The TerraLogos building has served some interesting purposes during its existence: the corner grocery store, an antique dealership, and office for an energy improvement contractor. And, now we can add photo shoot background to the list.
Back in February, our headquarters was photographed as the backdrop of an advertisement for Centerstage Baltimore’s upcoming play, A Civil War Christmas.
Tap Into the Green Power Plant on Your Roof – for Free!
- Find & fix your energy leaks to reduce as much as possible the overall amount of energy you need.
- Then, obtain this energy from renewable energy sources.
It made sense to do the steps in this order, since solar and geothermal systems required a large capital investment. After all, why would you spend good money to make clean power only to see 20% of it fly out your leaky attic or wasted by an antiquated heat pump?
Putting efficiency first still makes sense, but now you can fix your leaks AND have clean power too, as the economics of the solar industry have changed dramatically.
Solar Thermal Systems
A Solar Hot Water system is the most energy efficient way to heat water – and hot water is the second biggest energy hog in your home. That equates to a potential savings of hundreds of dollars a year!
When TerraLogos Energy Group performs an energy audit, we are always on the lookout for the best ways to improve energy efficiency and switch to clean energy. And we often recommend upgrading to a solar thermal system to supply the hot water for a home or business . . . if it’s appropriate for the building.
So, what makes a property suitable for a solar thermal installation? Sunshine. Or more specifically, the amount of solar exposure on the building’s roof. Read the rest of this entry »
In the Sustainability & Values Series, we are searching for the keys that will unlock our will to make the changes we know are necessary.
Blog #1 highlighted the substantial hidden costs we are already paying for our current energy use. Blog #2 suggested considering what we really value as we make our daily spending decisions. Here we focus on quality and long term value.
You Can Find a Less Expensive Pizza, . . .
. . . but then you have to eat it.
It applies to just about everything . . and especially to home improvements.
You can find less expensive home improvements, but then you will have to live with them. Read the rest of this entry »
This spring, our friends at Clean Currents are asking Baltimore area residents to Energize Responsibly and pledge to support clean wind power. We all know there’s nothing like spending a beautiful spring day outside, but what are you breathing while doing that?
In 2012, Baltimore County had 32 Code Red or Orange Ozone Days – enough to receive an F from the American Lung Association. Plus, 1o other Maryland counties also had failing air quality reports in 2012.
We don’t want to breathe that, and we bet you don’t want to either.
. . . And Climate Change
We really enjoyed participating in the “Weather to the EXTREME” conference hosted by Howard County Conservancy and the Howard County Public School System on March 3. Abandoning my role as TerraLogos President for the day, I was able to “play” at being a teacher again (back in the late 70′s, an unfortunate class of 9th graders had me as their math teacher).
Other notable participants included keynote speaker, meteorologist Ava Marie from WBAL-TV, along with representatives from Northrop Grumman, REI, Bartlett Trees, the University of Maryland Extension Service, NOAA and BGE.
But the stars of the day were the 100 Howard County high school freshmen that attended. Read the rest of this entry »
What Are the Typical Costs and Savings?
For commercial buildings, the costs of an energy audit and the first recommended projects vary depending on the size and complexity of each property. The combined costs can range from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars for very large facilities.
As a rule of thumb, consider your total yearly utility costs.
The total cost for a commercial energy audit and the initial projects usually range from 10% to 125% of your annual utility bill.
Immediately after completing these improvements, owners usually save anywhere from 10% to 35% of their energy costs each month. Read the rest of this entry »
Which Properties Benefit Most from Energy Improvement Projects?
Almost all properties can improve their energy efficiency, even many recently built buildings. However, some are easier than others, and some are more likely to have projects with high return on investment potential and greater benefits.
From our experience with commercial energy audits and improvements, consider these criteria when determining if your property is a good candidate for energy efficiency investments.
Owner Occupied. If you both own and use the property yourself, you have the control Read the rest of this entry »
Why Should You Invest In Energy Efficiency?
What I mean is, if you do nothing now, you will continue to pay higher than necessary utility bills indefinitely. And the odds are very high that your bills will continue to rise as energy prices go up.
Rather than continuing on that same path, we recommend investing a portion of your energy costs to upgrade your property. Basically, you are pre-paying some of your future energy bills to obtain immediate and on-going savings on your property’s operating and maintenance costs.
Besides reducing operating and maintenance costs, Read the rest of this entry »
In blog #1 of the Sustainability & Values Series, we connected the dots to the hidden costs of our current energy use. Understanding the full costs helps us to gain the will to change for the better. Step #2 to increasing your will involves paying more attention to what you really value.
Fund the Change You Want to See
We think money has value.
But, there are so many other things we value, and often, they are much more valuable than money.
Our health. The health and safety of our loved ones. Our comfort and security. And certainly many other needs are at least as dear to us as money.
The decisions surrounding energy use and climate change are critically important to all of these valuable, but non-monetary, needs. So when we make energy decisions, why do we get stuck only considering the cost, the money?