Reframing Rays: Solar Companies Seek New Ways To Sell Panels

October 27, 2014

in Green Living,Lennar,News

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When Michelle Rose went hunting for a new home, she was looking for three bedrooms and baths, a nice floor plan and granite countertops. Solar panels weren’t on the list. Still, there they were on the model home in the Table Rock Ridge development being built by Lennar Homes in Golden, Colorado – at no extra charge. “I was excited,” Rose said. “I had looked at adding solar panels to my home, but the upfront expense was too high. When Lennar said they’d take care of the maintenance … it was a win-win,” said Rose, who expects to move into her new home with her two children in December. Lennar is installing solar panels on all the homes in new developments in Golden, Arvada, Castle Rock and Frederick. The solar panels add “to the curb appeal of a new home” and are an investment in “smart homebuilding,” said David Kaiserman, CEO of SunStreet Energy Group, the Lennar subsidiary managing the program. “This is just the beginning we see extending this program to more communities,” Kaiserman said. [Read this article]

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Lennar, Denver’s 2nd Biggest Homebuilder, Launching Its Solar 20/20 Plan In Colorado

October 9, 2014

in Green Living,Lennar,News

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Lennar, having put solar power systems on thousands of homes in about 100 California communities, is launching its Solar 20/20 Plan in Colorado. The Miami-based company will expand the California program to Colorado on Thursday at a ribbon cutting ceremony in Arvada. The program aims to bring renewable power to the masses by including solar power panels on every home it builds in selected communities, said David Kaiserman, the CEO of SunStreet Energy Group, Lennar’s subsidiary that’s overseeing the program. While solar power has been popular in Colorado and elsewhere, Lennar believes its Solar 20/20 Plan makes it easier for homeowners to access renewable energy, Kaiserman said. Under Lennar’s program, the solar power systems are included in the home and the homebuilder retains ownership of the systems. Homeowners sign a purchase-power agreement with SunStreet to buy the power produced by the systems at a 20 percent discount to the “prevailing utility rate.” There is no upfront cost to put the solar on the home, Kaiserman said. The homeowners also get a credit on their utility bill for power that’s produced by the system but doesn’t get used by the home, such as if the homeowner is away. [Read this article]

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The Smart Home Goes Mainstream

October 3, 2014

in Green Living,Lennar,News

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The affluent have enjoyed the technologies that make their homes smarter, more convenient, more efficient, more secure and more entertaining for some time. Today, the masses are demanding these technologies – causing a fundamental shift in the way homebuilders envision the standard home. Homebuilders are now thinking beyond granite countertops to smart home automation systems that set their homes apart, and looking to offer technologies such as solar, home automation, and ultra-high-speed Internet connectivity as standard. Lennar Homes, Taylor Morrison and regional builders like Frankel Building Group in Houston, Texas, Copperleaf Homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Landmark Homes USA in Scottsdale, Ariz., offer home automation systems as standard. Lennar’s Landmark development in South Florida will feature boomerang baby suites and Savant Systems’ Smart Series home systems that cater to the younger generation’s interests in technology. [Read this article]

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Sun And Wind Alter Global Landscape, Leaving Utilities Behind

September 15, 2014

in Green Living,Lennar

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One recent day, under a brilliant California sun, saws buzzed as workers put the finishing touches on spacious new homes. They looked like many others going up in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, but with an extra feature: Lennar Corporation was putting solar panels on every house it built. The prices of the panels have plunged 70 percent in the past five years. That huge decline means solar power is starting to make more economic sense, especially in parts of the United States with high electricity prices. At about 100 Lennar subdivisions in California, buyers who move into a new home automatically get solar panels on the roof. Lennar, the nation’s second-largest homebuilder, recently decided to expand that policy to several more states, starting with Colorado. The company typically retains ownership of the panels and signs 20-year deals to sell homeowners the power from their own roofs, at a 20 percent discount from the local utility’s prices. “It’s so simple when we tell a customer, ‘You’re guaranteed to save money,’ ” said David J. Kaiserman, president of Lennar Ventures, the division overseeing the solar plan. [Read this article]

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Use Houseplants To Create A Healthy Home

September 9, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Placing plants around your home does more than beautify your space – according to NASA, houseplants are actually good for your health. Here are a few tips to help you decide what plants are best for your house. For example, eucalyptus is great for congestion. It opens bronchial passages and clears mucus during colds, flu or bronchitis and is also a natural antiseptic. And if you have insomnia, plants can also help improve your night’s sleep. Gerbera daisies release oxygen at night. Place them by your bed for optimal oxygen intake while you sleep. Gerbera daisies are also great at removing benzene and trichloroethylene from the air. [Read this article]

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Shopping For Energy Efficient Lighting? Don’t Forget These Considerations

September 6, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Lightning is one of the most critical elements in home installations and, not surprisingly, it has a significant impact on household’s energy consumption as well. A well-lit room can reap a bevy of advantages, affecting the mood, health, comfort, and productivity of its occupants. New lights offering a lifespan of 2 decades might save you hundreds of dollars in utility bills, but how do you shop for the right one? CFLs (compact fluorescent) lighting is now so affordable that this option can pay itself off the investment with savings in just months of using CFL lightning. However, they aren’t great for homeowners looking for an instant, cooler or dimming light. LED lightning is gradually overcoming these problems. When it comes to saving with energy efficient lighting, converting to LEDs is an excellent way to bring down your carbon footprint and show respect to Mother Nature. [Read this article]

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6 Ways To Beat The Heat Without Making Your Wallet Sweat

July 25, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Now that the high temperatures have really kicked in, it’s only natural to want to stay as cool as possible. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the money to spend blasting the air conditioning all summer long. You can quickly cool off – and stay refreshed all day and night – without spending a bundle, or even anything at all. Although appliances help you run your household, they also warm it up fast.Run clothes dryers and dishwashers at night to avoid peak energy rates and the humid heat they generate. Prolonged baking or stovetop cooking also makes the AC work overtime. Take advantage of summer weather, and cook outdoors when possible. Try unplugging small appliances whenever you can, and especially before you leave on vacation or for extended periods of time. Computers, cellphone chargers and other electronics often continue to use power – and radiate heat – even when turned off. With a little bit of planning, you can easily reduce energy consumption and save money at the same time. It’s a win-win for you and the environment. [Read this article]

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How To Clean Windows Naturally

July 25, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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These days, harsh chemical cleaners are so passé. A natural, eco-friendly cleaner exists for almost everything under the sun, and your windows are no exception. The secret to cleaning windows is in the cloth you use to wipe them dry. A regular paper towel or cotton cloth will often leave lint and residue on the glass, even after you’ve wiped off all the fingerprints. A lint-free microfiber cloth or a chamois cloth will ensure that your sparkling windows stay sparkling after you clean them. The chamois cloth works really well when windows are dusty but not actually dirty. Gently dampen the cloth and wipe the dust off, no harsh chemicals necessary. A chamois (pronounced sham-wa, but often called a shammy) is actually a leatherlike cloth used to dry cars and is a great tool for the windows in your home, as well as your car. [Read this article]

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What Temperature Should You Keep Your Home In The Summer?

June 30, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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There are no hard and fast rules for how hot or cool a home should actually be. Energy and comfort experts agree that the ideal cost-saving temperature for most thermostats is about 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. Your willingness to dress for the weather and personal comfort threshold do play a part in where your thermostat ultimately lands, but these are great places to start when you’re hunting for a setting that saves you money and keeps your indoor temperature just right. Depending on who you ask, moving your thermostat as little as one degree higher for air conditioning or one degree lower for heating can save about two percent on your energy costs in an eight-hour period. It might not sound like much, but if you raise your home from a frosty 72 degrees to a still-cool 76 degrees every night for one summer, you’ll save eight percent off your summer energy bills. [Read this article]

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How To Clean A Carpet Naturally

June 30, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Many experts say that carpeting is the worst type of flooring you can have in your house because it can harbor all sorts of germs and bacteria that hardwood floors or ceramic tiles don’t. But on a cold winter’s morning, there is nothing like stepping onto a warm, fuzzy carpet instead of a chilly, hard floor. It’s important to clean your carpet regularly, but how do you clean your carpet without using harsh chemicals? It’s important to vacuum all areas of your carpet at least once a week with a good-quality HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) vacuum cleaner. A “HEPA” filter removes 99.97 percent of particulates 0.3 micrometers or larger in size. Then, once a year, have your carpets steam cleaned. Make sure the pros you call in use just hot water (no chemicals). If you want to do it yourself, you can rent a steam cleaner from a home improvement warehouse store. [Read this article]

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