Alternative / Renewable Energy

A sustainable energy future begins with educating ourselves and our communities about the latest alternative and renewable energy solutions. This resource page provides tools and information on these innovative energy resources. More resources for this category are located in the Renewables section of our Green Built Homes Certification Levels page — under Phase 5: Appliances, Lighting, and Renewables as well as our Alternative / Renewable Energy Resources page:


101 Terrific Sites on Renewable Energy – The most fun and informative blogs covering green living, wind energy, solar, and overall renewables to make our planet better.

Renewable Energy Ready Homes Checklist and Specs from Energy Star – To help builders and homeowners prepare homes to use renewable energy even if they are not installed right away.

Blue Ridge Biofuels – Worker-owned business that provides clean-burning biofuels for vehicles and homes to the Asheville and Western NC area.

Built It Solar – The Renewable Energy Site for the Do-It-Yourselfers.

Earth to Sky Park – A renewable energy center that demonstrates the responsible use of landfill gas as an energy source for small enterprises in craft and horticulture, as well as meeting the local energy needs of Western NC. Formerly called the EnergyXchange, the Mayland Earth to Sky Park is home to the Bare Dark Sky Observatory and the future home of a state-of-the-art planetarium, micro-propagation/aquaponics & hydroponics facility, visitors’ center, artist studios, garden trails, and agriculture center.

Home Power Magazine – Residential renewable energy and sustainable living solutions.

2016 North Carolina Energy Efficient, Green and High-Performance Home and Building Inventory Report A first-of-a-kind market study that inventories North Carolina’s energy-efficient, green, and high-performance homes and buildings. Identifies market drivers, market barriers, and solutions. Demonstrates North Carolina’s position as a national leader in Green Building.

NC Solar Center Fact Sheets – The NC Solar Center has compiled these fact sheets as a quick reference guide on the technologies, incentives, and other informational resources associated with renewable energy and energy efficiency.

NC Sustainable Energy Association – Non-profit association creating a sustainable energy future in North Carolina through the promotion of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, micro-hydro, geothermal, biofuels, and energy efficiency.

The Source for Renewable Energy – Comprehensive online buyer’s guide and business directory to more than 10,000 renewable energy businesses and organizations worldwide.

US DOE Renewable Electricity Generation– Homepage for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) showcasing innovations in solar, geothermal, wind, and water technologies.

Active Solar Power

Free Hot Water Solar Hot Water Calculator – This site has a lot of calculators for different conversions and paybacks.

Solar Energy International – SEI offers hands-on workshops in solar, wind, and water power and natural building technologies in 17 locations as well as online courses.

Build It Solar – The Renewable Energy site for Do-It-Yourselfers.

Sustainable By Design – Provides a suite of shareware design tools on sustainable energy topics.

Passive Solar Power

Passive Solar Checklist

NC State Passive Solar Primer

App State Passive Solar Plan Book

NREL Passive Solar Strategies

Online Overhang Design Tool

NC Passive Solar Calculations

Passive Solar Site Selection – NC Solar Center’s passive solar site selection factsheet.

Hydro Power

Low Impact Hydropower Institute – Non-profit dedicated to reducing impacts of hydropower generation through the certification of environmentally responsible hydropower.

Wind Power

North Carolina Wind Power Installation map – A map of all wind turbine installations in North Carolina.

American Clean Power Association – The national trade association for the wind energy industry since 1974.

NC Wind Energy Center at ASU – Appalachian State University’s local wind energy information and demonstration center including an anemometer loan program and hands-on workshops.