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Energy Efficient Upgrades That Pay For Themselves

Home improvement can pay for itself, and even put cash back in your pocket – if you’re putting your money in the right places.  Renovations that increase your home’s energy efficiency aren’t just nice for the environment, they can be economical as well.  The folks at One Block Off The Grid offer a great guide to help you sort out …

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Stunning Vertical Forest Skyscraper By Stefano Boeri’s

Urban living requires efficient use of space, but it can be a very environmentally-friendly lifestyle:  city residents generally live in small homes with access to walkable neighborhoods and public transportation.  One common downside is a lack of green space, but architect Stefano Boeri aims to change all that with his “Bosco Verticale” concept.  Italian for “vertical forest”, his project was …

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Energy Efficient House In Mojave Desert Built With Shipping Containers

Sitting near Joshua Tree, California in the Mojave Desert is an energy efficient new home and studio built by architect Walter Scott Perry of ecotechdesign out of six re-purposed steel shipping containers. Also known as the Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain, the 2,300 square foot home is the first permitted shipping container house to be built in the Mojave …

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Princeton’s Ivy Halls To Be Powered By Solar Energy

Princeton University will soon be home to the largest solar field on a U.S. college campus. Scheduled for completion by summer 2012, the 5.3 megawatt system will be comprised of 16,500 photovoltaic solar panels, estimated to generate 5.5 % of electrical power to reduce campus energy costs by 8 %. The solar field will cover 27 acres on the university’s …

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Amazing Dutch Bike Path Embedded With Solar Panels

What could make bike riding even more efficient? How about a bike path embedded with solar panels to produce clean energy while encouraging people to get on their bikes? The town of Krommenie in the Netherlands, just north of Amsterdam, will be receiving the SolaRoad bike path, scheduled to open in 2012.

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World’s Largest Solar Roof To Power High Speed Rail Station in China

Efficiency abounds in China as the world’s largest building integrated photovoltaic project prepares to power the railway station where some of the world’s fastest high speed trains pass through. China Sunergy, a solar cell and module manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, has recently signed a deal with CEEG (Nanjing) Solar Energy Research Institute to supply the 7MW solar modules for …

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New Luminescent Bulbs May Outshine LEDs and Fluorescents

Retailers are gearing up to meet deadlines for the incandescent light bulb ban. Ikea has already stopped selling the inefficient bulbs. And California has pulled the plug and is letting current supplies run down. Many incandescent lovers are shedding tears and hating on the mercury-containing CFLs and the more expensive (though infinitely more efficient) LEDs. So here come the ESLs. …

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Personal Energy Generator Recharges Your Electronic Device While You Move

The nPower PEG (personal energy generator) by Tremont Electric wowed reviewers at the 2011 CES convention. This back-up hybrid charger allows you to keep your cell phone, iPod, or other hand-held device working while you’re on the go. By harnessing the kinetic energy that you produce through movement, then converting it into accessible power, the nPower PEG allows you to …

New Ford Focus Electric Aims to Blow Nissan Leaf Away

Since the release of our 2011 electric car review, Ford has unveiled the new 2012 Focus Electric, first at the recent 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show, and currently at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Though showing up a little late to the electric vehicle party, Ford is flaunting the new Focus’ ability to recharge the 23 kwh …

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Better Place Shows Electric Taxis Working in the Real World

Shai Agassi, founder and CEO of Better Place, has a vision — a vision for a world free of oil dependency. Mr. Agassi, who is well on his way to making this vision a reality, has what he believes is the solution for making electric vehicles efficient and affordable. He theorizes that the only way to take electric vehicles into …

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3 Reasons Light Rail is an Efficient Transportation Option for U.S. Cities

Light rail is a type of electric railway that runs on right-of-way railroad tracks or on tracks in city streets. Using their own lanes and able to go anywhere, light rail cars mix well in urban settings by not getting caught up in traffic congestion. Though the United States operates the largest and most efficient freight railway system in the …

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Best LED Christmas Lights

LED Christmas lights have come a long way since they first hit the market. Now you can get just about any shape, size, and color to please the most die hard of holiday decorators. Most agree they are even more brilliant than the traditional incandescent Christmas lights, but perhaps the greatest benefit is that they are up to 90% more …

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The Most Efficient Washing Machines

At MetaEfficient, I evaluate appliances based on a number of factors, namely: energy efficiency, effectiveness, reliability, and price. This holds true for washing machines, because all of these factors need to be considered and weighed against each other (I’d also like to include lifecycle analysis, but  there’s no information available for washers). For raw efficiency data, one can turn to …

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U.S. To Phase Out Incandescent Light Bulbs

Photo credit: USA today After being passed by Congress, Bush just signed into law a massive energy bill that will, among other things, spell the end of traditional light bulb. USA Today reports that the bill will phase out the venerable (but power-hungry) incandescent bulb over the next dozen years in favor more efficient fluorescent, halogen, and LED bulbs. Specifically, …