Renewable energy and green initiatives increase in popularity in Orange County

Orange County residents already live in one of the premier states for sustainable technology integration, and now additional initiatives may bring more options their way. Potential homebuyers examining the houses for sale in Orange County may wish to consider investing in one that has been updated with green fixtures and live in a city where municipal forces have dedicated themselves to the advancement of sustainable practices.

According to the Orange County Business Journal, the Orange County Great Park Corporation Board was awarded $1 million in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. The money is budgeted to create an energy exposition in 2013 at the former El Toro Marine base in Irvine.

The exposition and the Solar Decathlon are just two ways industry experts can showcase technologies, products and education and business opportunities to promote the installment of energy-efficient practices. By hosting such events, Orange County is showing its support for the advancement of sustainability.

An estimated 11.9 percent of all electricity in California came from renewable resources in 2009. Another 9.2 percent was generated by large hydro plants, according to the California Energy Commission.

Orange County homeowners or local business owners seeking to invest in green technologies and initiatives may wish to consider checking out the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Orange County Chapter website. It was designed as an information resource for personal and professional use. The website is a forum for over 500 active members and over 2,800 local people who are committed to sustainable development.

For example, the USGBC Orange County Chapter partnered with the Davis Magnet school in Costa Mesa to “greenovate” one of their classrooms. The room was equipped with an energy-efficient HVAC system, daylighting, overall lighting and acoustic improvements, and then compared to the average classroom to demonstrate how a few changes can make a drastic impact in the efficiency of a building. Metrics also tracked the CO2 levels, the temperature inside and out of the room, humidity and light levels and when the doors are open and closed. In addition, lighting, heating, cooling and outlet use are also recorded by a remote computer off-site.

These are just a few of the sustainable practices being adopted in Orange County. Potential homebuyers looking at houses for sale in Orange County can find local green initiatives if they desire them.