How Electricians Can Promote Green Retrofits

Houston writes in to let us know about an article he wrote about five green retrofits that electricians should be advocating for. It’s a good way to get new business and help the planet.

Daylight Harvesting
Daylight harvesting is the practice of reducing artificial light in a room when sunlight is available. According to a study performed by the NRC Institute for Research in Construction, it can reduce lighting energy costs by 20 to 60%. Call it “upselling” if you will, but electricians should pitch this retrofit to customers that are already relamping their homes and buildings.

A daylight harvesting system uses photosensors to detect light levels in a room. As sunlight becomes available, the artificial lighting will be reduced. When it’s cloudy or becomes dark outside, the level of artificial lighting will increase.

Three other lighting controls worth mentioning here are dimmers, motion sensors and timers. These energy savers have been around for years, but they are just as relevant today as when they first came out. Homeowners looking for simple ways to reduce energy can install any of the above. For more information, check out the US Department of Energy’s lighting guide.

Keep reading to Software Advice.

Sustainable Plastics Made From Algae

Green plastics? Yes please! Bioplastics manufacturer Cereplast has developed a way to produce plastics with algae. By using dehydrated algae who’s natural oils have been extracted for fuel, Cereplast has managed to develop plastic products with properties very similar to traditional polymers.

While developing the plastic, Cereplast is also determining how this plastic mix could be recycled effectively.

Using algae wouldn’t affect food crops the way other bioplastics made from corn and starches could if they were massively scaled up. The process complements algae fuel production instead of competing with it.

[Cereplast founder and CEO Frederic Scheer] said that artificially-grown high-yield algae crops can be harvested after two months.

This would mean that even in small batches, the cost per pound of algae plastic is expected to beat out traditional plastics, too.

Read the whole article here.

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