Becoming a Green Homeowner
Start simple. Make a big difference by using the Energy Efficiency Checklist and links.
Information to help you make informed decisions
Other information on this site:
- Designing a new home
- Solar and passive solar
- Green Building Products Guide
- Green Building products and professionals databases
- Indoor air quality
Environmentally friendly flooring is now easily available as demand increases for recycled wood, bamboo, cork and linoleum. You can view our list of local vendors for efficient flooring, or you can check out the websites of companies such as:
Bamboo Flooring International
LuxuryHomeProducts.com (Cork Flooring is a hard and durable product acts as a natural insulator and is fire retardant.)
For lighting, one of the easiest ways to save on your energy bill is to turn off the lights when they are not needed. For home improvement, however, purchasing light bulbs that emphasize energy efficiency will decrease your light's energy consumption by as much as 75%. Energy Star has an extensive amount of information and lighting products that will help reduce your long-term energy expenses.
Energy Federation Incorporated is a network devoted to hooking up homes to strong but efficient lighting, and has information on every conceivable aspect of light and energy.
Water and Water Heaters
According to the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), American homes account for 47% of the total water consumption in the United States. California is one of the driest places in the country, but you can help conserve water with small adjustments. The California Urban Water Conservation Council's website offers water efficiency tips.
The California Energy Commission writes that by purchasing a low flow showerhead, and cutting your shower time by two minutes, you can reduce your water heating costs by over one-third. By installing insulation wrap for your water heater, you can save 10% in costs. The Consumer Energy Center provides more information on water heaters and how you save money in the long term when purchasing an energy efficient water heater.
An "Instant" water heater does not require a tank, can reduce your bill by up to 50%, and can work for decades. Check out e-tankless.com and learn how you can have warm water without the trouble of a tank.
Air Heating and Cooling Systems
Heating and cooling accounts for approximately 45% of your energy costs. Energy Star heating and cooling products can save you 10 to 40% on your energy bill. Energy Star has information on efficient heating and cooling systems, which includes boilers and furnaces Paying more for a system will allow you to save on your bills, and get full return on your money over time.
Do you want to get really efficient? Geothermal heat pumps recycle energy from the ground by using the earth's heat. Many believe that this method of extracting energy is a prototype of future energy sources. Information on geothermal and other heat sources is available at the Consumer Energy Center.