Submitted by: Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA)
Posted: Oct 14, 2008 – 08:00 AM EST
Oct. 14 /CSRwire/ - GREENFIELD, MA. - October 14, 2008 – With winter approaching and fuel costs rising, the tremendous interest in learning how to use alternative energy and sustainable design to lower fuel bills and heat and cool homes and other buildings is increasingly relevant, exemplified by the over 10,000 people who toured more than 600 sites during the Green Buildings Open House on Saturday, October 4. Organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), Green Buildings Open House took place in the six New England states as well as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. This annual event is held in conjunction with the American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour. A record 282 new sites were open to the public this year in the northeast.
Sustainable energy features were on display at private homes, businesses, public buildings, schools, farms, colleges, and nature centers, where owners graciously opened their doors and welcomed the public to tour, ask questions, and discover the variety of ways they are saving energy, money, and the environment.
Incorporating sustainable and energy-efficient elements into buildings helps address many of the problems headlining in today’s news. Green buildings can reduce heating costs over traditional buildings; reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil; slow the pace of global warming; reduce pollution-induced increases in asthma-related illnesses; reduce the incentive to drill for oil and gas in pristine landscapes; and even generate surplus clean energy to power other buildings.
“NESEA is pleased to offer an event that not only allows the public to increase its knowledge of sustainable and energy efficient buildings but gives them an opportunity to connect with proven professionals in the industry. Visitors can clearly see how the installations and technologies used by their neighbors are steps they, too, can take to help reduce our dependency on oil and reduce their fuel costs,” said David Barclay, NESEA Executive Director.
Green Buildings Open House was a successful day for site hosts. Jean Camire of Manchester, NH stated, "We had approximately 30 people visit our home, it was a perfect sunny day to see the meter spin backwards and demonstrate solar hot water."
Peter DeDuck of North Chili, NY stated, "The interest level and commitment to conservation and sustainable energy sources was very high."
"Over 100 people streamed through our passive solar home non-stop from 10am to 4pm," said Alan Spector, Lafayette, NJ, "everyone was eager to learn about solar energy and determine how to apply solar or other energy-saving ideas to their homes."
Mary Biddle, Program Manager of the Green Buildings Open House, stated that, "A number of visitors were surprised to learn how affordable it is to purchase energy efficient features and renewable energy installations. From conversations I had with many of the hosts, it sounded like as many as 50% of their visitors intend to add a "green" feature to their home in the next two years."
The use of renewable energy, green building principles, and energy-reducing features were among the many highlights visitors could see. Examples include the use of solar heating ("passive solar"), wind and geothermal power, energy-saving appliances, and the use of resource-efficient and allergy/asthma-sensitive building materials. Many of the buildings demonstrate how solar hot water is collected and stored, and how photovoltaics (solar panels) can be placed on or integrated into the shell of a building to generate electricity. Many of the Open House sites also demonstrated water-saving fixtures and practices and the variety of green materials including paints, insulation, carpeting, and renewably harvested wood products.
By talking with the building hosts at the Green Buildings Open House, the public learned how to make a difference starting at home. Steps in the 'What You Can Do' list suggest relatively simple ways to reduce energy consumption.
The Green Buildings Open House is sponsored by Efficiency Maine, a Division of the Maine Public Utilities Commission; GroSolar; National Grid; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); and NRG Systems. Media partners include CSRwire, E/The Environmental Magazine, ecological Home Ideas, Environmental Design + Construction, Green Builder Magazine, Green Living Journal, High-Profile Monthly, metrogreenbusiness.org, New Jersey & Co., the New England Real Estate Journal, New York House, and Smart HomeOwner magazine.
The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) is the Northeast's leading organization of professionals working in sustainable energy, whole systems thinking and green technologies. NESEA facilitates the widespread adoption and use of sustainable energy by providing support to industry professionals and by educating and motivating consumers to learn about, ask for and adopt sustainable energy and green building practices. NESEA accomplishes this through a number of ongoing programs and annual events including: The Building Energy Conference and Trade Show, K-12 Education, the Sustainability Workshop Series, and the Sustainable Green Pages. For more information, visit www.nesea.org or call 413-774-6051.
However, you can make a difference on a global level, by incorporating responsible practices daily.
Here are the top 10 steps you can take to save money and energy, reduce climate change emissions (CO2) and reliance on foreign oil, and improve our air quality and quality of life.
* Be active in your community, vote, and write letters
Let your voice be heard and your thoughts be known to your state and federal representatives! You can make a difference by supporting the installation of a clean renewable energy facility such as a wind turbine, a biofuel facility, or landfill gas recovery facility in your community.
A list of green professionals throughout the Northeast - the Sustainable Green Pages directory - can be found on the NESEA website at nesea.org.
Contact NESEA at email@example.com for copies of the following brochures: