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Home Energy Briefs Help Consumers Save Money

Snowmass, Colo., December 3, 2004 - Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) announces the release of its updated Home Energy Briefs, a series of nine publications that provide energy and money-saving tips for homeowners. The series includes Briefs on lighting, space cooling and heating, water heating, cleaning appliances, electronics, kitchen appliances, the building envelope, and whole system design.

The majority of the energy consumed in the home is used for heating, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts a nationwide increase in the price of heating oil, natural gas, propane, and electricity this winter. RMI's updated Home Energy Briefs offer immediate suggestions to help homeowners properly weatherize their homes and cash-in on other energy-saving measures for the upcoming cold season. "It is important for consumers to know about opportunities to save energy and that new resources are available to them," said Kitty Wang, a member of RMI's Energy & Resources Services team and co-author of the updated Briefs. "They can then make informed choices and enjoy energy and cost savings."

Originally written in 1994 as a series of eight brochures, the Briefs remain an extremely popular tool for consumers to learn where and how they can save energy and money in the home. The updated versions of the Briefs contain new statistics, expanded tables, and up-to-date tips on how to apply energy efficiency at the residential level. "Energy-efficient technologies have improved and are cheaper than they were ten years ago," said Wang. "The variety and quality of these new products make saving energy at home almost effortless."

The latest edition of the Briefs includes a brand new ninth Brief that discusses whole system design, a philosophy central to RMI's work. The Whole System Design Brief details how operating an energy-efficient, or "green," home does not have to cost more than operating a conventional one. Focusing on the building's design, it shows that integrating thermal mass, super-windows, building orientation, strategically-placed vegetation, and other components of passive solar design can reduce heating and cooling loads, thus creating more energy and financial savings than isolated retrofits or mechanical upgrades alone.

Although the Home Energy Briefs are targeted toward the average homeowner, developers, builders, architects, engineers, and other real estate professionals can also benefit from the information they provide. "RMI's Home Energy Briefs are great educational tools for learning how to save energy and money at the same time," said Joe Maheady, senior environment policy representative for the National Association of Realtors. "Realtors will use the Briefs to help consumers make informed choices when shopping for a home, and to give themselves a business advantage."

The updated Home Energy Briefs were made possible by generous support from Stonyfield Farm (, the National Association of Realtors (, the Durst Organization Inc. (, and Deborah Reich.

The Home Energy Briefs can be downloaded for free at

Rocky Mountain Institute is a twenty-two-year-old independent entrepreneurial nonprofit organization. Its mission is to foster the efficient and restorative use of resources to make the world secure, just, profitable, and life-sustaining. RMI's nearly fifty staff members show businesses, communities, individuals, and governments how to meet their goals in ways that create more wealth and protect the environment simultaneously-often through advanced resource efficiency. For more on our work, please visit our main website at, or go to our Media Materials section at

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