.

Thousands of Japanese citizens took to the streets on Monday in Tokyo, calling on the government to reduce the country’s use of nuclear power. The protests are the latest reaction to the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which happened after much of northeast coastal Japan was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami earlier this year on March 11.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan recently revealed in an interview with Kyodo News that the situation looked so bleak shortly after nuclear disaster struck the Fukushima Number One nuclear power plant that 30 million residents of the Tokyo metropolitan area faced evacuation, according to the worst case scenario in a report he received in the early days of the unfolding nuclear crisis.

http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles/nuclear-industry-fukushima-disaster-japan-nuclear/9/19/2011/id/36954

Ask Angie: Overlaying New Roof

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

We need a new roof. A builder suggested overlaying over the existing layer of shingles. Is it wise to do this? My concern is how would we know about any underlying damage? I would appreciate any input about the pros and cons of this method.

In general, it is not good practice to overlay a traditional asphalt shingle roof versus a complete tear off and replacement for the very reason you stated: you can’t examine the decking to determine if there is any damage that needs repaired. If you don’t take your roof down to the sheathing, you will never know if you have proper underlayment, or are experiencing sheathing rot, or ice or water damage.

That said, overlaying asphalt shingles with a metal roof could be an option, provided there is no underlying damage. Metal roofs offer energy savings but do cost more upfront than traditional asphalt shingles. They also last longer and stand up to foul weather better than shingles. No matter what type of roof you choose, make sure you tell your roofer to fix any underlying problems you have before installing any new roof.

http://www.bnd.com/2011/09/12/1856700/ask-angie-overlaying-new-roof.html

Cool Metal Roofing – A Hot Idea

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Driven to reduce energy costs and make long-term improvements to their homes, more homeowners than ever are installing durable and environmentally friendly metal roofing systems. According to new statistics from McGraw-Hill Construction Research and Analytics®, the number of homes with metal roofs has more than tripled over the past decade, moving metal from 3% of the overall U.S. market to 10%.

Although metal may initially seem an unlikely choice for cooling, recent advances are allowing metal to shed its “cat on a hot tin roof” image. …

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cool-metal-roofing-a-hot-idea-2011-09-01

Alternative Energy Update and Appliance Efficiencies

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Discussions about federal regulations on Energy Star ratings and energy efficient products continue and homeowners need to keep a pulse on the changes. The latest issue of Consumer Reports looks to help shoppers make the best decisions for their needs and possibly save some cash. Consumer Reports recent tests revealed some of the best appliances, electronics, and heating and cooling equipment are also among the most efficient. There are a number of home-energy retrofits, that if done right, can quickly pay for themselves. But not all efficiency promises pan out.

“You don’t have to sacrifice performance, comfort, or convenience to save energy and money, providing you know what to look for,” said Celia Kuperszmid-Lehrman, deputy home editor at Consumer Reports. “Our tests have found many models of efficiency among a variety of appliances, but shoppers should beware that there are also products whose energy-saving claims are mostly hype.”

http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/48919/