Companies Shedding Light on the 'Green' Building Industry
Posted at: 10/24/2012 9:44 PM
| Updated at: 10/24/2012 10:48 PM
By: Travis Dill
In a show of strength, Silicon Energy let conference attendees walk all over the company's solar panels as a stress test.
The panels are a new product that the Mountain Iron based company was showing off at the Building Green event in Canal Park on Wednesday. Silicon Energy was just one of several Northland businesses at the event.
Project Manager David Streier said the panels are a tool to cut business or household energy costs.
“It can range anywhere from half of their energy bill up to net zeroing it out where you're saving as much as you're using on a monthly basis,” Streier said.
He says the panels can charge a home for over 5 decades.
The conference showed industry professionals the very latest in their trade, but Sheri Brezinka with the U.S. Green Building Council said anyone can be sustainable.
“Most of the strategies that apply to a commercial building to reduce their energy usage or their water usage can also apply in a home,” Brezinka said.
Tim Gallagher with Minnesota Power said more efficient lights like LEDs are one of those options.
“Mainly because it is going to be the product of the future and it has some great advantages over some of the other products that are out there,” Gallagher said.
He said the LEDs are so different from incandescent bulbs that they are being rated in terms of lumens instead of watts.
“And we're trying to do it in a way that's not difficult...so customers can follow, but it is a different product. I mean it's the difference between a computer and an incandescent bulb. I mean that's really quite a jump there,” Gallagher said.
He said the cost for LED lights is still high at up to $50 a bulb, but they last about 10 to 15 years.