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Green Buildings Open House on October 6, 2007

More and more people are recognizing the harmful effects of global climate change and the need for all of us to help reduce carbon emissions.

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) invites the public to visit local green buildings across Massachusetts to talk with energy-saving experts during the 2007 Green Buildings Open House on October 6.

The Open House, part of the American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour, is an opportunity to learn first-hand how incorporating green elements can help reduce heating costs, increase energy conservation, and even generate surplus clean energy.

Private homes, businesses, public buildings, and renewable energy installations throughout Massachusetts will open their doors and welcome the public to tour, ask questions, and discover the ways people are conserving, energy, saving money, and pro-tecting the environment. The Green Buildings Open House, sponsored by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Renewable Energy Trust and Home Grown Wood, will be held in all six New England States, plus New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware

Last year, thousands of people toured over 400 energy-efficient buildings from Pennsylvania to Maine to experience the variety of ways presently being used to conserve energy, save money on energy bills, and help reduce the carbon footprint of their homes or other buildings. A complete list of Green Buildings Open House sites and events is available at: www.nesea.org/buildings/open-house . Use the list of Open Houses in your area to plan a visit or design your own tour of several local Green Buildings.

David Barclay, Executive Director of NESEA, states, “The Green Buildings Open house presents ways to save money on energy costs and showcases how clean renewable energy is being used today. Everyone that uses electricity, particularly those considering a home renovation or purchase, should attend a local site of the Green Buildings Open House on October 6. It is an easy way to learn from people who are living and working happily and comfortably with their green, energy-efficient choices.”

Examples of green features that are used in homes and buildings that will be open during this event include passive solar heating (advantageous placement of windows), solar hot water collection and storage, radiant floor heating, the generation of electricity using photovoltaics (solar panels) or wind, the use of energy-saving appliances and techniques (super insulation and sealing air spaces), use of sustainable and healthy building materials, and the use of water-saving fixtures. To improve indoor air quality, green building materials that address allergy/asthma-sensitive people include paints, insulation,and carpeting.

Also demonstrated is the use of local, sustainable-harvested wood products. Visitors may also learn about how they can support the expanded development of renewable energy by purchasing clean renewable energy through their utility company or a green electricity provider.

There are a variety of ways to approach reducing energy costs of a home or building. Three easy and relatively inexpensive ways are to change all light bulbs to compact fluorescent, seal air leaks to reduce drafts, and unplug appliances when not in use. State and Federal incentives (tax credits, grants, rebates, and discount utility rates) are available at www.dsireusa.org for renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Check EnergyStar.gov for Federal tax credit information on qualified appliances and products.

Green Buildings Open House media partners include BCC Research, CSRwire, E/The Environmental Magazine, ecological Home Ideas, Environmental Design + Construction, Green Builder Magazine, Green Living Journal, High-Profile Monthly, the New England Real Estate Journal, and Smart HomeOwner magazine.

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) is the Northeast’s leading organization of professionals working in sustainable energy, whole systems thinking and green technologies. NESEA facilitates the widespread adoption and use of sustainable energy by providing support to industry professionals and by educating and motivating consumers to learn about, ask for and adopt sustainable energy and green building practices. NESEA accomplishes this through a number of ongoing programs and annual events including: Building Energy Conference and Trade Show, K-12 Education, Green Buildings Open House Tour, the Sustainability Workshop Series, and the Sustainable Green Pages.

For more information, visit: www.nesea.org or call 413-774-605l.

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