When I think of an energy-efficient home, I have to admit that the very first thing I imagine is a roof decked out in solar panels. But that preconception only scratches the surface of the many ways one can “green” up their home or business. Sustainable Solutions and May Supply Company, the gold sponsors of this year’s Green Innovations Tour, each have many options to help make your water and energy bills go way down, and it’s easier to do than you might think.
Sustainable Solutions has helped with renovations and improvements for many of Harrisonburg’s most popular downtown businesses, including Jack Brown’s, Billy Jack’s, Clementine, and Capital Ale House, helping to add a high level of craftsmanship, comfort, a little flair and a lot of savings to their owner’s visions. At Jack Brown’s and Billy Jack’s, one can see evidence of Sustainable Solution’s effort to give new life to old objects through the use of re-purposed materials in the old doors, bar tops, wall panels, and more—what they call “adapted reuse.” It’s upcycling at its finest.
But reusing salvaged objects is just one way of being more eco-conscious at home. Often times, the simplest way to drastically reduce your energy needs is by installing some well-placed, quality insulation. Sustainable Solutions can calculate how fast your building is losing heat/coolness and from where, allowing for an exacting fix that will certainly save you or your business a bundle in unnecessary energy output.
May Supply Company also has a lot to offer to increase the efficiency of your home or business, especially in regards to water systems. As water demand grows across the nation, so too will the price. May Supply Company can help you cut down on your water usage with low-flow shower heads; dual flush, high efficiency toilets; landscape irrigation systems; and rainwater harvesting systems, just to name a few. Products like these ensure that you only use enough water necessary for the job in the most effective way for your money.
And where do those solar panels come in, you may ask? Solar panels haven’t raised so much hype for nothing; they are exceptionally efficient for heating water cheaply. Sustainable Solutions and May Supply Company both offer solar water heating systems, which can reduce your water heating bills by 50-80% and pay for themselves after a few years—sometimes sooner if one takes advantage of tax incentives.
So if you are looking to maximize efficiency in any dwelling, be sure to check out Sustainable Solutions and May Supply Company. They have done an exceptional job in Harrisonburg, and can surely do so for you.
The Green Innovations Tour takes place this Saturday, March 24, from 1 to 5 pm and is a great (and free!) way to explore the many green features of our community. Learn more.
Patty O’Neill is a 2011 graduate of James Madison University, an employee at the Friendly City Food Co-op, and a Harrisonburg resident.