Special offer

Buy Products that Make a Difference (and save you money)!

Home Builder with Construction Services Integration

As I mentioned previously in a recent blog, the Energystar.gov website is a great resource for yourself and clients who are looking to saveenergy and money.  The website has a vast amount of information even on certain products that meet or exceed the EnergyStar ratings, therefore, helping the environment and of course your budget.  This is a resource that I am going to start referring to and maybe even pass on to my clients as an F.Y.I.  The link below is very informative and inclusive so it covers almost everything an individual would want to know about which products to purchase that are environmentally friendly.  The website also includes great tips on saving energy that could prove valuable especially in the winter season.  Thank you and I hope you enjoy the website link and information. 


(Main link: www.energystar.gov)

Vince Coccia 






Comments (13)

Joseph Lang
Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Home Inspector, Southern California
Thanks for the links to Energy Star, great info.  But just a note, your first link is incorrect.
Jan 11, 2008 01:22 AM
Vincent Coccia
Construction Services Integration - Paoli, PA

Thank you Joseph and I will check out the link for the products. 


Jan 11, 2008 01:41 AM
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA


I have seen more Clients looking to save anyway they can.....this is a great place to start, thank you.

Jan 11, 2008 11:33 PM
Linda Tremblay
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc, PA License #AB065488 - Doylestown, PA
Associate Broker - Bucks County, PA Real Estate Services


Thanks for the info.  With gas constantly going up and everything else along with it, I will definitely check out the link.

Jan 15, 2008 06:45 AM
Joseph Michalski
Precision Home Inspection - Lansdale, PA
PA Home Inspector

Energy Star appliances - especially the refrigerator - are good money savers.  (Aside form HVAC and water heaters, the fridge uses almost as much electric as everything else on your house combined)

Also CFL bulbs and now (or soon, anywaay) LED bulbs can save really big (more on those in a future blog, perhaps...)

Good post!

Jan 17, 2008 12:57 PM
Joseph Hagarty
Main Line Inspections, Inc. - Parkesburg, PA

Before rushing out to purchase CFL Bulbs....There is a Downside.

 Mercury Contamination.   http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198

"General Electric has been making compact fluorescents for 20 years. Now the company admits that the little bit of mercury in each bulbs could become a real problem if sales balloon as expected.

"Given what we anticipate to be the significant increase in the use of these products, we are now beginning to look at, and shortly we'll be discussing with legislators, possibly a national solution here," says Earl Jones, a senior counsel for General Electric."

Jan 17, 2008 01:16 PM
Joseph Michalski
Precision Home Inspection - Lansdale, PA
PA Home Inspector

I heard that about CFLs, but couldn't confirm it.  Interesting read.

The really intriguing technology is the LEDs.  People are alrady familiar with them from flashlight use, but they are being developed for use as standard bulbs (they already exist but not at price points that will move consumers yet).

While conventional bulbs convert 10% of the electric they use to light (the other 90% is lost to heat) and CFLs convert something around 30% of the electric to light, LEDS can convert over 70% (or at least that is what I have read. 

This kind of efficiency means that they will last about 60 times longer than a standard bulb and operate at about 2-4 watts (compared to a 60 watt bulb) saving tons more in electric over their life.

They are still in development for widespread use and to get the kinks out, but I can see how that kind of efficiency will be attractive.

Jan 17, 2008 01:23 PM
Joseph Hagarty
Main Line Inspections, Inc. - Parkesburg, PA


Info with regard to Mercury and CFL has been widely known for many years. Amazing what some will do thru advertising to sell a product under false pretenses....

The CFL mercury nightmare

Steven Milloy,  Financial Post  Published: Saturday, April 28, 2007

How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent light bulb? About US$4.28 for the bulb and labour -- unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about US$2,004.28, which doesn't include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.

Sound crazy? Perhaps no more than the stampede to ban the incandescent light bulb in favour of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

According to an April 12 article in The Ellsworth American, Bridges had the misfortune of breaking a CFL during installation in her daughter's bedroom: It dropped and shattered on the carpeted floor.

Aware that CFLs contain potentially hazardous substances, Bridges called her local Home Depot for advice. The store told her that the CFL contained mercury and that she should call the Poison Control hotline, which in turn directed her to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP sent a specialist to Bridges' house to test for mercury contamination. The specialist found mercury levels in the bedroom in excess of six times the state's "safe" level for mercury contamination of 300 billionths of a gram per cubic meter. The DEP specialist recommended that Bridges call an environmental cleanup firm, which reportedly gave her a "low-ball" estimate of US$2,000 to clean up the room. The room then was sealed off with plastic and Bridges began "gathering finances" to pay for the US$2,000 cleaning. Reportedly, her insurance company wouldn't cover the cleanup costs because mercury is a pollutant.

Given that the replacement of incandescent bulbs with CFLs in the average U.S. household is touted as saving as much as US$180 annually in energy costs -- and assuming that Bridges doesn't break any more CFLs -- it will take her more than 11 years to recoup the cleanup costs in the form of energy savings.

The potentially hazardous CFL is being pushed by companies such as Wal-Mart, which wants to sell 100 million CFLs at five times the cost of incandescent bulbs during 2007, and, surprisingly, environmentalists.

It's quite odd that environmentalists have embraced the CFL, which cannot now and will not in the foreseeable future be made without mercury. Given that there are about five billion light bulb sockets in North American households, we're looking at the possibility of creating billions of hazardous waste sites such as the Bridges' bedroom.

Usually, environmentalists want hazardous materials out of, not in, our homes. These are the same people who go berserk at the thought of mercury being emitted from power plants and the presence of mercury in seafood. Environmentalists have whipped up so much fear of mercury among the public that many local governments have even launched mercury thermometer exchange programs.

As the activist group Environmental Defense urges us to buy CFLs, it defines mercury on a separate part of its Web site as a "highly toxic heavy metal that can cause brain damage and learning disabilities in fetuses and children" and as "one of the most poisonous forms of pollution."

Greenpeace also recommends CFLs while simultaneously bemoaning contamination caused by a mercury-thermometer factory in India. But where are mercury-containing CFLs made? Not in the United States, under strict environmental regulation. CFLs are made in India and China, where environmental standards are virtually non-existent.

And let's not forget about the regulatory nightmare in the U.S. known as the Superfund law, the EPA regulatory program best known for requiring expensive but often needless cleanup of toxic waste sites, along with endless litigation over such cleanups.

We'll eventually be disposing billions and billions of CFL mercury bombs. Much of the mercury from discarded and/or broken CFLs is bound to make its way into the environment and give rise to Superfund liability, which in the past has needlessly disrupted many lives, cost tens of billions of dollars and sent many businesses into bankruptcy.

As each CFL contains five milligrams of mercury, at the Maine "safety" standard of 300 nanograms per cubic meter, it would take 16,667 cubic meters of soil to "safely" contain all the mercury in a single CFL. While CFL vendors and environmentalists tout the energy cost savings of CFLs, they conveniently omit the personal and societal costs of CFL disposal.

Not only are CFLs much more expensive than incandescent bulbs and emit light that many regard as inferior to incandescent bulbs, they pose a nightmare if they break and require special disposal procedures. Yet governments (egged on by environmentalists and the Wal-Marts of the world) are imposing on us such higher costs, denial of lighting choice, disposal hassles and breakage risks in the name of saving a few dollars every year on the electric bill? - Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and CSRWatch.com. He is a junk-science expert and advocate of free enterprise, and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.



Jan 17, 2008 01:26 PM
Joseph Michalski
Precision Home Inspection - Lansdale, PA
PA Home Inspector

It seems that everyone is intent on putting their own spin on the issue of the mercury....

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cfl.asp (Gotta love snopes.)

Anyway, I think it is clear that there IS mercury in the CFLs and that there IS some amount of risk, although how much damger ther pose seems to be teh subject of some discussion.  I'm still rooting for the LEDs (70 percent conversion of energy to light sounds good to me!)

Jan 17, 2008 01:45 PM
Joseph Hagarty
Main Line Inspections, Inc. - Parkesburg, PA

I also remember the Dentist placing a small amount of liquid mercury (pretty cool stuff at the time) into my hand to distract me while he examined my teeth as a child.

 Was Mercury a Hazard then or is it only recognized as a Hazard now?

The potential hazard is widely known / recognized. Those not recognizing the potential Hazard are more than welcome to follow "Snopes" as opposed to the State of Maine Health Professionals and Hygienists.

"...Maine Department of Environmental Protection. 

The DEP sent a specialist to Bridges' house to test for mercury contamination. The specialist found mercury levels in the bedroom in excess of six times the state's "safe" level for mercury contamination of 300 billionths of a gram per cubic meter. The DEP specialist recommended that Bridges call an environmental cleanup firm,...."


Jan 17, 2008 02:20 PM
Joseph Michalski
Precision Home Inspection - Lansdale, PA
PA Home Inspector

Guess you didn't read the whole Snopes piece?

It says that the Maine DEP basically concurs with the less alarming methods of standard disposal, and that officials realize now that their initial reaction was bourne of inexperience in handling the situation, and is now regarded as extreme overkill.

It also goes on to provide a slightly different account of the course of events depicted in the Bridges' home which adds some interesting color to the events.  Just another viewpoint....  I am not trying to change your mind, just offer some other info for consideration.

Jan 17, 2008 02:29 PM
Joseph Hagarty
Main Line Inspections, Inc. - Parkesburg, PA

You can believe "Snopes" if you like.

Belief in misinterpretations of fact appear to be consistent in your style of Business.

Best of luck to you when contacted by the PA DEP.....

Jan 17, 2008 02:35 PM
Tom Francis
Chase Toppers, LLC - Pottstown, PA
Great information Vince.  Thanks for the post.  With energy costs high to begin with, every little bit helps.  -T
Jan 18, 2008 02:12 AM