Home Energy Efficiency (1993 vs 2009): Homes Are More Efficient, Gadgets/Electronics More Prevalent.

Home Energy Consumption chart from the EIAI think this home energy consumption chart shows what we call a hug-punch or a tickle-slap – homes are more efficient through weatherization [the hug] but we’re eating up those savings with our appliances, gadgets and electronics [the punch]. According to an article on Greentech, homes built between 2000-2009 were 30% larger than previous years and yet home energy consumption has stayed pretty much flat. We must be buying a shitload of appliances, gadgets and electronics because Energy Star can’t save us.

Even as we move towards efficient home appliances, we seem to be over complicating it. We posted a story about WiFi controlled LED lighting system that allowed homeowners to remotely control their lights via a remote, iDevice app and required a separate router. It’s the hardware stupid! Since most of us have mastered the on/off switch – use it and skip the energy consuming gadgets in order to truly save electricity. [Greentech Media]

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France Passes New Law To Reduce After Hours Light Pollution From Shops And Offices.

Light Pollution Law in France.France’s new law to reduce light pollution is brilliant because it’s so simple. Not only will the law reduce wasted electricity, it’s also easy to monitor and enforce. From the Guardian:

“Under the new law, which comes into effect on 1 July, lights in shop window displays will be turned off at 1am. Interior lights in offices and other non-residential buildings will have to be switched off an hour after the last employee leaves. The move, announced on Wednesday, is expected to save 250,000 tonnes of CO2 – enough energy to power 750,000 French households for a year.”

If it can work in the City of Light, you’d expect a light pollution law working in every city with the exception Vegas. [Guardian]

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Volkswagen Chattanooga Will Get 12.5% Of Their Power From Solar Panels.

Volkswagen Chattanooga plant solar park.From Volkswagen of America (via CSRwire):

“Volkswagen today ‘powered up’ the largest single solar installation at an automotive manufacturing facility in the United States and the biggest solar installation in the state of Tennessee.

The Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park occupies 33 acres, or half of the 66-acre land parcel adjacent to VW’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. The solar park contains 33,600 solar modules from JA Solar designed to produce 13.1 gigawatt hours of electricity per year – equivalent to the energy consumed annually by around 1,200 homes in the area.

The electricity produced from the solar park is expected to meet 12.5% of the energy needs of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant during full production and 100% during non-production periods.”

So who’d you rather – electric vehicle built with nonrenewable energy or gas powered car built with renewable solar power? [Volkswagen]

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Ariel Rojo’s Pig Lamp Requires Energy-Saving Corkscrew CFL Light Bulb For Its Tail.

Ariel Rojo designed Pig LampThe ceramic Pig Lamp from Ariel Rojo doesn’t want to be considered an energy hog and that’s why its tail has to be a low-power consuming corkscrew CFL light bulb. At $88, the Pig lamp is out of my price range but its Jubbling sentiment is undeniable. [Gizmodo]

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NanoLight: Folded, Omnidirectional LED Light Bulb That Produces 100W Of Light From 12W Of Power.

NanoLight 100 watt equivalent LED light bulbThe NanoLight LED looks like a cyborg-Edison style light bulb and kind of works like one by producing 100 watts of light from 12 watts of power. Developed by three friends who met at the University of TorontoGimmy Chu, Tom Rodinger and Christian Yan – the folded NanoLight LED hits the 100 watt (1600 lumens) threshold and still has an estimated lifespan of 30,000 hours by more efficiently dissipating the heat LED’s produce at higher wattages. The NanoLight 100 W equivalent LED light bulb is expected to sell for around $50. NanoLight is currently looking for funding on Kickstarter.

Even though I wouldn’t be a customer for this brighter model, it’s great to see that a company is working toward a 100 W equivalent LED. [Gizmag]


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Panasonic’s Thermoelectric Hot Water Pipes Generate 7.5 Watts Of Power Per Foot.

Panasonic is designing an improved system to generate thermoelectric power by making it more efficient. Thermoelectric power is created via temperature differences – in this case, between the hot and cold water running through your house. Attempts to generate thermoelectric power in the past have been unsuccessful due to the amount of heat lost in the process.

The video pretty much explains how Panasonic’s thermoelectric tubes work. [DigInfo]


Somewhat related article: 100-Megawatt Power Plant via Variations in Ocean Temperature

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