RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Off-Grid, Solar-Powered Living Gaining Steam

February 3, 2016 1:33 am

There’s no doubt solar energy is having a moment. Recently conducted research shows solar panel adoption by homeowners has grown 2 percent in the last two years, and more than three times that percentage plan to purchase solar panels in the next year.

The move to solar isn’t solely motivated by a desire to conserve energy, says Tom Kerber, director of research for Parks Associates, which compiled the research report.

"Consumers are interested in taking an active role in the energy grid—40 percent of U.S. broadband households are very interested in the ability to store unused power and sell it back to the grid," says Kerber.

Harnessing solar energy, however, is just one piece of the puzzle.

"The future of solar is not to simply exist as a stand-alone energy generation island in the home, but rather to work as part of a broader integrated smart energy home,” says Dwain Kinghorn, chief strategy and innovation officer of Vivint Solar. “Solutions that enable homeowners to optimize their savings as well as let them better control how they consume power will quickly become a mainstream element of the residential solar experience.”

"The case for going solar is even stronger now that intelligent consumption monitoring and storage can be integrated with solar,” adds Ilen Zazueta-Hall, director of Product Management for Energy Management with Enphase. “Homeowners can have more control over their energy, and utilities will benefit from a system that can seamlessly adapt to the changing dynamics of the future grid.”

Source: Parks Associates

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

6 Landscape Design Trends to Bloom in 2016

February 3, 2016 1:33 am

Landscape design has reversed course over the seasons, as the indoors further move outward and the outdoors become an extension of household living. The trend, ever evolving, shows no signs of slowing down this year, either.

“The latest trends reflect the desire to bring the indoors out—to create comfortable landscapes that are both functional and beautiful,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), which recently released its annual forecast. “At the same time, we’re seeing a shift toward sustainable landscapes that reflect a renewed sense of mindfulness for the Earth and its ecosystems.”

The NALP forecast predicts the following trends will take root in landscapes in 2016.

1. Edible Landscapes – Fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables will add texture and color variety to landscapes in 2016, while also providing an endless supply of delicious ingredients.

2. Freshwater Features – Rain barrels, rain gardens and stone retaining walls will add dimension to lush landscapes this year, serving an important purpose of collecting, cleaning or stopping water. Other non-plant features, including sculptures or pottery, will also become focal points.

3. Fully-Customized Outdoor Living Spaces – Beyond the deck or patio, hardscapes will transform into full-service kitchens (think brick ovens and grills), living and dining rooms featuring fireplaces and fire pits, and canopy bedrooms. Themed spaces, such as yoga gardens or bocce fields, will help personalize these outdoor retreats.

4. Lighted, Tech-ed Out Landscapes – Naturally derivative of outdoor living, landscapes this year will see dramatic, boldly-colored lighting, twinkling accent lighting, backyard Wi-Fi and television installations.

5. Native Gardens – Landscapes this year will adopt the concept of “naturescaping”— selecting and growing native plants to attract birds, insects and wildlife. Naturescaping encourages the use of low-maintenance perennial native plants and innately manages water runoff.

6. Soothing Hues – Expect soft, nature-inspired pink and blue hues to bloom in gardens this year with heritage rose bushes, Catherine Woodbury daylilies, Angelique tulips, blue lace delphinium, French hydrangea and others.

Source: NALP

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags: