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home efficiency

Heating Season is Coming, But It Doesn't Have to Burn a Hole in Your Budget

October 22, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Home Heating Efficiency

There's already a chill in the air in many parts of the country, which means the return of crisp fall evenings, colorful foliage, and pumpkin spice. It also means heating season is fast approaching. But if you take a few simple steps, keeping your home warm and comfortable doesn't have to burn through your budget.[read more]

Could High-Efficiency Homes Turn a Mortgage Backed Security Into a Green Bond?

October 9, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Could mortgage backed securities (MBS), backed by loans for high-efficiency houses, be the "impact investment" many investors are seeking as a way to fund America's clean energy future? If so, the MBS, the "toxic asset" of the 2008 financial crises, could become a virtuous "green bond."[read more]

Are the Benefits to the Weatherization Assistance Program's Energy Efficiency Investments Four Times the Costs?

October 8, 2015 by Meredith Fowlie

The urgency of climate change demands solutions that work. So, a clear-eyed assessment of how well policies and programs perform is critical, no matter the results. Using rigorous evidence to inform policy design and implementation is the only way to ensure that we effectively confront climate change.[read more]

The Scrapping of the Zero Carbon Homes Undermines Trust in Government's Commitment to Energy Efficiency

July 14, 2015 by Sussex Energy Group

The government’s decision to scrap the zero carbon homes target plus the equivalent for non-domestic houses is a major setback for achieving a low carbon UK and will undermine the credibility of the policy mix on building energy efficiency and beyond.[read more]

How Energy Disaggregation Can Inspire Efficiency

April 1, 2015 by Jeff St. John

Pulling apart whole-home energy data and turning it into appliance-by-appliance breakdowns can help even the most inspired household energy-savers get more efficient. That’s according to a report released Wednesday that tracked the results of an 850-customer pilot project conducted last year.[read more]


The Coolest, Interactive Net-Zero Home Guide Makes Green Fun

March 22, 2015 by Andre Bourque

Net-Zero Homes

A zero-energy building, also known as a zero net energy building, or net zero building, is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.[read more]

Is Home Efficiency Financing About to Eclipse the Solar Financing Market?

February 27, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

Property-assessed clean energy (PACE) loans for homes rebounded in a very big way last year. PACE looks to continue to gain steam in the coming year, but it is being joined by other investment vehicles bringing new life to residential energy efficiency.[read more]

Has Consumer Electronics Energy Use Finally Peaked?

June 28, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

The Consumer Electronics Association just issued its latest report on the amount of electricity used by consumer electronics and it’s finally begun to come down. However, the total is still enormous, equal to the output of more than 50 large power plants and costing consumers about $20 billion annually.[read more]

Why Isn't America Doing More to Reinvigorate Housing By Supporting Energy & Location Efficient New Homes?

June 19, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

A recent Wall Street Journal article points out just how surprisingly weak the market for new homes is: America built less than half as many new homes between 2009 and 2013 as we did in the decade 1992 to 2002, before the housing bubble and its collapse.[read more]

How Much Did Nest Labs Save Utilities Last Summer?

May 24, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Nest and Energy Savings

Last spring, Nest unveiled its version of residential demand response known as Rush Hour Rewards. The offering was picked up by various big-name utilities. The results of that first year are in, and the programs are generally successful, but do not blow the competition out of the water.[read more]

After Conflicts With Mortgage Lenders, California Restarts Residential PACE

March 29, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

After more than three years of conflict between large mortgage lenders and efficiency advocates, California is announcing that homeowners will soon be eligible for property-assessed clean energy (PACE) loans through the CaliforniaFIRST program.[read more]

Historic Agreement to Slash Energy Use by Set-Top Boxes Will Save $1 Billion Annually

December 25, 2013 by NRDC Switchboard

Energy Savings

Under a historic agreement announced recently, the electricity used by the more than 230 million set-top boxes installed in America’s homes by your cable, satellite, or telephone company will be slashed by 10 to 45 percent, depending on the model, and save consumers $1 billion annually.[read more]

This Chart Shows How Vulnerable Inefficient Buildings Are in the Winter

December 22, 2013 by Stephen Lacey

Winter Vulnerability

While much of America's building stock is still a black box for energy use, this year has been an important one for transparency in the built environment. As leading virtual auditing companies have expanded their reach, they have uncovered trends in near-real time.[read more]

Dogged by Slow Uptake, UK Attempts to Streamline Home Efficiency Program

December 7, 2013 by Katherine Tweed

The United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change says it will make revisions to its Green Deal program, which has not had as much uptake in its first year as expected. It will make the Green Deal easier for consumers and the companies that operate in the market.[read more]

New Evidence that More Efficient Houses are More Valuable Houses

December 3, 2013 by NRDC Switchboard

When major insurers offer discounts for lower risk customers, it's likely based on reliable evidence across a large population. Think lower car insurance rates for drivers with no speeding tickets. Discounts on life insurance for non-smokers.[read more]