Southface Institute: Blog

Why Net-Zero Homes Embrace Smart Home Technology

Green Technology
Residential housing is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions, yet most homeowners do not even realize it. More time spent indoors results in higher energy bills, but what does this increase really tell us about how much energy a home consumes?

Increase in Home Energy Bills This Summer

While the spread of COVID-19 remains uncertain, working from home is quickly becoming the new normal, leading to more at-home energy costs. A predicted one-third of Americans will see a 10-15% increase in their energy bills this summer because of virus-related changes at work, which means spending between $2 and $37 more, according to Arcadia, an energy and analytic company.

Financial Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Green Building
The new statewide energy code went into effect at the beginning of this year, making it easier to receive financial incentives for a high-performing home. Amelia Godfrey, program manager of EarthCraft, shares the incentives available for homes that are built or renovated to meet the minimum standard. While there are several ways to build a high-performance home, many can be accompanied by low additional costs.

Global Emissions Have Plunged, but Will They Continue To?

Climate Change
Government shutdowns and economic inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic have caused sharp declines in greenhouse gases. Over 1 billion tons of carbon emissions have already been reduced, and it is projected we will see an overall annual decrease between 4-7%. Although these reductions are remarkable, scientists warn that more structural changes to the energy system need to be made for long-term success.

Cloud Providers Continue to Improve Energy Efficiency during COVID-19

Green Technology
Renewable Energy
As "shelter in place" orders have been made to control the spread of COVID-19, the world’s data centers and internet infrastructure are experiencing a rise in usage. This is because people are spending all their time at home using videoconferencing, collaboration software and other streaming services.

Social Media Re-imagined: How a Designer Developed a Green Version of Instagram

Green Technology
Phones and communication networks could consume 21% of global energy consumption by 2030. Tom Jarrett, a designer at the U.K. design studio Normally heard this and started researching how to redesign the internet to use less energy. Find out how his version of Instagram limits its energy consumption and carbon footprint.