What is Watts per kilogram?

Watts per kilogram (W/kg) is a way to normalize a cyclist's power output, Watts (W), by their weight in Kilo-grams (kg).  

Training Peaks has an excellent article on why you should focus on Watts per Kilogram:

"For the cyclist that rides on completely flat roads or trails, W/kg isn’t very important. If the terrain is flat, then the rider with the highest absolute power will almost always go faster. However, for athletes that ride regularly in hilly terrain, compete in events with climbs, or want to be more proficient sprinters, W/kg should be a primary focus. Unlike many of the other metrics cyclists track, W/kg is relatively straightforward to improve. There are only three ways in which you can affect some change in your W/kg. They are as follows:

  • Increase your power output while keeping your weight constant.

  • Keep your power output constant while decreasing your weight.

  • Increase your power output while also decreasing your weight."

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/06/just-how-good-are-male-pro-road-cyclists/

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/getmedia/a4f43215-cd08-4a58-93b8-b9c880172...

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/power-profiling/

enjoyed our post? let others know: 

Read more »

What is Watts per kilogram?

Watts per kilogram (W/kg) is a way to normalize a cyclist's power output, Watts (W), by their weight in Kilo-grams (kg).  

Training Peaks has an excellent article on why you should focus on Watts per Kilogram:

"For the cyclist that rides on completely flat roads or trails, W/kg isn’t very important. If the terrain is flat, then the rider with the highest absolute power will almost always go faster. However, for athletes that ride regularly in hilly terrain, compete in events with climbs, or want to be more proficient sprinters, W/kg should be a primary focus. Unlike many of the other metrics cyclists track, W/kg is relatively straightforward to improve. There are only three ways in which you can affect some change in your W/kg. They are as follows:

  • Increase your power output while keeping your weight constant.

  • Keep your power output constant while decreasing your weight.

  • Increase your power output while also decreasing your weight."

 

enjoyed our post? let others know: 

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The Perils of Home Automation

The following guest post analyzes how recent innovations in home automation could impact us in areas we may not realize.

-----

Speculative fiction commonly depicts bleak visions of the future, but the content is typically reactionary to current, real-world events. Such fiction examines the duality of technology, which is an integral part of contemporary society, but also a constant source of anxiety. Where this sort of literature really stands to benefit humanity is where it invites speculation about the sustainability and sensibility of our societal infrastructure. In other words, this sort of fiction begs the question: “what could happen to the world if destructive modern trends persist?”

What’s more than a little troubling is that with recent news stories such as the Edward Snowden whistle blowing fiasco, or even the recent news about Google purchasing the smart technology developer Nest, it seems that dystopian science-fiction  tropes of decades passed seem to becoming (at least partially) political crises manifest in the real world.

A common theme in dystopian science-fiction is that the misapplication of technology itself could bring about the end of civilization as we know it. These were trends that seemed to have been born out of anxieties that were mounting around the time of the Industrial Revolution at the turn of the 19th Century. Certainly, the English writer H. G. Welles explored these ideas through his written works, notably In The Time Machine and The Sleeper Awakes, both of which deal with late 19th century English protagonists who end up catching a glimpse into future societies that are morally and ethically inequitable.

World renowned psychoanalysts like Sigmund Freud wrote extensively about the psychological impacts of a society that was becoming increasingly dependent upon machines. Freud, like Ernst Jentsch before him, wrote extensively about “uncanny” feelings that humans typically seemed to have in response to automata, dolls, factories...in other words, a prevailing view held by psychologists at the beginning of the 20th century was that people felt a certain level of revulsion in response to both non-human entities which either resembled or behaved like humans, and conversely, that people felt ill at ease seeing the human body relegated to in-human, mechanical functions. The proliferation of factories and machinery seemed to induce some sort of collective identity crisis.  

Science-fiction took a markedly different turn after World War II. The United States bombing campaigns of civilian Japanese communities demonstrated that if some of the world’s most innovative minds were recruited, they would be capable of using their genius towards destructive ends...ends which were more destructive than anything the world would have been able to imagine up to that point. The world was no longer grappling with abstract paranoias about misapplied technology, but had in fact caught a glimpse of how potentially destructive the technology could be.

And because of how the United States prospered after World War II, industry and the development of technology, for both military and domestic applications, thrived. Someone who wrote wonderful, although deeply disturbing, fiction in response to these developments was Ray Bradbury, who wrote The Martian Chronicles at the height of the cold war era, which included the short story August 2026: There Will Come Future Rains. Among the many things that Bradbury wrote about were homes of the future that were fully automated, which could cook meals, light cigars, and speak in perfect English..but unfortunately, the human race had been annihilated during a nuclear attack. Bradbury took jabs at both the gratuitousness of luxurious technologies in the United States at the height of the cold war era, and the potential destructiveness of misapplied technology.

Nowadays, consumers are becoming increasingly conscientious about their energy consumption habits, and are looking for companies to develop sustainable methodologies which don’t deplete natural resources and don’t introduce other pollutants or toxins into the environment. While this is good fundamentally, it has created for a situation where consumers also have to be cautious about “greenwashing”--companies perpetuating falsehoods about how “green friendly” their products are purely as a marketing strategy.

It becomes especially worrisome in the case of home automation technology, where the potential security risks could outweigh the convenience. Part of the concern is that if you  compare the features offered by the newest home automation technology, one of the biggest selling points seems to be giving people the ability to set their home security settings, control their home lighting and entertainment systems, and even monitor closed circuit cameras from tablet computers and even mobile phones. Suddenly, a misplaced or stolen phone could represent a key to your entire home security system and whatever other systems the phone is set up to control - not a comforting thought!

It’s worrisome also because, with Google now a major player in the home automation field and interested in placing their devices in every home, they will be able to collect even more personal data about everyone than they have ever had previously - even if it’s just data about utility usage like electricity and water. To what end will they use that data? We’ll leave it to contemporary science-fiction writers to contemplate that. But consumers must be cautious, lest they make themselves vulnerable under the guise of convenience

enjoyed our post? let others know: 

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The Perils of Home Automation

The following guest post analyzes how recent innovations in home automation could impact us in areas we may not realize.

-----

Speculative fiction commonly depicts bleak visions of the future, but the content is typically reactionary to current, real-world events. Such fiction examines the duality of technology, which is an integral part of contemporary society, but also a constant source of anxiety. Where this sort of literature really stands to benefit humanity is where it invites speculation about the sustainability and sensibility of our societal infrastructure. In other words, this sort of fiction begs the question: “what could happen to the world if destructive modern trends persist?”

What’s more than a little troubling is that with recent news stories such as the Edward Snowden whistle blowing fiasco, or even the recent news about Google purchasing the smart technology developer Nest, it seems that dystopian science-fiction  tropes of decades passed seem to becoming (at least partially) political crises manifest in the real world.

A common theme in dystopian science-fiction is that the misapplication of technology itself could bring about the end of civilization as we know it. These were trends that seemed to have been born out of anxieties that were mounting around the time of the Industrial Revolution at the turn of the 19th Century. Certainly, the English writer H. G. Welles explored these ideas through his written works, notably In The Time Machine and The Sleeper Awakes, both of which deal with late 19th century English protagonists who end up catching a glimpse into future societies that are morally and ethically inequitable.

World renowned psychoanalysts like Sigmund Freud wrote extensively about the psychological impacts of a society that was becoming increasingly dependent upon machines. Freud, like Ernst Jentsch before him, wrote extensively about “uncanny” feelings that humans typically seemed to have in response to automata, dolls, factories...in other words, a prevailing view held by psychologists at the beginning of the 20th century was that people felt a certain level of revulsion in response to both non-human entities which either resembled or behaved like humans, and conversely, that people felt ill at ease seeing the human body relegated to in-human, mechanical functions. The proliferation of factories and machinery seemed to induce some sort of collective identity crisis.  

Science-fiction took a markedly different turn after World War II. The United States bombing campaigns of civilian Japanese communities demonstrated that if some of the world’s most innovative minds were recruited, they would be capable of using their genius towards destructive ends...ends which were more destructive than anything the world would have been able to imagine up to that point. The world was no longer grappling with abstract paranoias about misapplied technology, but had in fact caught a glimpse of how potentially destructive the technology could be.

And because of how the United States prospered after World War II, industry and the development of technology, for both military and domestic applications, thrived. Someone who wrote wonderful, although deeply disturbing, fiction in response to these developments was Ray Bradbury, who wrote The Martian Chronicles at the height of the cold war era, which included the short story August 2026: There Will Come Future Rains. Among the many things that Bradbury wrote about were homes of the future that were fully automated, which could cook meals, light cigars, and speak in perfect English..but unfortunately, the human race had been annihilated during a nuclear attack. Bradbury took jabs at both the gratuitousness of luxurious technologies in the United States at the height of the cold war era, and the potential destructiveness of misapplied technology.

Nowadays, consumers are becoming increasingly conscientious about their energy consumption habits, and are looking for companies to develop sustainable methodologies which don’t deplete natural resources and don’t introduce other pollutants or toxins into the environment. While this is good fundamentally, it has created for a situation where consumers also have to be cautious about “greenwashing”--companies perpetuating falsehoods about how “green friendly” their products are purely as a marketing strategy.

It becomes especially worrisome in the case of home automation technology, where the potential security risks could outweigh the convenience. Part of the concern is that if you  compare the features offered by the newest home automation technology, one of the biggest selling points seems to be giving people the ability to set their home security settings, control their home lighting and entertainment systems, and even monitor closed circuit cameras from tablet computers and even mobile phones. Suddenly, a misplaced or stolen phone could represent a key to your entire home security system and whatever other systems the phone is set up to control - not a comforting thought!

It’s worrisome also because, with Google now a major player in the home automation field and interested in placing their devices in every home, they will be able to collect even more personal data about everyone than they have ever had previously - even if it’s just data about utility usage like electricity and water. To what end will they use that data? We’ll leave it to contemporary science-fiction writers to contemplate that. But consumers must be cautious, lest they make themselves vulnerable under the guise of convenience

enjoyed our post? let others know: 

Read more »

Moving towards zero net energy home – 2014 edition

Way back in 2010 we put up the post on 10 steps to build a zero net energy home.  We figure it was time for an update!  For the pic above to be zero net energy, it probably needs solar panels on the othe side of the roof and I hope the glass doors are double (or triple!) pane, but we hey, we liked the picture.  The following guest post was written by Brandon Engel.  You should follow him at @BrandonEngel2.

------------------------

As consumers are becoming increasingly conscientious about reducing their carbon footprint, and the the state of the economy is forcing most homeowners to reconsider the sustainability of their day to day habits, we’re seeing more and more interest in “zero net energy” homes - houses which produce more energy than they use, and emit no carbon annually.

The idea is that while homeowners will typically pay a small fee to the utility company to stay on the grid (commonly in the ballpark of $10 a month), zero other energy expenses will be incurred annually, and what’s more, homeowners might even be able to monetize their surplus energy by selling some back to the grid (mapawatt note: this is commonly referred to as net-metering).

There’s been a lot of discussion in the mainstream press about zero net housing recently, too. The humanitarian organization Habitat for Humanity just built one for underprivileged occupants. It’s an application of technology that stands to benefit the environment, and homeowners at all income levels.

If you’ve been thinking about building your own zero net home, and would like to see dramatic reduction of your carbon footprint by the end of the year, here are a few practical tips for getting started.

The first thing you’ll want to look into are tax incentives (such as those offered in Colorado). Ultimately, you’re looking to save a tremendous amount of money in the long run if you build a zero net home, but what’s better is that you may not even have to foot the bill for all of the initial hardware/installation. In most states throughout the U.S.,  there are federal and state subsidies that you might be able to use to partially finance your build. If you purchase and install photovoltaic panels, for instance, you could be eligible for as much as a 30% federal tax incentive. If you are investing in having a property built right now anyways, the difference in the initial overhead could be quite negligible - especially if you account for the tax incentives, rebates, and, of course, the fact that you will not incur any other annual energy expenses.

Once you have your budget laid out, the next step is building the envelope. Just remember: insulation is key. You want to retain heat in the winter, and you don’t want excess heat finding its way into the house during the summer. You’ll want sizeable studs for your wall, potentially as big as 2” by 6”, just to achieve optimum insulation within the wall cavity itself. The next step, then, is plywood sheathing around the wood panels, and a plastic air/moisture barrier to cover the entire house, from the foundations to the exterior walls to the rooftop itself. After that, everything should be covered in up to four inches of Polyiso plastic foam. Then the roof itself will need a little more attention: it’s best to further insulate it with plywood insulating foam composite, to ensure that the house will seal heat. Another thing you’ll want to be mindful of is your duct work. Make sure that all the ducts in the house have been taped and sealed to ensure that they are air-tight.

Of course, let’s not forget one of the most important steps of all, a source for renewable power. You want your house to feed off of power sources which are entirely renewable. Obviously, this eliminates gas and oil. What you want is something that will generate electricity in a way that does minimal harm to the environment. The logistics of your plan will have to depend largely on the conditions of the land surrounding your property. In certain areas, solar panels and wind turbine power generators are a viable solution. Photovoltaic panelling can be installed on the roof of your property, or on a two-axis tracker set-up near your home. A ground-source heat pump may make sense for certain homes, but they certainly don’t work universally (especially not in a leaky house) however this could be the best alternative for anyone living in a particularly cold climate. Location is always critical, and while solar and wind turbine power might make the most sense for some owners, others will have to rely on other sources of clean energy. Thankfully, there are companies who provide efficient energy in certain regions. For instance, people living in Illinois might try Choose Energy , while residents of Texas might consult TexasElectricityProviders.com.

One of the most pressing issues for consumers is knowing how much power is actually needed to run a home with reasonable amenities, and what sort of power you’ll need to produce via solar, wind, or geothermal energy to keep your house operational. Residents of the U.S. have an average of about 110 volts fed into their homes off the main grid. This power can be augmented by solar panels which absorb DC power from the sun, convert it into AC power using inverters, and pump that energy either back into the house are a bank of back-up batteries which store power for emergencies. Another approach is to simply have the solar panels connected to the inverter, with the power being pumped directly back into the house.

And how much power can you expect to harness from, say, solar panels? South African vlogger Martin Lorton, for instance, says that he has a 2,250 watt solar panel array on the roof. He says that, on a sunny spring day, he generates in the ballpark of 13 KWH of energy. On an overcast day, he might generate closer to 7 kwh. Lorton recommends using special monitoring software, so that you can accurately gauge the efficiency of your solar panels throughout the course of the year.  Some experts are going as far as to say that you could use 60% less energy than you would with propane (and you know how much of a carbon footprint propane leaves behind). (mapawatt note: if you're new to solar, check out our Residential Solar PV educational post).

So, zero net housing could perfectly suitable for occupants, as long as they are diligent about monitoring their power supply and are conscious of how their systems faire in different weather conditions. Homeowners can now enjoy greater levels of autonomy than ever before, and save money while reducing the amount of pollutants they release into the world. Perhaps in a few decades time, zero-net houses will become the standard. Just imagine the benefits that could yield, not only for our bank accounts, but for the very earth itself…

 

enjoyed our post? let others know: 

Read more »

Moving towards zero net energy home – 2014 edition

Way back in 2010 we put up the post on 10 steps to build a zero net energy home.  We figure it was time for an update!  For the pic above to be zero net energy, it probably needs solar panels on the othe side of the roof and I hope the glass doors are double (or triple!) pane, but we hey, we liked the picture.  The following guest post was written by Brandon Engel.  You should follow him at @BrandonEngel2.

------------------------

As consumers are becoming increasingly conscientious about reducing their carbon footprint, and the the state of the economy is forcing most homeowners to reconsider the sustainability of their day to day habits, we’re seeing more and more interest in “zero net energy” homes - houses which produce more energy than they use, and emit no carbon annually.

The idea is that while homeowners will typically pay a small fee to the utility company to stay on the grid (commonly in the ballpark of $10 a month), zero other energy expenses will be incurred annually, and what’s more, homeowners might even be able to monetize their surplus energy by selling some back to the grid (mapawatt note: this is commonly referred to as net-metering).

There’s been a lot of discussion in the mainstream press about zero net housing recently, too. The humanitarian organization Habitat for Humanity just built one for underprivileged occupants. It’s an application of technology that stands to benefit the environment, and homeowners at all income levels.

If you’ve been thinking about building your own zero net home, and would like to see dramatic reduction of your carbon footprint by the end of the year, here are a few practical tips for getting started.

The first thing you’ll want to look into are tax incentives (such as those offered in Colorado). Ultimately, you’re looking to save a tremendous amount of money in the long run if you build a zero net home, but what’s better is that you may not even have to foot the bill for all of the initial hardware/installation. In most states throughout the U.S.,  there are federal and state subsidies that you might be able to use to partially finance your build. If you purchase and install photovoltaic panels, for instance, you could be eligible for as much as a 30% federal tax incentive. If you are investing in having a property built right now anyways, the difference in the initial overhead could be quite negligible - especially if you account for the tax incentives, rebates, and, of course, the fact that you will not incur any other annual energy expenses.

Once you have your budget laid out, the next step is building the envelope. Just remember: insulation is key. You want to retain heat in the winter, and you don’t want excess heat finding its way into the house during the summer. You’ll want sizeable studs for your wall, potentially as big as 2” by 6”, just to achieve optimum insulation within the wall cavity itself. The next step, then, is plywood sheathing around the wood panels, and a plastic air/moisture barrier to cover the entire house, from the foundations to the exterior walls to the rooftop itself. After that, everything should be covered in up to four inches of Polyiso plastic foam. Then the roof itself will need a little more attention: it’s best to further insulate it with plywood insulating foam composite, to ensure that the house will seal heat. Another thing you’ll want to be mindful of is your duct work. Make sure that all the ducts in the house have been taped and sealed to ensure that they are air-tight.

Of course, let’s not forget one of the most important steps of all, a source for renewable power. You want your house to feed off of power sources which are entirely renewable. Obviously, this eliminates gas and oil. What you want is something that will generate electricity in a way that does minimal harm to the environment. The logistics of your plan will have to depend largely on the conditions of the land surrounding your property. In certain areas, solar panels and wind turbine power generators are a viable solution. Photovoltaic panelling can be installed on the roof of your property, or on a two-axis tracker set-up near your home. A ground-source heat pump may make sense for certain homes, but they certainly don’t work universally (especially not in a leaky house) however this could be the best alternative for anyone living in a particularly cold climate. Location is always critical, and while solar and wind turbine power might make the most sense for some owners, others will have to rely on other sources of clean energy. Thankfully, there are companies who provide efficient energy in certain regions. For instance, people living in Illinois might try Choose Energy , while residents of Texas might consult TexasElectricityProviders.com.

One of the most pressing issues for consumers is knowing how much power is actually needed to run a home with reasonable amenities, and what sort of power you’ll need to produce via solar, wind, or geothermal energy to keep your house operational. Residents of the U.S. have an average of about 110 volts fed into their homes off the main grid. This power can be augmented by solar panels which absorb DC power from the sun, convert it into AC power using inverters, and pump that energy either back into the house are a bank of back-up batteries which store power for emergencies. Another approach is to simply have the solar panels connected to the inverter, with the power being pumped directly back into the house.

And how much power can you expect to harness from, say, solar panels? South African vlogger Martin Lorton, for instance, says that he has a 2,250 watt solar panel array on the roof. He says that, on a sunny spring day, he generates in the ballpark of 13 KWH of energy. On an overcast day, he might generate closer to 7 kwh. Lorton recommends using special monitoring software, so that you can accurately gauge the efficiency of your solar panels throughout the course of the year.  Some experts are going as far as to say that you could use 60% less energy than you would with propane (and you know how much of a carbon footprint propane leaves behind). (mapawatt note: if you're new to solar, check out our Residential Solar PV educational post).

So, zero net housing could perfectly suitable for occupants, as long as they are diligent about monitoring their power supply and are conscious of how their systems faire in different weather conditions. Homeowners can now enjoy greater levels of autonomy than ever before, and save money while reducing the amount of pollutants they release into the world. Perhaps in a few decades time, zero-net houses will become the standard. Just imagine the benefits that could yield, not only for our bank accounts, but for the very earth itself…

 

enjoyed our post? let others know: 

Read more »

Moving towards zero net energy home – 2014 edition

Way back in 2010 we put up the post on 10 steps to build a zero net energy home.  We figure it was time for an update!  For the pic above to be zero net energy, it probably needs solar panels on the othe side of the roof and I hope the glass doors are double (or triple!) pane, but we hey, we liked the picture.  The following guest post was written by Brandon Engel.  You should follow him at @BrandonEngel2.

------------------------

As consumers are becoming increasingly conscientious about reducing their carbon footprint, and the the state of the economy is forcing most homeowners to reconsider the sustainability of their day to day habits, we’re seeing more and more interest in “zero net energy” homes - houses which produce more energy than they use, and emit no carbon annually.

The idea is that while homeowners will typically pay a small fee to the utility company to stay on the grid (commonly in the ballpark of $10 a month), zero other energy expenses will be incurred annually, and what’s more, homeowners might even be able to monetize their surplus energy by selling some back to the grid (mapawatt note: this is commonly referred to as net-metering).

There’s been a lot of discussion in the mainstream press about zero net housing recently, too. The humanitarian organization Habitat for Humanity just built one for underprivileged occupants. It’s an application of technology that stands to benefit the environment, and homeowners at all income levels.

If you’ve been thinking about building your own zero net home, and would like to see dramatic reduction of your carbon footprint by the end of the year, here are a few practical tips for getting started.

The first thing you’ll want to look into are tax incentives (such as those offered in Colorado). Ultimately, you’re looking to save a tremendous amount of money in the long run if you build a zero net home, but what’s better is that you may not even have to foot the bill for all of the initial hardware/installation. In most states throughout the U.S.,  there are federal and state subsidies that you might be able to use to partially finance your build. If you purchase and install photovoltaic panels, for instance, you could be eligible for as much as a 30% federal tax incentive. If you are investing in having a property built right now anyways, the difference in the initial overhead could be quite negligible - especially if you account for the tax incentives, rebates, and, of course, the fact that you will not incur any other annual energy expenses.

Once you have your budget laid out, the next step is building the envelope. Just remember: insulation is key. You want to retain heat in the winter, and you don’t want excess heat finding its way into the house during the summer. You’ll want sizeable studs for your wall, potentially as big as 2” by 6”, just to achieve optimum insulation within the wall cavity itself. The next step, then, is plywood sheathing around the wood panels, and a plastic air/moisture barrier to cover the entire house, from the foundations to the exterior walls to the rooftop itself. After that, everything should be covered in up to four inches of Polyiso plastic foam. Then the roof itself will need a little more attention: it’s best to further insulate it with plywood insulating foam composite, to ensure that the house will seal heat. Another thing you’ll want to be mindful of is your duct work. Make sure that all the ducts in the house have been taped and sealed to ensure that they are air-tight.

Of course, let’s not forget one of the most important steps of all, a source for renewable power. You want your house to feed off of power sources which are entirely renewable. Obviously, this eliminates gas and oil. What you want is something that will generate electricity in a way that does minimal harm to the environment. The logistics of your plan will have to depend largely on the conditions of the land surrounding your property. In certain areas, solar panels and wind turbine power generators are a viable solution. Photovoltaic panelling can be installed on the roof of your property, or on a two-axis tracker set-up near your home. A ground-source heat pump may make sense for certain homes, but they certainly don’t work universally (especially not in a leaky house) however this could be the best alternative for anyone living in a particularly cold climate. Location is always critical, and while solar and wind turbine power might make the most sense for some owners, others will have to rely on other sources of clean energy. Thankfully, there are companies who provide efficient energy in certain regions. For instance, people living in Illinois might try Choose Energy , while residents of Texas might consult TexasElectricityProviders.com.

One of the most pressing issues for consumers is knowing how much power is actually needed to run a home with reasonable amenities, and what sort of power you’ll need to produce via solar, wind, or geothermal energy to keep your house operational. Residents of the U.S. have an average of about 110 volts fed into their homes off the main grid. This power can be augmented by solar panels which absorb DC power from the sun, convert it into AC power using inverters, and pump that energy either back into the house are a bank of back-up batteries which store power for emergencies. Another approach is to simply have the solar panels connected to the inverter, with the power being pumped directly back into the house.

And how much power can you expect to harness from, say, solar panels? South African vlogger Martin Lorton, for instance, says that he has a 2,250 watt solar panel array on the roof. He says that, on a sunny spring day, he generates in the ballpark of 13 KWH of energy. On an overcast day, he might generate closer to 7 kwh. Lorton recommends using special monitoring software, so that you can accurately gauge the efficiency of your solar panels throughout the course of the year.  Some experts are going as far as to say that you could use 60% less energy than you would with propane (and you know how much of a carbon footprint propane leaves behind). (mapawatt note: if you're new to solar, check out our Residential Solar PV educational post).

So, zero net housing could perfectly suitable for occupants, as long as they are diligent about monitoring their power supply and are conscious of how their systems faire in different weather conditions. Homeowners can now enjoy greater levels of autonomy than ever before, and save money while reducing the amount of pollutants they release into the world. Perhaps in a few decades time, zero-net houses will become the standard. Just imagine the benefits that could yield, not only for our bank accounts, but for the very earth itself…

 

enjoyed our post? let others know: 

Read more »

Ten Ways to Easily Reduce Small Business Energy Bills

Like clockwork, utility bills drop unwanted news on your desk on a monthly basis. Communications bills, supply bills, and energy bills all amount to a big chunk out of the bottom line of your business – and a smart businessman will look for effective ways to trim away some of […]

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The Lightbulb Showdown

The Light Bulb Showdown: LEDs vs. CFLs vs. Incandescent Bulbs – What’s the Best Deal Now … And In The Future? By Trent February 10, 2009 Recently, I made a purchase that’s right on the fine line between my desire to investigate frugality and my enjoyment of new technology. I […]

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Google back in the Home Energy Game

Back in 2011 it was 4 months after we covered Google shutting down its PowerMeter service that we first covered the Nest Thermostat.  Now, things have come full circle with Google acquiring Nest and getting back in the home energy game. From the GTM article:

"Google has also been toying with its Android @Home concept to connect smart devices onto an internet-of-things platform. But it hasn't publicly announced much since the idea was first announced two years ago. Nest's products may add some muscle to that effort.

As the story went to press, GTM analysts were busy (jokingly) speculating on what "unloved" products in the home Google will help Nest tackle next.

- Extension cords
- Circuit breakers
- Door knobs
- Plug outlets
- Sprinklers
- Exit signs"

Nest recently announced a smoke alarm as its second product after the thermostat, so I think in the future we wont refer to Nest as a "home energy" company, but rather as a "home product" company that enhances and connects devices we use in our daily lives at home.  In fact, it seems that a dedicated "home energy" product market is going away, and all devices related to home energy are going to be bundled as part of a "smart home" or "home security".  What's good for the goose is good for the gander.....

 

 

 

 

 

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