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GREEN BUILDING DEFINED

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How green can we get?
Austin Energy's goals for renewable sources would rank us high nationally

 

To understand why Austin Energy is proposing a major shift toward wind and solar power a shift that will raise bills 20 percent over the next decade, according to the utility's best estimates it's important to realize just how much weight city leaders have placed on environmental stewardship.

Austin's leaders have proclaimed that the city should be the nation's leader in combating global climate change. Austin Energy, the city-owned electricity provider, has crafted a much-debated proposal to begin weaning itself off coal and onto cleaner sources such as wind and solar. The City Council is scheduled to vote on the plan next month.

Roger Duncan, Austin Energy's general manager, says the plan will keep Austin in the industry's vanguard. It has been praised by advocates and knocked by critics for essentially the same reason: its aggressiveness.

But in the fast-changing world of energy, where would that place Austin?

Austin Energy put itself on the map with its landmark GreenChoice program, which allows customers to buy wind power at a fixed 10-year price.

But that program has relied on big businesses, which account for roughly 80 percent of GreenChoice sales. Relatively few residents have opted for GreenChoice, which in recent years has been more expensive than standard electric rates.

Austin Energy says it needs to expand its efforts to satisfy the city's green goals.

According to the new plan, by 2020, Austin would get 35 percent of its electricity from renewables, up from 11 percent now.
 

By Marty Toohey AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Updated: 12:33 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010


HOMES: Big green wave                            Austin Statesman Green

 

As Austin knows and the nation is discovering, building thoughtfully can help both environment and homeowners.

Austin helped get it started. And now, it's everywhere you look.

Green building — the ubiquitous shorthand for using sustainable, environmentally friendly construction practices and materials — has become much more than a trend. For an increasing number of builders, it's become standard practice.

By the end of 2007, nearly 100,000 homes across the country had been certified green, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The green movement was incubated in part by advocates in Central Texas, and those efforts continue with events such as the Austin Green Living & Home Products Expo, scheduled at Austin Convention Center. Consumers will be able to attend green-focused workshops and check out the latest in eco-friendly home and garden products.

Green building proponents say there's no end in sight to the movement's growth, and the proof can be found at every major home builders' conference.   


THE AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Sunday, April 13, 2008

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8 types of Renewable energy

Bio-fuel & Biomass

Biogas

Distributed/Embedded Generation

Fuel Cell/ Hydrogen / Batteries

Energy from Waste

Solar

Water (hydro, Tidal, wave)

Wind

Residential & Commercial Recycling

 

 

 

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