Greens showing off energy-efficient homes today

Greens showing off energy-efficient homes today

Energy-efficient homes and businesses are as close as your next-door neighbor and they are reaping the benefits of self-sufficiency, say experts at The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association.

More than 20 energy savvy home and business owners in the Capital District will open their doors today as part of the 2006 Green Buildings Open House. Information about a number of technologies, including solar and wind power, will be available.

Homes in Troy, Brunswick, East Greenbush, Albany, Delmar and Glenmont are some that will be featured on the tour.

There reportedly were more than 10,000 visitors to Green Building Open House sites throughout the Northeast in 2005.

“The Green Buildings Open House presents ways to save money on energy costs and showcases clean, renewable energy being used today. Everyone that uses electricity or is considering a home renovation or purchase should attend their local Green Buildings Open House and learn from people who are living and working happily with their green, energy efficient choices,” spokesperson Christian Grieco said.

The Green Buildings Open House includes the home of Lance and Carrie Wong at 18 Berkshire Drive in Brunswick which uses daylighting, Energy Star appliances, Energy-Star rated photovoltaics (a combination of solar and electric), heat-recovery ventilation, passive solar, radiant floor heating and solar domestic hot water.

The Howard L. Goff Middle School at 35 Gilligan Road in East Greenbush boasts grid-tied photovoltaics.

David and Harriet Borton own a home in Troy that features an alternative fuel vehicle, co-generation, daylighting, Energy-Star appliances, grid-tied and off-grid photovoltaics and passive solar energy.

Grieco is a NESEA volunteer and regional coordinator of Green Buildings Open House. His own energy-efficient home at 71 Henderson Road in Glenmont is a listed Open House site. It boasts a 24-solar panel photovoltaic system that was installed in 2004. Since that time Grieco’s electric bills have been reduced as much as $50 per month. Overall, he’s seen a savings of approximately $1,600 in electricity costs.

“In the summer months my meter actually runs backwards. I get credits toward my future electricity use,” he said.

Visitors will learn about how hot water is collected and stored, how photovoltaics can be placed on or integrated into a shell of a building to produce electricity and how wind can be used to generate power. They may get to see water-saving fixtures and appliances, passive solar heating techniques and the use of allergy/asthma-sensitive building materials and a variety of green building materials currently on the market.

“They can also learn about how they can support renewable energy by purchasing clean renewable energy through their utility company or green electricity provider, Grieco said.
The Green Buildings Open House in New York is sponsored by New York EnergySmart, BP Solar, and Solar Works Inc. For more information go to or call 413-774-6051.

©The Record 2006

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