Flex Your Power is one-stop-shopping for energy efficiency. It's meant for Californians, but it's a wonderful model -- indeed, every state, province or city in the world ought to have its own version. On it, you'll find:
How to buy the most efficient washer and dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, furnace, air conditioner, and hot water heater;
how to light your home with natural light and compact flourescents (though where are the LEDs?);
how to insulate and weatherize your home (and how to cool your roof!)
how to save water using ultra-low-flow showerheads and toilets, as well as this "virtual house tour" of other water-saving tips (no microhydro though);
how to find and qualify for rebates and tax credits and the like;
how to get a home energy audit, find classes and trainings, get free project design assistance, and find demonstration models in your area (even how to start if you're on a tight budget);
and tons more on how to apply comparable solutions to commercial, industrial, institutional and agricultural settings.
FYP has a great resource library, which promptly ate an hour of my attention, especially as this stuff is starting to get personal for me.
You see, I hope to buy my first home this year. I also hope to make that home as green as I possibly can. With this site, a Kill-a-Watt and a Real Goods catalog, I'll be on my own little leapfrogging program, baking homemade electricity and feeding my plentiful surplus back into the grid.
I've looked at a fair number of this kind of site, and this is my favorite. What's yours? (This, by the way, is our 700th recommendation!)
The LEDs are at theledlight.com, for one, and still too expensive.
"You see, I hope to buy my first home this year. I also hope to make that home as green as I possibly can."
Cool. Are you going to build something like an Earthship http://earthship.org/ , what basic designs are you looking at?
Thanks for all the links.
Hrm, the Earthship site is nearly empty, they're redesigning. Here's some other links that will give you some idea of it:
and of course the book:
Hey John -
I'm afraid, as I'm a city boy at heart, that I'll be looking for existing construction in a developed and fairly dense neighborhood. I want to live where I can walk to a coffee shop, and new construction in a dense urban setting like that (while possible) is just too intimidating for my first time out of the chute.
But my dream , yes, is to build myself a neo-biological mutation of a craftsman house, with lots of passive solar features...
Thanks for the links!
Be sure to look into "Low-E" (for low emissivity) paints. There are decor tinted varieties for interior walls; but my favorite and the most pragmatic type goes on the inside-facing surface of the roof, which is usually plywood. It reduces radiant heat transfer headed toward the interior by roughly 20%. A European paint formulator has been offering it in the US, but there may be others.