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Energy Efficient

August 21, 2009 | Richard Simon
How many lawmakers does it take to change a light bulb? You may soon find out, thanks to an effort underway to illuminate the U.S. Capitol dome with more energy-efficient lighting. The project stems from a push by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) to make Congress a shining example of environmental responsibility. But like many projects in Washington, it is not without controversy. Republicans say the $1-million-plus price tag is too costly at a time of record federal budget deficits.
December 30, 2013 | Marc Lifsher
Environmental advocates, government regulators and the cable and satellite television industry have reached a landmark agreement to save an estimated $1 billion a year in energy costs by making TV set-top boxes more efficient. The voluntary agreement aims to make an estimated 90 million boxes in homes as much as 45% more energy-efficient by 2017. The boxes are considered energy hogs because they always are on, even when the television is turned off. The upgraded boxes could save enough power to run 700,000 homes, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the deal brokers.
Is it the house of the future? It's built with such unorthodox materials as recycled newspapers, ryegrass straw and tiles made from fluorescent light bulbs. It blends energy efficiency with a concern for the environment. Debbi Palermini, director of the nonprofit Sustainable Building Collaborative, calls it "the first whole-concept house." Backed by Portland General Electric Co.
November 24, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - For the growing numbers of home purchasers who care about energy efficiency, it's the ultimate "green" goal: Lenders should recognize the net savings that energy improvements provide to property owners and take them into account when they underwrite and set the fees for mortgages. Appraisers should also recognize the added value. The rationale: Owners of homes that reduce energy consumption pay lower utility bills than owners of energy guzzlers, so why not factor these out-of-pocket savings into calculations of household debt-to-income ratios and appraised valuations?
June 21, 2010 | By Cyndia Zwahlen
It's not easy for a small lighting company almost a half-century old to suddenly jump into the potentially treacherous waters of international trade. But that's just what Louis Hirsch, owner of Parker Lighting Inc. in Inglewood, has decided to do with his four-person business founded in 1965. It's been a chilly swim so far. The retailer has long sold fluorescent and high-intensity lighting for parking lots and offices, as well as specialty bulbs for industrial customers and others.
February 28, 2010 | Kathy M. Kristof, Personal Finance
I wasn't thinking about tax credits when my 12-year-old water heater went on the fritz last fall. I was thinking about a hot shower. I called the plumber. A few sticky days and $1,000 later, I had hot water. Now, like millions of other consumers, I faced a tax challenge. The federal government decided to reward taxpayers who made their homes more energy efficient in 2009 by creating a series of tax credits for those who replaced furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, insulation, doors, roofs, skylights and windows with more energy-efficient models.
August 8, 2008
Located in northern Beijing, the Olympics complex is not just green in name. Many of its newly built structures have been designed to be more energy-efficient than traditional buildings. -- Source: 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics
August 22, 1989
We at Southern California Edison welcome the effort by The Times to heighten Southern California's awareness about energy conservation. We support the editorial's conclusion that "with energy conservation, everyone wins," and agree that there should be a method for motivating developers to use energy-efficient products in new construction. To accomplish this objective, Edison is expanding its energy conservation efforts through the creation of a Customer Technology Application Center (CTAC)
January 5, 1991
Don't our alleged national leaders ever learn? The Dec. 29 article began, "Conservatives in the Bush Administration have succeeded in gutting the most ambitious energy conservation provisions contained in a proposed national energy plan. . . ." The details of the energy plan, which is the result of 18 months of national hearings and study, have not been released, so it is not possible to comment on its specifics. But enough information has emerged to show that nothing much will change in our national energy policy.
August 25, 2008 | Stuart Glascock, Times Staff Writer
As Adam Boesel pedals an exercise bike, he sends power to a generator that converts his workout calories into electricity. Across the room in his small eco-friendly gym are half a dozen energy-efficient treadmills. On the roof, solar arrays gather more natural energy. In Boesel's new gym, people will not only slim their waistlines, they will also shrink their carbon footprint. Welcome to people-powered exercise for a small planet. Boesel says the Green Microgym -- which is to open Friday in the eclectic Alberta Arts district of northeast Portland -- is the first fitness center in the country to use solar power as well as human-powered cycling and cardio machines to generate renewable energy.
May 6, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - A "Made in USA" label has long been seen as an advantage in marketing a product. Now there are in-state manufacturers that want to see the adoption of an official label that declares Made in California. State Sen. Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) has introduced legislation to require Go-Biz, the governor's business development office, to come up with a plan - including the new label - to promote California-manufactured products. The bill, now before the Senate Appropriations Committee, would enhance California's reputation for making environmentally safe and energy efficient products, Corbett said.
April 1, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- California's energy efficiency regulators are are setting their sights on a new batch of products. After decades of requiring that appliances, furnaces, air conditioners and big-screen televisions use ever less power, officials are now looking at more devices: video game consoles, set-top cable boxes, computers, various types of lighting and pool and spa pumps and motors. “The simple fact is energy efficiency saves consumers money,” said Andrew McAllister, a member of the California Energy Commission.
March 29, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - If you buy or own an energy-efficient house, does this make you less likely to default on your mortgage? Is there a connection between the monthly savings on utility costs and the probability that you'll pay your loan on time? A new study by the University of North Carolina suggests that the answer to both questions is a resounding yes. Using a sample of 71,000 home loans from across the country that were originated between 2002 and 2012, researchers found that mortgages on homes with Energy Star certifications were on average 32% less likely to default compared with loans on homes with no energy-efficiency improvements.
September 22, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
Crowned with three gables and painted in hues of gray and white, the suburban home in Lake Forest doesn't look much like the domicile of the future. But as summer heat radiates off the fresh asphalt outside, the home runs comfortably at full tilt indoors. Recessed lights shine, radios blare and air-conditioned splendor greets hot skin. Despite all systems going, the property is producing more electricity than it can consume on a warm summer day - and that's the goal. Unveiled late last year, the ZeroHouse model by Los Angeles builder KB Home embodies the industry's bid to move beyond the one-of-a-kind vanity project and make subdivision building a green practice.
September 9, 2012 | By Lew Sichelman
In the 1970s, clothing shoppers were advised in a popular advertising jingle from the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union to "look for the union label. " In that same spirit, anyone shopping for an energy-efficient home today would be well-advised to look for the sky-blue Energy Star label. No disrespect toward LEED, Energy Performance and GreenPoint, all of which are fine rating systems in their own right, but Energy Star seems to have become most popular among home builders looking to differentiate themselves from the competition.
May 13, 2012 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
UC Santa Barbara, according to old stereotypes, may still conjure up the image of a lush campus by the beach, where students can squeeze in a few hours of surfing after class and live in a nearby neighborhood that is one of the nation's best-known party zones. But in reality, UC Santa Barbara over the last three decades increasingly has become a center of scientific research, and its move in that direction was strengthened Saturday with the announcement of a $50-million private donation to energy efficiency research and engineering programs.
April 16, 1989
Achieving dramatic energy savings is something of a cinch when the builder starts from scratch and can custom-design an energy-efficient home or building. The Times has written in the past about the amazing energy savings of Amory Lovins' home and work place in the Colorado Rockies. That may be fine for a visionary tinkerer like Lovins who could afford to build every sort of energy-saving wrinkle into a showcase home in the lofty solar-bright heights of the mountains. But what about the average office building?
October 27, 1996
"Zero to 60 in 220v" (Oct. 14) perpetuates the misconception that electric cars will be "pollution-free." Pollution comes from the power plant that generates electricity and the factory that produces batteries. Electric cars consume more fuel than efficient internal-combustion vehicles because energy is required to power the vehicle and energy is lost in transmission lines between the power plant and the car. Pollution is transferred from the city to the power plant. A study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University and Georgia Institute of Technology (Environmental Science & Technology, September 1996)
April 22, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Earth Day 2012 arrives with sticker shock: Brace yourself for the $60 light bulb. Light bulb manufacturer Philips is flipping the switch Sunday on its new super-duper energy-efficient LED light bulb; that's when the bulb will go on sale at various outlets, including Home Depot . The full retail price is $60, but consumers will be able to find online deals, rebates and subsidies that will cut the price by $10 or more,  according ...
December 24, 2011 | Kathy M. Kristof, Personal Finance
Year-end financial planning is probably the last thing you want to think about while you're whipping up eggnog. But spend a few minutes now and you can save a bundle on your taxes. "No one wants to make the time at this time of year," says Philip J. Holthouse, partner at the Los Angeles tax law and accounting firm of Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt. "But a little last-minute planning can reap rewards worth thousands of dollars. " Charitable contributions: Gifts to charity soar near the holidays.
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