Looking to add some green to your home? Head over to the Suburban Maryland Spring Home Show from American Consumer Shows and check out these vendors:
Leo Sunergy and Green Street Solar are regional suppliers of solar electric systems. In the Germantown area, a system like this might qualify for federal, state and/or Montgomery County tax rebates. Check with your certified tax professional prior to installation.
Leo Sunergy is a small solar company based in Derwood, Maryland. Amanda Johnson, office manager, said that her company has been in business for two years and is committed to small residential projects.
Why go solar? "It reduces your electricity bill, it reduces your carbon footprint, and it has a pretty good return on investment," said Johnson.
George Pfaller, general manager for Green Street Solar - which serves Delaware and Maryland - agrees.
"Solar is a wonderful thing. It saves you a lot of money over the years. If you're planning on being in your home for the next five years or more, you're going to see your bills drop down immediately and you're going to be receiving income from the life of the system, which is at least 25 years and beyond." Pfaller described a recent installation which resulted in a drop over over $200 per month on the homeowner's utility bills.
ECO-NIZE® Closet Systems, a regionally-based company, provides customized eco-friendly closet systems and storage solutions for your home.
Trent Hillaert, senior designer, said that the company uses "green-certified board" in their designs. Their base product is produced with low levels of urea-formaldehyde resins, so your new closets are less likely to release formaldehyde gas, recently declared a carcinogen by the EPA. Some of their products meet LEED platinum green building standards, the highest rating in the industry.
Country Pride Food Service offers in-home delivery of all-natural meats, organic vegetables, and other bulk grocery items. Prior to your first order, food counselors meet with you to determine your dietary needs, including what size of commercial grade freezer that you will require.
Country Pride's meat is "literally about as fresh as you can get," according to Reid Cavalier, sales executive. "Within days of an animal being put down, it's going to be vacuum-sealed and flash-frozen, locking in all of the flavor and nutritional value." Cavalier said that their main competition is from traditional grocery stores. "We offer a superior product at prices that are very competitive with what they're charging at the stores."
Viridian is a third-party supplier of electricity. Customers can choose between plans with 20% or 100% renewable energy sources.
Chris Schipper, an independent associate with Viridian, explained that since Maryland has degulated its electricity market, consumers are allowed to choose the source of their energy supply.
"The Pepco bill is split into three different pieces: supply, distribution and maintenance," said Schipper. You may not have a choice about distribution and maintenance, but you can choose your supplier.
"We're a green energy company," Schipper said, explaining that Viridian obtains its green energy from renewable resources, including wind power. At this time, Schipper said, choosing Viridian's 20% renewable energy plan will actually lower your electricity bill.
The Suburban Maryland Spring Home Show runs today until 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Discovery Sports Center at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown. Admission is free.
This article was modified on March 16, 2011 to clarify that Viridian does not obtain its green energy solely from wind power.