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The SDHBA is a non-profit association of professional builders, remodelers, and associate members with a focus on promoting home ownership and quality, affordable housing. Get useful news and information for consumers, learn more about members, local associations, and get resources for builders, and check out the bookstore for some useful reference books and texts.
ProComm Builders offers custom, energy efficient house design and building – they can help you design and build the house you want, from the inside out, from the beginning to the end. Highly skilled craftsmen build houses completely shielded from the elements inside a massive enclosure, ensuring that every house is built and delivered on time and uncompromised by weather at any stage in construction.
Scull Construction is one of North and South Dakota’s leading licensed general contractors, operating on the principles of Quality work, Sustainability, good Communication, and Community Involvement. They provide pre-construction, construction management, design/build, general contractor, green building, and specialty trade contracting services. They work on a wide variety of projects, such as in healthcare, hospitality, education, civic and governmental, industrial, as well as in service and retail.
Established in 1990, the Jones Construction Co. is an award-winning custom home designer, builder, remodeler, and renovator operated by Black Hills Home Builder Association Hall-of-Famer Ross Jones and his wife Melanie. Find out more about the details of the services they offer, go through a gallery of their past work, see what’s up for sale, and get in touch to know more about the company.
With a focus on attention to detail and high-quality craftsmanship, Jarrod Smart Construction offers upscale residential and commercial new construction design/builds, remodeling design/builds, and design and drafting services, among other things. Learn more about Jarrod Smart’s philosophy, see available properties, and look through a gallery of past, completed work.
The MinnPost’s Ron Meador writes about the potentially historic significance of the situation’s outcome in American environmental politics and policies.
ABC News’ Catherine Thorbecke reports on the Federal Government’s intervention in the Dakota Access oil pipeline case and what it means for the Standing Rock Tribe Sioux Tribe.
Facing South’s Sue Sturgis reports on the man behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline – Energy Transfer Equity’s Kelcy Warren.
Everywhere you look today, you'll see an ever-increasing trend that puts energy-efficiency on just about the same level of importance as how well-built and how good-looking a house can (and should) be. And quite frankly, there is a lot that you can do to make your home – existing or looking to be designed and built – just so. A quick search on Google for how to make your home more energy efficient will give you a ton of useful tips and resources on the things you can do, the stuff you should buy, and the habits you should develop in order to bring down your energy expenses, save money, and get all the benefits that come with having a more energy efficient home.
Here's the thing: most of the tips and guides you'll find talk mostly about the bigger things that you can do, like insulating your home and buying more energy-efficient appliances, but those'll take you days – weeks, even – to implement and benefit from. But what about the things that you can start doing right now that can help you get started on becoming energy efficient, with the benefits and all?
Well, let's take a look at four quick and simple ways you can get started on doing just that!
Sometimes the best way to start is with some simple habit changes and a bit of mindfulness.
Stop pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. This isn't always necessary; instead, just scrape off as much food debris off the plate as you can and just put the plates straight into the dishwasher.
Flush the toilet only after every other use. Now before you scoff (or cringe) and dismiss this outright, think about it – you can save almost up to 50% on the water you use most times just by doing this. Of course, if you go number two it goes without saying that you should probably send that down right away. But other than that, what's truly wrong with just doing your business, putting the cover down, and flushing the next time around, particularly when you can save money and cut costs by up to half what you're currently paying?
Clean and well-maintained machines will operate more efficiently than those that aren't – this is a fact. And if your home has air-conditioning or heating units – centralized or otherwise – you'll want to regularly check on these to see if they're performing as well as they were intended to.
Clean your air ducts regularly. This can reduce the strain on your centralized air-conditioning unit or furnace by improving the flow of air through your home.
Clean air filters regularly and replace these when appropriate. Dirty air filters can cause your ACU or heating unit to work harder but provide less of what it's supposed to give you. Give 'em a quick clean every now and then, and replace any that need replacing to make sure you can keep the things that keep your home comfortable as efficient as they can be.
Sounds simple enough, right? But the are you really doing this as much as you can?
Unplug appliances when not in use. Unless you really need them to be operable at any given moment, it’s better to unplug appliances when they’re not in use, as these can still consume small amounts of electricity even when turned off. This can save you a not-insignificant amount of money, particularly when you’re away from home for extended periods of time, such as when you go on vacation.
Use power strips for efficiency and protection. In relation to the previous tip, you can plug your appliances in particular areas of your home into power strips. This makes it easy to switch them on or off, and instead of having to unplug every single one of them when you need to head out, you can unplug the one power strip for that part of your home and be on your way. As an added bonus, most good power strips nowadays also come with surge protection – which is a nice plus.
This one is a fairly common suggestion, one that you can get done within a day after a quick trip to a nearby hardware store, for good reason: according to State Farm, “CFLs can last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use 75% less energy. LED bulbs are mercury-free and may last three to five times as long as CFLs”.
There you have it: you don’t have to wait a long time to get on the energy-efficient train and start saving money – you can get it done right now, today! And if you’re looking for some more comprehensive suggestions and guides, you should go ahead and check out Energy Star.
TIP: Looking to do some home improvement to make your house more energy efficient? Live in the UK? Be an informed consumer and make smart decisions with free tips, guides and advice from Honest John, the Consumer Champion!
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