Recommended Reading List For Solar And Renewable Energy Technologies

Learn more about solar energy and how it works to provide a clean source of energy.

Summer Shading and Exterior Insulation for North Carolina Windows

The same windows that provide a view, natural lighting, and ventilation may be adding to your home's winter heating and summer cooling costs. A well-insulated window will never be as efficient as a well-insulated wall, but you can upgrade the energy performance of that window in various ways.

Selecting a Site for Your Passive Solar Home

Good solar homes only reach their potential when the house plan and building lot are properly integrated to create a successful solar house. This fact sheet answers questions about building a passive solar home.

Passive Cooling for Your North Carolina Home

A properly designed home, whether it is solar or not, should require a minimum amount of energy for cooling in the summer as well as for heating in the winter. This fact sheet discusses method for passive and low-energy cooling.

Passive Solar Options

A passive solar home must be carefully planned and designed to balance the collection area with the storage mass. Otherwise, the house may overheat, underheat, or have undesirable temperature swings. Without proper planning, your passive solar home could end up using more energy than it collects.

Passive Solar Retrofit

Passive solar retrofit is the adding of solar features to an existing house which can lower heating costs. Before you begin a passive solar retrofit, you should make sure that your house is energy-efficient, that it has a good southern exposure, and that the retrofit will be appropriate, in cost and function, for your home.

Federal Solar Tax Credits: Residential FAQs

A 30% federal income tax credit is available to homeowners who install qualified residential solar energy systems before 12/31/2016.

Build Tight and Ventilate Right

Areas of air leakage can account for 30% of a home's heating and cooling costs, and contribute to problems with moisture, noise, and dust. Creating a continuous air barrier around the home reduces air leakage, significantly cuts annual heating and cooling costs, and creates a healthier environment.

Heating and Air Conditioning

On average, half of a home's energy cost is for heating and cooling. The most effective way to reduce the energy bill is to install an efficient heating and cooling system.


Insulation is meant to keep heat where it's wanted for maximum energy efficiency, and common types include cellulose, fiberglass, and foam. Any insulation type that has breathability is acceptable in an energy efficient, high performance home.

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