No excuses things you can do for the environment

Amy Musser
I'm often asked to give talks about what people can do to help the environment.  And afterward, I often get feedback about why people can't do things:  they don't have south facing roof for solar, they don't have money for a big home efficiency renovation, they're renting so they can't...

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Refrigerators have become confusing

Amy Musser
Recently, I've gotten a lot of emails and calls from my builder clients about refrigerators.  It seems their energy consumption has gotten confusing, particularly if you're trying to buy an energy star model.  There are two reasons for this:  (1) the standard test for how much energy they use has...

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Amy’s Energy Efficiency Gift Buying Guide

Amy Musser
Between Thanksgivukkah and the unusually short three-week (shudder) shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you may just now be realizing that you have some serious work to do.  The energy efficiency industry has some great products that will fit your budget and delight the data geek in your life. Gift-giving...

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Trendwatch: Edison light bulbs

Amy Musser
One of the fun parts of rating new homes for programs like Energy Star and Greenbuilt North Carolina is that we get to see a lot of new homes.  Whenever there are new trends in residential design, we know about it.  And every once in a while, there’s a trend...

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Celebrating “solar energy month” in NC

Amy Musser
June is solar energy month! This makes a lot of sense because it's one of the most productive months for the solar technologies in our house.  It's also time for backyard barbeques and a lot of other fun stuff that reminds this blogger why the summer issues of magazines are...

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Hyper-mile your house

Amy Musser
If people can get 80 mpg in a car that’s EPA-rated to get 45, then it seems like it should be possible to get better than average performance out of your house.  I’ve been experimenting with this idea for a couple of years and trying things with friends and students...

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Peak Performance

Amy Musser
A lot of people in WNC oppose building new coal and nuclear plants, but I’ve noticed that most of us do enjoy flipping the switch and having power.  Luckily, there are some relatively painless things we can do to reduce our peak power usage and the need for new power...

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Isn’t change fun?

Amy Musser
A friend once described being at our house like this, “It’s almost like everyone else’s house, but just a little different.”  He went on to explain that the “hippie granola” soap that we use in our bathrooms tends to gel in the pump dispenser, which can cause it to spray...

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