Nexus EnergyHomes introduce efficiency scoreboard
Stevensville, Md.-based home builder NEXUS EnergyHomes teamed with the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) to provide new home buyers a measurement of long-term energy performance of each new home the company builds.
The intent of the agreement is to raise consumers’ knowledge of new home energy performance by using RESNET’s HERS Index.
NEXUS EnergyHomes applies renewable resources and energy production elements to create a new standard for energy-efficient home building and green home management. NEXUS EnergyHomes are carbon-neutral, attractive, and affordable and have multiple locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic. The current average HERS Index Score for their homes is 25. This means that they are 75% more energy efficient than the standard new home.
“It is expected that NEXUS EnergyHomes’ agreement with RESNET will serve as a model to other local and regional builders that would have positive outcomes for consumers and the new home industry,” said Mike Murphy, executive VP and construction division president of NEXUS EnergyHomes.
The RESNET HERS Index is a standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The HERS or Home Energy Rating System was developed by RESNET and is the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance.
Market for recycled plastics will keep growing
A growing emphasis on sustainability in packaging will help drive up demand for post-consumer recycled plastics, according to a study published by the Freedonia Group. The Cleveland-based industry market research firm estimates that U.S. demand will rise 6.5% annually. Other factors pushing gains are advancements in processing and sorting technologies; higher quality resins; and an improved collection infrastructure, which raises the plastic recycling rate. Continued support by federal, state, and local governments for recycling efforts will also provide a significant boost to recycled plastic collection, processing, and demand.
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Packaging will continue to be the leading market for recycled plastic. Bottles will remain the leading source of plastic for recycling, accounting for over half of all plastic collected over the next five years, according to the report.
The recycled plastic industry will face some challenges, however. The overall rate of plastic recycling in the U.S. will remain relatively low — less than 7% of total plastic through 2016. Recycling is minimal in several major markets such as construction and automobiles. Export sales (mostly to China) siphon off a substantial portion of plastic scrap. High levels of contamination in some plastics also reduce the usable amount. As a result, only about half of the plastic collected for recycling makes its way to manufactured products in the U.S. market.
Big boxes juggle their appliance assortments
The Home Depot and Lowe’s are adjusting their lineups in their appliance assortments. At Home Depot, Samsung joins the fray, while Lowe’s introduced LG.
At Home Depot, Samsung Electronics America products will be available to be ordered in store locations nationwide and on Homedepot.com beginning Dec. 9. "Adding Samsung’s line of home appliances to the roster really bolsters our offering to meet the growing needs of our consumers," said Bob Baird, merchandising VP.
Lowe’s has announced the addition of LG Electronics brand refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers and ranges starting in the first quarter of 2013. The appliances will be carried in Lowe’s stores nationwide, and also available on Lowes.com.
"Through this strategic alliance with LG, our stores will now have a broader assortment of innovation and leading designs in appliances to help customers improve and maintain their homes," said Craig Webber, Lowe’s merchandising VP. As with its other major appliances, Lowe’s will offer next-day delivery and in-house repairs and maintenance, he added.
Lowe’s and Home Depot, the two top home improvement retailers, are struggling to gain market share in the appliance category. Last July, Home Depot announced the expansion of its major appliance brands by adding Whirlpool, Electrolux and Frigidaire in a limited number of stores and on Homedepot.com.