What are the biggest and best cleantech solutions for a new home… or for any home, for that matter? Below is my list of the top 5-ish.
My wife and I are looking around for a new home. With such a big change, we plan to finally do many things that we’ve been pushing off “until we move.” I’m super eager to make a number of changes when we do find a place and move, including some cleantech ones. In this spirit, I thought I’d write an article on some top cleantech solutions I’d incorporate into a new home if possible, solutions which you could of course incorporate into any home — old or new.
1. Go Solar
This should be no surprise for our readers. Going solar is one of the best ways to do your bit to stop global warming (as well as air pollution, water pollution, unsustainable water use, and more). It’s also an excellent financial decision for a high number of people. The ROI on a solar power system beats the S&P 500 in 13 states and beats 5-year CDs in 43 states. Middle-class families who go solar via solar leasing save about $600 a year on their electric bill. On average, US homeowners who went solar in 2011 were projected to save over $20,000 over the life of their system, with the cost of solar power coming down tremendously since then. Going solar seems like common sense if you have a roof on which it would work and live in a state with decent solar incentives.
2. Switch To LEDs
Image Credit: Cree
LED lighting is finally cheap enough where it really, really makes sense to switch to LEDs instead of CFLs (and, of course, instead of incandescent light bulbs). A couple of different companies now offer LEDs for under $10 (even under $5 with rebates), LEDs which you can buy at Walmart and Home Depot.
3. Educate Your Thermostat
Image Credit: Nest
And, of course, get a thermostat that can learn from you. The most well known such thermostat is the Nest Learning Thermostat, which on my recent trip back to the US I noticed was for sale in Apple stores. Not that surprising, given that the founder of Nest, Tony Fadell, came up with the concept and initial design of the iPod. He apparently did great work at Apple for years before deciding to jump into the energy efficiency and smart home arena.
4. Get A Home EV Charger…
Image Credit: OregonDOT
… for your new electric car. (Well, I’m just going to assume that have an electric car or will get one soon.) While plugging in to your normal electric socket is actually fine, there are still good rebates and even giveaways for faster home chargers for electric cars. I’d advise looking into it. I actually don’t plan to get a car anytime soon, not even an EV, so I’ll be passing on this one, but I thought it was a good addition to the list.
5. Get ENERGY STAR Appliances & Electronics… The Best Ones
Image Credit: ENERGY STAR
The other big electricity users in your home are your appliances. If you are moving into a new home, try to get the most efficient appliances on the market… or, at least, quite efficient appliances with the ENERGY STAR rating. If you’ve got some super old appliances or electronics, many of you can also benefit if you upgrade. Look into it and crunch the numbers.
These super efficient appliances and electronics often have the best return on investment of anything you could buy. Plus, the savings are tax free! However, I would note that a ton of the products on the market these days are ENERGY STAR certified. So, really, look beyond the label and try to make sure you are really going for one of the most efficient options on the market.
So, whether you are looking for a new home or set on staying where you are, I think the above are some of the best cleantech solutions you could purchase. Let me know if you have more you’d put on the list, or if you have any gripe with the ones above.
This articles was sponsored by Point2.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book
Our Latest EVObsession Video
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.