Top 5 trends in green construction for 2011

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For those looking to join the green movement, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. As the demand for eco-friendly building increases, the number of new green products available also rises. Each day thousands of tips and new energy-efficient products hit the market. Sorting through the masses is no easy task, so we’ve compiled the top five trends for eco-enthusiasts to check out:

Trend #5 Smart Meter appliances

A new line of environmentally-friendly appliances takes the surprise out of your energy costs. No longer do we have to wait anxiously for our monthly bill to dictate our energy usage. Now, appliances equipped with smart meters provide instant feedback on energy consumption, allowing individuals to monitor usage and make cutbacks when spending rises. Some manufactures are even rolling out “grid-aware” appliances, which have remote-controlled energy management functionality.

These new appliances are more compact, lightweight and attractive as their traditional counterparts. And, with the increase in demand for energy efficient appliances, their prices continue to fall – a bonus for consumers looking to join the eco-friendly movement.

Trend #4 being green goes “social”

Energy price and consumption is no longer a deep secret. People are actively sharing this information through Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. This networking can help you discern your energy needs versus others. You can even seek out conservation tips and drastically slash your monthly payments.

For those with a competitive streak, Earth Aid, a social network developed to encourage competitive green saving among users, turns energy savings into a game. When users cut down on their energy spending, they are rewarded with points. These points can be used to purchase a variety of well-known household items from top brands, providing even more savings for Earth Aid users!

Trend #3 Green Bonds keep contractors honest

As the public learns the benefits and cost savings for eco-efficient equipped buildings, the demand for green construction also rises. However, after several companies realized their “eco-friendly” building did not adhere to green standards, many demanded official legislation be put into effect.

In 2006, the Washington DC City Council answered these requests through the Green Building Act. The act legally requires contractors to have a green performance bond on all future green construction projects. This ensures contractors leading these projects will produce an entirely environmentally sound product, granting peace of mind to homeowners looking to join the movement.

Trend #2 Energy management mpps

It’s no surprise that the way we user our cellphones is changing. We check our email, surf the web, get directions, and find restaurants in addition to their traditional “call” and “text” features. Because we’re always on the move, we rely on our mobiles to fulfill a variety of services. The most recent developments include applications that allow smartphone users to monitor their energy usage.

Several apps are available that provide users with up-to-the-minute details of their energy consumption, enable meter readings and allow individuals to manage their appliances remotely, regardless of location. Users can now check their utility bills in between games of Angry Birds.

Trend #1 Smart plugs

This revolutionary invention, designed by Tenrehte, measures the amount of energy used by any device that runs off an outlet. The plug called PICOwatt, reports on the electricity you are using, your high-energy times of day, and how much you are spending in total.

Not only does the plug identify your peak energy consumption periods, but it also details how much you are spending when you believe you’ve turned everything “off” for the day. The power that is consumed by electrical devices after they are shut down or turned off is called “standby power.” PICOwatt measures how much you’re spending on standby power and enables you to create a profile to automatically turn off the device completely, thus eliminating frivolous spending on electricity. The best feature of the device is that it doesn’t require any additional mechanisms, such as computers and radios, to run. Tenrehte believes requiring extra equipment to run an energy management system only adds to cost, consumes additional electricity, and takes away from their bottom line: saving you money.

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