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New Line of Backup Generators at the IBS

Backup generators bring peace of mind to homeowners who live in ice storm and hurricane-prone areas. Just ask anybody who lost power in the ice storm here last month how much they valued their backup generator. Briggs & Stratton is showing a new line of energy-efficient standby generator systems under the GE brand at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. These smaller generators offer a big punch with reduced energy use, saving up to 33 percent in fuel costs and reducing emissions by 25 percent. Check them out if you're at the show. We were impressed and think you will be, too.

Reducing energy use involves retrofitting older homes, as in this restored Victorian. Photo courtesy of Jan Tik.

NAHB Presentation at the IBS

With Americans looking to reduce energy usage across the nation, the National Association of Home Builders made a strong argument for remodeling and retrofitting homes as the most efficient solution at the International Builders' Show yesterday. In fact, 73 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from single-family homes can be traced to homes built before 1983. Mike Hodgson, president of the California energy consulting company ConSol, pointed out that retrofitting an existing home is four to eight times as cost effective as requiring further energy efficiency requirements to new housing. They make a strong case. To read more, go to the NAHB press release.

Photo courtesy of Whirlpool.

Energy-Efficient Refrigerator at the Builders' Show

We are being bowled over by the energy-efficient products being introduced at the International Builders' Show, including the new Eco Kitchen line from Whirlpool. Most impressive of the collection was the Resource Saverô refrigerator, the most energy-efficient side-by-side refrigerator ever made, exceeding federal efficiency standards by 30 percent. Refrigerators are normally the single biggest energy hog in the home, but this one has the energy usage equivalent of a 60-watt light bulb. I'm impressed. The Resource Saverô refrigerator will be available in March with a MSRP of $2,099.

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