Thursday, September 30, 2010

Win FREE Tickets to Garden State Greenfest from BrightHome

BrightHome Energy Solutions and Eco Ed Schwartz will be at the Garden State Greenfest, this Friday – Sunday at the Somerset, NJ Garden State Exhibit Center.

The first 10 people to call Eco Ed at 201-390-4280 to get free passes into the Greenfest.

Speakers include:

Ed Begley, Jr., Environmentalist & Actor
Tom Chapin, Entertainer
Phil Radford, Greenpeace Executive Director
Elizabeth Royte, Bestselling Author
...and many more!

The free pass is for all three days and has something for everyone: kids and teens, students and adults, and community leaders.

Don't forget to call Eco Ed at 201-390-4280 can get your free pass!

For more information about Greenfest, visit here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BrightHome's Ed Schwartz Featured in Ridgewod Patch

A Visit to the Oldest, Greenest House in New Jersey
The South Orange Historical and Preservation Society
offers a look inside a landmark home

South Orange is home to the state's oldest house, but Ridgewood has what is probably the greenest 18th century house. On September 26, the South Orange Historical and Preservation Society (SOHPS) will offer a rare opportunity to tour that green phenomenon.

The private home of Ed Schwartz will be opened to SOHPS members and non-members as a follow-up to a 2009 lecture at the South Orange Public Library.

The Ridgewood residence was built in 1767 and was expanded in 1860. It has been restored a third time by Schwartz over the last three years, using guidelines for sustainability and the Green Building Council. The home was used in case study for green renovations by the State Sustainability Institute in Rutgers.

Located at 26 East Glen Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450, the house is known as the most sustainable historical residence in New Jersey. Not only are electric bills a thing of the past, but on average, the solar panels for this house generate a positive cash flow of $2,000 per year.

As part of the tour, Schwartz will show the alterations he has made from a green perspective, as well as from a historical renovation/preservation perspective. He will walk guests through such key points as the solar panels, the efficient utilities, and heating and cooling, as well as what he has done to preserve the historical aspects of the house.

Schwartz is a partner of BrightHome Energy Solutions, the home performance, green home, and sustainable-business consulting group.

Source: by Marcia Worth

Monday, September 20, 2010

End of the Petroleum Era: Greening Existing Buildings with Stephen Tilly, Architect

Friday, September 24th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

What: Join us for a talk by Stephen Tilly, sustainability architect, inspiring speaker and designer of the innovative reuse of the Burnham Building in Irvington, which now houses the village Library and 22 units of Affordable Housing. A discussion of why the greenest, most energy efficient building (that helps to combat global climate change) is one you don't have to build will follow.

Delicious local and organic culinary treats provided by Chutney Masala.

Who Should Attend: A must for city planners, those who want to make their communities more sustainable and all interested in the relationship between existing buildings and the climate crisis

Location: The Irvington Village Public Library Meeting Room - across from the Irvington train Station

Tickets: $25 per person. One year membership to FCWC included. All proceeds to benefit FCWC and help support our work promoting a Sustainable Westchester.

Please register online, or by calling FCWC at (914) 422-4053

Register online: events

More About the Talk:
"The recent catastrophe in the Gulf has only too vividly brought home to us all the environmental consequences of our dependence on petroleum. As we look ahead to the end of the Petroleum Era, we have to deal with our own daily carbon "spills", the greatest part of which comes from our buildings. This illustrated talk will review the impact of our buildings and suggest that designing new green structures may be less important than (figuratively) getting out the booms and skimmers to clean up our existing buildings." - Steve Tilly, Architect

Bio: Stephen Tilly, AIA, LEED AP, principal of a 19 person urban design, landscape, architecture and preservation practice based in a former movie theater in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He graduated from M.I.T. in 1971 with a Master of Architecture. After doing research, planning and urban design work in Boston, Washington and New York, he became a partner in a firm based in New York's historic Soho district in the 1970s and 1980s. There he completed an award-winning solar house in South Carolina and numerous other projects. Mr. Tilly has worked since that time in his own firm on projects that reflect a broad range of interests from historic properties to urban design to sustainable planning and design to fine grain architectural design. He is a member of the International Association for Preservation Technology's Technical Committee on Sustainability. He lectures frequently in the US and Canada on architectural and planning issues, with a special emphasis on sustainability and preservation.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Westchester County Offers Free Energy Audits

BrightHome Energy Solutions Selected as Approved Contractor

Westchester launched a new program Tuesday Aug. 31, which offers free home energy assessments to homeowners who want to learn how they can make their homes more airtight and energy efficient, with the added benefit of saving money.

The Home Energy Assessment Program, sponsored by the Workforce Investment Board and the Business Council of Westchester, will be offering free home energy assessments for 2,000 county residents on a first-come first-serve basis.

As a partner and certified selected contractor, BrightHome Energy Solutions will participate in the free assessments and the homeowner can decide whether or not to go complete more comprehensive testing and repairs if needed.

“These assessments will not only be free, but they will save homeowners money in the long run,” said county executive Robert P. Astorino. “Once you get the facts and know how efficient your heating and cooling systems are, you can figure out what improvements are needed to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your energy bills.”

Starting today, homeowners can call 211 to set up an appointment with an authorized contractor such as BrightHome. A representative will screen the caller to determine whether they call for a free assessment and answer any questions. An authorized contractor will then call the homeowner directly within 24 hours to schedule an appointment.

The homeowner will get the results of the complimentary assessment immediately after the contractor’s visit. At that point, they would decide whether they should follow-up (at their expense) by hiring that contractor, or another, for a more comprehensive assessment, which usually involved several diagnostic tools and specialized computer software. If additional repairs are needed, the homeowner would need to arrange for those independently.

Call takers at the 211 call center can also help homeowners learn about federal grants or state incentive programs that could help with any needed repairs.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

High Summer Bills Shock NY Residents

Westchester Homeowner Finds Efficient Solution to Costly Bill

“I felt like I got punched in the stomach,” recalled one New York resident when he received the first bill of the summer. “The record heat resulted in a record bill. I already knew I had a problem due to my winter bills and I decided it was time to solve it once and for all.”

He called BrightHome for a whole house energy audit to see why his two-story, 1940 home performed poorly in the heat of summer and cold of winter. During the first phone call, he learned that he qualified for $4,500 in federal tax credits and state cash incentives.

That week, BrightHome energy savings consultant Tom Brown arrived at his home and performed a 75-point interior and exterior energy audit which took over four hours to complete. As a Building Performance Institute certified specialist, he began using BrightHome’s state-of-the-art energy efficiency diagnostic equipment.

Mr. Brown walked around the home with the resident, room-by-room, using a thermal imaging camera while running the blower door in order to discover the cause of the problems.

“To see the hot and cold spots on the thermal camera is amazing. It makes total sense where the problems are,” said the resident. “These are the same areas that my family avoids when temperatures are extreme.”

Mr. Brown then examined the home’s walls, basement, crawl spaces, attics, windows and ducts -- everywhere air leakage could occur. With the blower door test, he calculated exactly how much energy is being wasted by excessive airflow.

“It’s common for older homes to have excessive air leakage, this home had what is the equivalent of a two-by-three-foot open window year-round,” said Mr. Brown. “It overworks heating and cooling systems which increases utility bills and makes the house uncomfortable.”

“During the summer, our daughter’s bedroom is the hottest room in the house,” said the resident. “BrightHome’s energy audit revealed there was no insulation in the walls and the poor duct work was causing 30 percent of her room’s cool air to leak outside.”

In addition to checking for efficiency, Mr. Brown performed health and safety tests on all combustion equipment for gas leakage and carbon monoxide levels in the home.

“After Tom performed the energy audit, we received a detailed and comprehensive report on our home’s energy usage. He walked us through a room-by-room evaluation of our home’s energy usage and potential solutions. At first we were overwhelmed but he helped us identify our priorities and worked within our budget to reduce our energy costs and make us more comfortable,” said the resident.

BrightHome guarantees quality and energy savings because most work is completed by its team members. All BrightHome team members are required to pass a background check and drug test.

Insulation and air sealing were among the various solutions selected by the resident. Those measures that may cut his energy bill up to thirty percent annually.

“When the work was completed, we felt the difference. The cooling system isn’t on as much and the rooms stay comfortable. For the first time, I’m looking forward to our next energy bill!”

For more information on how to reduce your home’s energy usage, call BrightHome at 914-909-5300 or visit us at

BrightHome is an approved NYSERDA contractor, BPI accredited and a founding member of Efficiency first.

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