Katalin Szubota Specializes in High Performance, Healthier Home Sales

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Energy Upgrade California Challenges Californians

EnergyUpgradeCAEnergy Upgrade California™ Challenges Californians to Use Resources Wisely

May 20, 2014
Displayed with permission from PR Newswire


SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — With the state facing a near-record drought and a summer expected to be hotter than normal, elected leaders joined with the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, and regional leaders throughout California today to kick off a new statewide education campaign, Energy Upgrade California. At events in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco, officials introduced Energy Upgrade California as the state’s new energy management education campaign, which will help Californians manage their energy usage, save money, and help California “stay golden” by meeting the state’s groundbreaking climate goals.

“Across the state, we are asking all Californians to learn more about how they manage their energy and water usage, which are important resources upon which our lives depend,” said Michael R. Peevey, President of the California Public Utilities Commission. “Reduced water supply and warm weather challenge the aging infrastructure that undergirds our economy and quality of life, while advances in real-time energy data access and smart grid, solar, battery, and electric vehicle technologies bring new opportunities. Increasingly, Californians must make choices to use energy and water wisely and invest in keeping our great state golden. We want to help them understand these choices for their own benefit for all our communities.”

” California already has one of the more energy efficient economies in the world, and we have proven time and again that when asked and given the tools, we can conserve and protect our important natural resources, but we are at a critical time with just five and half years to meet our state’s energy and carbon pollution reduction goals,” said Robert B. Weisenmiller, Chair of the California Energy Commission. “This summer it is especially important for us each to play our part with major power plants like the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station no longer operating, expected hot weather, and reduced snowpack.”

“Recently, we were called upon by the Governor to reduce, conserve, and work together to effectively manage our precious water and electricity resources,” said Commissioner Catherine J. K. Sandoval of the California Public Utilities Commission. “We all can play a part with actions big and small, such as upgrading to LED bulbs, installing low-flow showerheads, getting solar electricity or water heating, or buying the most efficient Energy Star appliances. What may seem like little things can add up to make a difference – when all Californians take action.”

The Energy Upgrade California campaign will engage Californians to better manage energy and water, which will not only help the state meet its energy and carbon pollution reduction goals, but also save Californians money and make their homes more comfortable. The effort will include a multi-cultural advertising campaign, a comprehensive website, retail education, community-based outreach and education, digital activation, and social media. Energy Upgrade California will make it easier for households and small business owners to learn about the state’s energy and climate-related policies, find ways to manage their energy use, explore renewable energy and time of use rate options, find energy efficient products and services, as well as how to respond to statewide calls to reduce power usage.

Californians can visit to learn about how they can take steps to use and manage energy at home and at work. These include easy actions such as using advanced smart strips to stop standby power, replacing inefficient light bulbs with energy saving bulbs, and installing smart thermostats and home energy monitors. Californians can also follow Energy Upgrade California on Facebook and Twitter to continually learn about energy management, upcoming events, contests, and more.

Energy Upgrade California™ is a state initiative to help Californians take action to save energy and conserve natural resources, help reduce demand on the electricity grid, and make informed energy management choices at home and at work. It is supported by an alliance of the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, utilities, regional energy networks, local governments, businesses, and nonprofits to help communities meet state and local energy and climate action goals. Funding comes from investor-owned utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

SOURCE Energy Upgrade California
PR Newswire

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A new study conducted by GuildQuality that was commissioned by the National Association of Home Builders (HAHB) say YES.

Home Innovation Research Labs reached out to GuildQuality with a request to conduct a national survey of buyers who have purchased or built a certified green home under National Green Building Standard.

The survey pool included 5,000 records pulled from the past three years; 1,350 of which were appended with telephone numbers and attempted up to 9 times. The data collected was used to determine overall customer satisfaction with their green home and what features and benefits they value most.

After the surveys were conducted, GuildQuality was tasked with writing up a report outlining the results of the survey as well as key findings that were uncovered.   See entire report here.

So what did they find out?  Here are some highlights:

Respondents were read the statements below and were then asked to respond with agree, disagree, or I don’t know for sure.

  • My home is quieter than a non-green home….69%
  • My home maintains more consistent temperatures and is less drafty that a non-green home…..92%
  • My home has lower utility bills than a non-green home….86%
  • My home gets plenty of natural light during the daytime…..92%
  • I believe green homes are, overall, of higher quality…..71%
  • It gives me satisfaction to know I’ve done the right thing in buying a green home…..90%
  • Based on my level of satisfaction on the green aspects of my home, I would be likely to recommend a green home to a friend…..94%

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Unique High Performance Home For Sale in Van Nuys, CA

6549 Peach Avenue, Van Nuys CA 91406


Living Homes, a green modular, pre fabricated home builder built a real gem in the heart of historical Midvale Estates which is a pocket of Van Nuys, in the San Fernando Valley. Designed by Living Homes – (in collaboration with Make It Right, a nonprofit founded by Brad Pitt and architect William McDonough) – the home draws inspiration from the mid-century modern design of Joseph Eichler.  Midvale Estates is know for it’s charming 1940’s homes on large lots, quiet tree lined streets.  Once an area for celebrities to escape from the Holllywood scene.  The neighborhood is now know for having the movie industry film in their neighborhood.  The current owner of this home arranged to have their original 1949 cement block home blown-up for the opening scene of the 2007 Bruce Willis movie “Live Free or Die Hard”)  The neighbors welcome the movie industry and actually have an HOA, at no cost to the homeowners, rather collects money from film crews and uses it for neighborhood parties and community service!  Each production is required to pay a certain amount into the HOA (currently in the $300/production range).

Highlights of this sustainably built Living Homes  are:

  • Platinum LEED Certified-solar 3-bed/2-bath main house
  • Gym, guest quarters, studio, solar heated salt-system swimming pool, outdoor shower, vegetable garden, modern storage pod, oversized garage, gourmet outdoor kitchen/dining area, state of the art solar power system and a stunning 2-story recreation room/office (designed by architect Mark Billy–protégé of L.A.’s uber architect Brenda Levin)
  • Indoor/outdoor living. Multiple sliding glass doors make it easy to bring the indoor out and out, in.
  • Smart heating/AC
  • Open floor plan
  • Lots of natural lighting
  • Minimum indoor air pollution..low VOC
  • Less Material Resources than typical homes (minimum ecological footprint).
  • Energy Efficient
  • Water Efficient
  • Ample storage

This amazing home can be yours because it’s For Sale.  Click the following link to view the Listing:

Front LivingRoom Kitchen    Bedroom1 BathDoubleSink     PoolDeckBBQBackYard    GuestQuarter2GuestQuarters    Gym

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The First to the Future Home

FTF_HomeTalk about Sexy Green Homes!  You don’t have to sacrifice style and comfort to live in a sustainably built home and Ty Pennington will show you why and how.  Incorporating smart technology and high quality sustainable building practices, your home can be any size yet, stylish, healthier and efficient.

Designed by The Martin Architectural Group which has established the Martin Green Studio, headed by Mike Rosen AIA, LEED AP ND and a dedicated team of LEED accredited and NAHB Certified Green professionals committed to exploring sustainable, yet affordable solutions to the built environment.  His design philosophy is the belief that every project presents the opportunity to rethink the relationship between humans and nature and thus, introduce sustainable design practices.

“First of the Future Home” project located  in Palm Cost Florida, will showcase what it takes to make a home energy efficient, weather and storm resistant, healthy, smart and much more.

1779 Front Elevation.pdf

Here are some of the sustainable products from these companies that this home will have incorporated.

Advanced Conservation Technology, Inc. DBA ACT Inc. D’MAND® Systems started in 1993 in Southern California. ACT is an American company, with our products made in America, developed with American technology. ACT Inc. D’MAND® Systems have been funded and tested by the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in existing homes. Test results have proven to save both water and energy at a cost of less than one dollar a year.

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Sorry, this sweepstake is over but please download my mobile app anyway and search for homes like a pro using GPS technology and enter my agent code:  KW277ELW2, you’ll be glad you did.

How Green can you make a home with $50,000? photo FinalSweep_zps60a89737.png

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SUN-MAR, NUMI OR TOTO? That is the question!

We’re Talking Sexy High Efficiency Toilets (HET’s)

Not something from a Star Wars episode or sci-fi flick.


Todays technology affords us the luxury to combine comfort, style and be energy efficient and water wise even when choosing a toilet.  Toilets are also called: privy, latrine, water closet, or lavatory. Contrary to urban legend Sir Thomas Crapper did not invent the toilet.  Did you know King Minos of Crete had the first flushing water closet recorded in history and that was over 2800 years ago?  Chamber pots were used during the middle ages.  A chamber pot is a special metal or ceramic bowl that you used and then tossed the contents out (often out the window).  Ewwww!   More on the timeline of toilets, brushes and paper if you’re interest can be found here

I feel like a NUMI

Kohler’s most advanced toilet for those who can indulge in luxury.

Numi is very efficient and is Water Sense labeled.  You can buy it now at Home Depot at a starting point of ONLY $4,989.98. But look what it comes with.   WaterSense®-labeled toilets use at least 20% less water than standard 1.6-gallon toilets while still meeting strict flushing performance guidelines. NUMI is 1.28 gpf or 0.6 gpf.  Motion-Activated Cover and Seat – Advanced Bidet Functionality – Integrated Air Dryer – Deodorizer – Heated Seat – Foot Warmer – Illuminated Panels – Music – all with a slick remote control.  Check out the video and see for your self this sophisticated, automatic flush system and unprecedented water savings and power toilet.


TOTO too? 

SanaGloss  glaze minimizes debris, mold and bacteria from sticking to porous ceramic surfaces. F R E S H !

TOTO too, has a 1.28 gpf without sacrificing performance.  TOTO is the world’s largest plumbing products manufacturer from Japan.  They have a state of the art plant in Morrow, Georgia.  Their products are constructed and fine-tuned with computer precision and attention to detail.  Also is an EPA Water Sense Partner.

  • Dual-flush flushing system, low consumption (1.6GPF/6.0LPF & 0.9GPF/3.0LPF)
  • SanaGloss® ceramic glaze – prevents debris, mold from sticking to ceramic surfaces, leading to fewer chemicals and less water in cleaning
  • Universal Height
  • CalGreen compliant

Wall-hung toilet can be paired with TOTO in-wall tank system as well as others.  Worth a look and affordable price ranges.


SUN-MAR – from nature, back to nature

Composting Toilet, the most environmental, efficient toilet.  You’ve come a long way baby!

Sun-Mar Composting Toilet system for every situation.  Pools, cabanas, boats, cottages, camps, and yes, even homes!  They also have a Sun-Mar for every electrical situation – electric, non electric, or solar. One of the biggest concerns most people have is odor.  As well as ensuring an aerobic breakdown in the Bio-drum, Sun-Mar ensures an odor free environment by engineering the air flow within the unit to maintain a partial vacuum at all times. Air is being drawn in either by a fan (or on non-electric units by the vent chimney) over the evaporating chamber and up the vent stack. Not only does this evaporate excess liquid, but by continuously pulling air in we ensure no smell escapes from the unit.  No chemicals just peat moss bulking material.  Waste goes to fertilizing.  Definitely worth checking out Sun-Mar.  

Of course, using a composting toilet is a little different than using a conventional one, especially since you can’t just flush and forget. You won’t be flushing, though you can use toilet paper. Instead, after each use, you may sprinkle in some bulking agent or starter culture. Then you’re done! Depending on your system, you may need to aerate your humanure and of course you’ll need to empty it as part of the regular maintenance.  Just look as these examples of composting toilets, pretty stylish, don’t you think?

composting-toilet 2

Designers : Oscar González Muñoz and Cristián Corcuera Coutiño