Do-it-yourself energy saving tips

March 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Five energy saving tips you can do yourself! Make your home more energy-efficient and reduce your utility bills by 30 to 50 percent. Co-founder and owner of Sustainable Spaces, Matt Golden, shares these tips.

Five Energy Saving Tips For Do-It-Yourselfers:

1. Unplug energy vampires: 75% of a TV's energy use comes from when it is off.

2. Insulate yourself against rising energy costs: Well-installed green insulation is the biggest bang-for-your-buck improvement you can make.

3. Get your ducts in order: In California, duct leakage accounts for a loss of 30% of heating and cooling energy.

4. Reduce, then produce: Before installing an expensive solar array, make your home a lean, efficient machine - then pay a lot less for your sun collectors.

5. Your house works like a holistic system, just like your body. Stop treating one ailment at a time and start thinking about how it all works together.

About Sustainable Spaces:
They apply building science to evaluate and retrofit your home's performance. Their team of expert building scientists uses advanced techniques to understand your home as a dynamic system and develop a plan that will address your priorities and solve your home's unique symptoms.

Their program is so effective we have been recognized as the case study for home performance retrofitting in the REGREEN Green Remodeling Best Practice Guidelines released by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Sustainable Spaces is a licensed California contractor specializing in home performance testing and retrofitting. Let us help you see your home through science and take the worry out of retrofitting your home.

For more information, visit

About Matt Golden:
He is the co-founder and president of Sustainable Spaces. Prior to founding the company in 2004, Matt worked as an Energy Consultant, helping homeowners and businesses develop solar power systems. He soon realized that he was offering only a point solution and was not truly addressing most homeowners' desires to make their homes and lives more sustainable. Matt developed the concept for Sustainable Spaces to meet this market demand by providing a single, full-service resource and a brand homeowners can trust to help them improve the comfort, health, and efficiency of their home.

Matt speaks extensively on building science and integrated green design to groups such as the AIA (American Institute of Architects), West Coast Green, Build it Green and others. Matt has authored a number of articles for Home Energy Magazine and has been featured in the SF Chronicle, USA Today, KQED Radio, and the Ellen Degeneres Show. He currently resides on the following boards: Department of Energy (DOE) Home Performance Council, California Building Performance Contractors Association (CBPCA), Build It Green, and Fine Home Building Magazine Green Building Advisory Board.

Matt holds a bachelors degree in foreign relations from Georgetown University.

4th Annual San Francisco Flower & Garden Show
March 18-22, 2009
San Mateo Event Center

Fun activities, inspiring beauty, innovative ideas and products, industry experts and helpful tips for do-it-yourselfers await everyone at one of the world's largest and most celebrated spring garden festivals: The 24th annual San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, March 18-22 at a new location-the San Mateo County Event Center.

From influences of Japan and India to France and California's Redwoods, the 25 display gardens presented by the West's top garden designers and creators will come in all sizes and all purposes, and most will share green gardening practices, such as permaculture, green roofs and walls, drought-tolerant plants, a living machine, containers and more. Additionally, there will be low-maintenance gardens, an edible garden and sustainable gardens featuring California natives and recycled materials. The display gardens will be judged by Steve Lorton, Katherine Whiteside and Rosemary Alexander.

Kids and the young-at-heart alike will especially enjoy the colorful display gardens and learning more about carnivorous plants and insects. The "Sproutopia" area will have hands-on activities and workshops that are free with admission for families. Musical entertainment and special presentations are planned as well. Discounted ticket prices for youth and students make it affordable to bring the whole family. Children 5 and under are free.

More than 70 free seminars and workshops sponsored by Sunset offer more talent, more topics and more tips than any other horticulture happening in California. Also, 300 specialty shops will have demos and displays of the newest and hottest top-quality garden-related items available on the market today.

When/Where: Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, March 22 at the San Mateo County Event Center, 2495 South Delaware St., San Mateo, 94403. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. On Sunday, the show is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tickets: A one-day adult ticket purchased at the door is $20. Those who purchase a one-day advance adult ticket online (printable at home), by phone or at Bay Area nurseries through March 17 pay only $16. Students, 18-25, with valid student ID, $9 at the door. Youth (6-17) $4. Children 5 and under are free. A 2-day ticket is $29. Half-day tickets from 3 p.m. to closing Wed. through Sat. (Sun. at 2 p.m.) are $13 at the door. The All Show Pass allows unlimited access to the show, $65. Group tickets (20 or more tickets by arrangement), $15.

For more information:
(800) 569-2832
(415) 771-6909