Posts filed under ‘Energy’

Green Christmas in Rockefeller Center

Posted by Ed Maurer:

This year will be a little bit greener for the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. It will be donned with LED lights instead of the traditional incandescent bulbs of the past. Switching to LED lights will reduce the energy consumption from 3,510 kilowatt hours to 1,297 kilowatt hours per day. To put that in perspective, it will save as much electricity as a single family with a 2,000 square foot home would use in a month. The green tax on LED Christmas lights is not cheap, but the power savings over the lifespan of the lights is far better for the pocket book.

LED Christmas lights for the consumer will cost about $14 for a 23ft string of 70 multi-color lights. The same strand of lights using incandescent bulbs will cost about $5. Triple the cost, but double the cost savings in electricity and a much longer life span. (source http://www.1000bulbs.com)

The tree in Rockefeller Center will contain 30,000 LED lights making it the first ever “green” Christmas tree. Green methods are being employed to generate power for the center as well with the installment of 363 General Electric solar panels on top of 45 Rockefeller Plaza. Tishman Speyer is the company that installed these panels designe by AltPower and they generate 70 kilowatts of electricity. The power generated by these panels will be used throughout the year to help reduce the electrical demand including the hot summer months.

(source: nyc.gov)

November 24, 2007 at 4:40 pm 2 comments

The Green Tax Podcast, Show #11

direct download (hover over to LISTEN NOW) :: mp3

Shameless Promotion:

See the A.B.O.U.T. page

This show was brought to you by:

  • The Coalition of LA Parking Associates (CLAPA) who are against the tesla roadster’s valet parking mode, their slogan — “Let us test drive your electric car”.

    tesla

Show Topics:

  • The Truth About Toyota.
  • Barak Obama on Energy.

Links from the Show:

Feedback and Comments:
Please send us your feedback and comments to us at:

  • thegreentax AT gmail DOT com

or call it in to our hotline:

  • (248) 232-3802

Either way, please leave your name, contact information, and whether we can use your feedback / comment on the air.

Thanks !

Green Tip:

  • Unload your trunk.

The Green Tax Podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License. More information about The Green Tax, news and views about being green in today’s world by Joe Hershey and Ed Maurer, can be found here.


October 18, 2007 at 9:42 pm Leave a comment

Recycle Your CFL

Posted by: Joseph Hershey


CFL in the hotel

More than a year ago, my buddy Ed tipped me off to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s).

Thanks Ed.

Immediately, I went out and bought enough bulbs to replace as many old incandescent type lights as possible in my house. Where I wasn’t able to replace the bulb, because of size or shape, I was at least able to cut down on the number lights being used, e.g. I unscrewed half of the over mirror hollywood lights in the guest bathroom.

CFL’s cost more, but they last up to 10 times as long. They use a quarter of the electricity to give off the same amount of light.

So there’s a Green Tax. You pay more up front. ,

But because you make it back in 4 fold over the lifetime of the bulb, it still seems like a common sense no brainer decision to me.

But wait…there’s more.

This morning, the same friend Ed tips me off to the fact that the CFL’s have some amount of mercury inside. They should be recycled in some way instead of just tossed out into the trash.

Well, duh.

You get me hooked on em, and now I have to take special care of em after they die. You didn’t tell me this when you showed me how to cut energy use and save money.

Thanks Ed.

To shut me up, he pointed me to the LighterFootstep website…

There’s an article on 5 Ways to Recycle a CFL.

I don’t expect to have to recycle any of my CFL’s in the near future, but I would like to know who’s going to do it. I’ve gotta find out.

I’d like to hear if you’ve been using CFL’s long enough that you’ve had burn outs, and if you have, where you returned them too. If you just threw them out in the garbage, I won’t judge, or put you on a panel of shame. But I’d like to know what you’re doing with these. Does it even mater?


  • Learn more about CFL’s here.
  • Follow the Energy Star Change a Light Bus Tour here . It’s a cross country bus tour to promote awareness for the goodness of CFL’s.
  • And finally, make a pledge on the Energy Star website here. Commit to changing out at least one bulb today. Let someone in Washington D.C. know that there are numbers to this movement. They should care.

October 7, 2007 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

ASK ABOUT ENERGY STAR

Posted by: Joseph Hershey


ENERGY STAR // Ask about ENERGY STAR

I don’t think people really know what the ENERGY STAR logo means or why they should care.

I asked the public domain government ENERGY STAR website — http://www.energystar.gov.

Here are some answers lifted directly off the site…

Q. What is ENERGY STAR ?

A. “ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.” more…

Q. What Makes a Product ENERGY STAR?

A. “ENERGY STAR products are the same or better than standard products, only they use less energy. To earn the ENERGY STAR, they must meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. Since they use less energy, these products save you money on your electricity bill and help protect the environment by causing fewer harmful emissions from power plants. And you get the features and quality you expect.” more…

Q. What products are ENERGY STAR certified?

A. “Products in more than 50 categories are eligible for the ENERGY STAR. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment. Ask for the ENERGY STAR.” more…

ENERGY STAR certified products are generally more expensive because they are better built products with lower energy consumption.

This is the green tax. You have to pay more to get a greener product. In this case, though, if you do the math, you can figure on getting back the tax you paid up front in lower energy bills paid immediately and throughout the life time of the product in question.

My water heater is a GE “SmartWater” Heater, but not ENERGY STAR certified.

"SmartWater" Heater

It has an estimated use of 268 therms / year, just shy of the top end 273 therms / yr.

Energy Guide

That seems bad, but then I want to see what it would take to get an ENERGY STAR rated water heater.

I take a look at GE “SmartWater” heaters first, looking for mine in particular. Can I get another “SmartWater” at my local Home Depot without much ado and then check to see how long it would take, based on the sticker’s assumed average usage per year, to get my green tax paid back in money not spent to the local gas co. ?

Well, I can’t find ENERGY STAR anywhere on GE’s site for their only consumer product line of water heaters called “SmartWater”. Must be oversight, or I’m just not finding it. I can’t imagine GE Appliance wouldn’t sell an ENERGY STAR. Yeah, well maybe some of the lower cost ones would be non star rated, but when you get up in cost, it should be tagged with the star.

Okay. No luck. Let’s go to Home Depot.

The site’s down for maintenance, but I find the current weekly flyer for the local store. Great. On pg. 7 the whole “SmartWater” line up is priced out and on sale for an additional 10% off. Cool.

Hmm. Still nothing anywhere on the same page about ENERGY STAR.

Ok, Let’s do a google. oops. The Consumerist link catches my eye…

Home Depot Touts Crappy GE SmartWater Boiler As “High Efficiency”

Seems as though none of GE’s “SmartWater” water heaters are ENERGY STAR certified. The article states a sales rep from the Home Depot says that the “High Efficiency” label come from the fact that they’re the most efficient that Home Depot sells.

Sigh.

You were right, Ed. I retract my correction. My water heater is not energy efficient. Your comment on the podcast stands as is.

Guess I’m not looking to comparison shop for a GE “you know the reason now why SmartWater is in quotes here” water heater anymore.

Hey reader. What type of water heater do you have? Does it have the ENERGY STAR rating logo sticker on it? Tell me. I’m looking.

October 4, 2007 at 10:19 am 2 comments

The Green Tax Podcast, Show #8

direct download :: mp3

Shameless Promotion:
This show was brought to you by:

  • Local 2030 of the Old Growth Redwood Tree Union in their efforts to offset carbon emissions from coal burning plants.

Show Topics:

  • No more coal
  • Vermont’s clear car standards

Links from the Show:

Feedback and Comments:
Please send us your feedback and comments to us at:

  • thegreentax AT gmail DOT com

or call it in to our hotline:

  • (248) 232-3802

Either way, please leave your name, contact information, and whether we can use your feedback / comment on the air.

Thanks !

Green Tip:

  • Wrap your water heater with a blanket, insulate your hot water pipes.

The Green Tax Podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License. More information about The Green Tax, news and views about being green in today’s world by Joe Hershey and Ed Maurer, can be found here.


September 28, 2007 at 12:15 am Leave a comment

Virginia’s ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday

Posted by Ed Maurer:

The state of Virginia has a new holiday called “ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday” and from Friday October 5th through Monday October 8th 2007 you can purchase the following energy star qualified products with NO SALES TAX!

  1. Ceiling Fans
  2. Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs)
  3. Dehumidifiers
  4. Dishwashers
  5. Programmable Thermostats
  6. Refrigerators
  7. Room Air Conditioners
  8. Clothes Washers

Visit Virginia.Gov for more information.

Now that’s a negative green tax I can handle.

September 25, 2007 at 3:29 pm 3 comments

The Green Tax Podcast, Show #7

direct download :: mp3

Shameless Promotion:
This show was brought to you by:

  • The seemingly endlessly running water in JOe’s house from faucet to drain.


    sewage pipes in JOe's home...

Show Topics:

  • Sierra Nevada Green Beer
  • The Green Switch

Links from the Show:

Feedback and Comments:
Please send us your feedback and comments to us at:

  • thegreentax AT gmail DOT com

or call it in to our hotline:

  • (248) 232-3802

Either way, please leave your name, contact information, and whether we can use your feedback / comment on the air.

Thanks !

Green Tip:

  • Stay Local.

The Green Tax Podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License. More information about The Green Tax, news and views about being green in today’s world by Joe Hershey and Ed Maurer, can be found here.


September 18, 2007 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

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