To Solar or Not to Solar, That is the Question: Residential Solar Systems Increase Home Sales Prices in California According to New Study

Clean Technology

Solar PanelsSo, maybe you’re thinking of having a photovoltaic (that’s solar for all you non-science types out there) energy system installed on the roof of your house. You consider yourself a pretty “green” person and you would like to take it to the next level. You start to look into how much this self-pat on the back will cost and you quickly discover that there are significant up front capital requirements. Read: it’s pretty expensive! Not only that, but your calculations lead you to the realization that the savings on electricity will take many years to catch up to this initial investment. “But, I probably won’t even own this house by that time!!” you say to yourself…
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The GREENing of Greenberg Glusker

Green Building

BuildingIn honor of Earth Day, we thought we’d share some of the steps that Greenberg Glusker has taken to be more green.

Last year, Greenberg Glusker completed its office remodel in true green fashion. We recycled and reused materials from the old office design whenever possible, which resulted in using recycled or reused materials for nearly 95 percent of the remodel. We also used bamboo, one of the approved sustainable materials in green design, throughout the new office. We used recycled materials for the carpeting and the modular furniture, and used sustainable products for some of the fabrics used in the furniture and wall covering. To conserve energy, we installed motion sensors in all of the office spaces so that the lights turn off when the rooms are not occupied. Appliances in the kitchens and lounge areas are 5 Star rated for energy efficiency. Finally, to conserve water we installed low-flush toilets.
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The Results Are In: EPA Releases the 16th Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Climate Change

USDocAnd the winner is… the American people! We can all give ourselves a (small) pat on the back because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just published its 16th annual U.S. greenhouse gas inventory and it shows a decrease of overall emissions during 2009 of 6.1% from the previous year. That means that emissions in 2009 represent the lowest total U.S. annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 1995.

Now, before you start organizing the ticker-tape parade, you should understand that one of the primary reasons for the decrease was the economic downturn resulting in a decrease in energy consumption across all sectors. Meaning, upon economic recovery (c’mon already), the numbers may increase again. (Besides, the floats in those parades are total gas-guzzlers!)

The other primary reason cited by EPA for the decrease is lower carbon intensity of fuels used to generate electricity. (For more on developments relating to the regulation of GHGs at the state and national levels click here, here and here.)
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Arizona Tribe First to Adopt International Green Building Code

Green Building

DesertAs our regular readers know, we have been closely following California’s efforts toward mandating green building requirements both state-wide (through CalGreen) and locally.

In a sure sign that green building is here to stay, the Kayenta Township, a political subdivision of the Navajo Nation located in Arizona, recently became the first tribal community in the United States to adopt the International Green Construction Code (IGCC).
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Sorry Sixth Circuit – You Just Got Housed: House passes a bill taking pesticides out of CWA’s jurisdiction

Water Quality

CongressOn Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) known as the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 (or H.R. 872). The bill would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) such that CWA permits, known as National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits (or NPDES permits), would not be required when a pesticide is applied to or near a navigable waterway in accordance with its FIFRA label.

Essentially, the bill takes pesticides out of the definition of pollutant such that these permits are not mandated.
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