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Sustainability: Energy Efficiency

"Energy efficiency continues to be an important issue for the future. Since the energy crisis of 1973, there's been a growing understanding of how to make our houses more energy-efficient. Houses built before that time tended to be leaky, letting outside air in and conditioned air out. Since that time, there's been a lot of insulation added to the house's skin, better windows have been made, and air flowing in and out of the house has been controlled with a tighter air barrier. With this kind of energy-efficient house, there's a new and critical component to ensuring indoor air quality. This is an air-to-air heat exchanger that takes fresh air in, passes used air out and transfers the heat from the outgoing air to the fresh air. Just as a house in a cold climate would never be built without a furnace or boiler today, the house of the future will not be constructed without an air-to-air heat exchanger. As we continue to develop new ways to save energy, I suspect that in colder climates houses will also utilize some form of passive solar energy."

--from The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka

General Resources
Panelization | Energy Efficiency | Materials | Simplicity | Guides & Standards

There are many websites related to energy efficiency and energy conservation; we offer these few as an introduction to ideas on how you can design your home to balance your comfort with the earth's energy resources.

Alliance to Save Energy (ASE)
ASE represents a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental and consumer leaders who promote the efficient use of energy.

American Solar Energy Society
The home page of the American Solar Energy Society

American Wind Energy Association The American Wind Energy Association (AWEATM) promotes wind energy as a clean source of electricity for consumers around the world.

BCAP Online Code Environment & Advocacy Network
BCAP hosts the Online Code Environment and Advocacy Network (OCEAN), the online community and international best practice network for everything related to energy codes.

California Building Performance Contractors Association (CBPCA)
California Building Performance Contractors Association (CBPCA) helps green contractors identify and perform quality Green Home Energy Upgrades—comprehensive (i.e., whole-house) energy efficiency improvements that better the homeowner's comfort and indoor air quality while lowering their energy bills.

California Straw Building Association
A non-profit organization whose members are architects, engineers, builders, and people interested in straw building.

Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies
A partnership of major environmental groups and private-sector clean energy companies. We design and fight for policies that promote global warming solutions and increased reliance on clean, renewable energy sources for California and the West.

The Clean Power Campaign formed when a coalition of key environmental and renewable energy groups partnered with grass roots activists to urge officials to kick our country's addiction to dirty coal, oil, and other fossil fuels

Colorado Solar
Resources that explain how solar panels work, the environmental benefits of solar, financial incentives, and much more.

Efficient Windows Collaborative
Provides unbiased information on the benefits of energy-efficient windows, descriptions of how they work, and recommendations for their selection and use.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, US DOE
A Department of Energy site, with access to all programs and government offices.

Energy Savers
When you throw away money on wasted electricity, you're throwing away everything you could have bought with it. The Department of Energy is partnering with Ad Council to help consumers save money by saving energy.

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have developed an ENERGY STAR designation for products meeting certain energy performance criteria.

Florida Solar Energy Center
FSEC conducts research in Building Science, Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal, Hydrogen and Alternative Fuels, Fuel Cells and other advanced energy technologies.

Fresh Energy
Fresh Energy is leading the transition to a clean energy system by harnessing research, advocacy and community engagement.

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association
The National Hydrogen Association is the premier source for information on hydrogen and hydrogen technologies.

Home Energy

The magazine of home energy conservation online. Archive of past issues, from 1993 to the present, as well as links to other energy sites.

Homeowners Guide

Provides ideas and links to improve energy efficiency.

International Geothermal Association

The home page of the International Geothermal Association

International Solar Energy Society
ISES is a non-profit global NGO relying on personal and corporate memberships and donations/grants to do its work.

Lawerence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley Lab conducts unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines with key efforts in fundamental studies of the universe; quantitative biology; nanoscience; new energy systems and environmental solutions; and the use of integrated computing as a tool for discovery.

Learn How To Become: A Guide to Green Careers
This guidebook has been created to help readers better understand exactly what lies ahead for job seekers in a renewable, sustainable and more efficient world. If you are interested in finding a career where you can make a difference while making a living, this guidebook is for you.

Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA)
MEEA is a collaborative network advancing energy efficiency in the Midwest to support sustainable economic development and environmental preservation.

Midwest Renewable Energy Association
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration.

National Association of State Energy Officials
NASEO is the only national non-profit association for the governor-designated energy officials from each of the 56 states and territories. Formed by the states in 1986, NASEO facilitates peer learning among state energy officials, serves as a resource for and about state energy offices, and advocates the interests of the state energy offices to Congress and federal agencies.

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP)
NEEP's mission is to promote energy efficiency in homes, buildings and industry in the Northeast U.S. through regionally coordinated programs and policies that increase the use of energy efficient products, services and practices, and that help achieve a cleaner environment and a more reliable and affordable energy system.

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA)
NEEA encourages the development and adoption of energy-efficient products and services.

Oakridge National Laboratory
Scientists and engineers at ORNL conduct basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and technological solutions that strengthen the nation's leadership in key areas of science; increase the availability of clean, abundant energy; restore and protect the environment; and contribute to national security.

Passive House Institute
A passive house is a building in which a comfortable interior climate can be maintained without active heating and cooling systems (Adamson 1987 and Feist 1988). The house heats and cools itself, hence "passive".

Passive House Institute US
The Passive House concept represents today's highest energy standard with the promise of slashing the heating energy consumption of buildings by an amazing 90%.

Real Goods
The mission of Real Goods is to promote and inspire an environmentally healthy and sustainable future through their products, publications and educational demonstrations."

The Source for Renewable Energy
The Source for Renewable Energy is a comprehensive online buyer's guide and business directory to more than 11,000 renewable energy businesses and organizations worldwide.

Southface Energy Institute
Southface Energy Institute is a non-profit green building and energy-efficent design resource center located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP)
SWEEP collaborates with utilities, state agencies, environmental groups, universities, and other energy efficiency specialists. SWEEP also conducts studies and engages in policy advocacy.

World Energy Council
We promote the sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all people. We do this by identifying energy issues, advising and facilitating dialogue between energy decision makers and implementing action plans.

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