Dale & Pat Bulla on Energy Conservation

Pat & Dale Bulla are two of the world’s best environmentalists. They’ve been featured in dozens of publications for their award winning, home-based efforts in energy conservation, water conservation, electric transportation, nature-scaping, habitat restoration, and green gardening

When it comes to living out a faithful conviction to caring for the creation, Pat & Dale have wisdom to share. In part one of this series, we share Central Texas energy conservation tips implemented by the Bullas when building their most recent home. 

Dale and Pat Bulla


Energy Conservation

  • Chose a lot with many trees and good orientation; saved many trees and planted more native trees for diversity and for shading house and driveway. 
  • Picked an “environmentally friendly” architect, who was very conscientious about energy efficiency, to design our 2300 square foot home; ditto homebuilder. 
  • Utilized “passive solar” design and have no west windows and large roof overhang for sun protection in summer. 
  • Utilized “radiant barrier” and excellent insulation. 
  • Installed 7 ceiling fans, one in every major room. 
  • Utilized great deal of natural light from well placed energy efficient, casement windows with low E glass; window placement allows for breeze flow-through and “chimney” effect. 
  • Utilized great deal of fluorescent lighting (including “natural light” color and also the larger 4100 Kelvin fixtures reflecting onto ceiling). 
  • Used high efficiency gas heating, 96% efficient, and electric air conditioning unit, 16 SEER. 
  • Utilized programmable thermostat. 
  • Use all “Energy Star” appliances, including refrigerator, dishwasher, front-loading washing machine, and any new appliances we purchase. 
  • Wash most clothes most of the time in cold water. 
  • Use dryer on “heat” for some wash loads; for many “hanging clothes” just toss briefly on “air dry” and then place them on hangers on a rod in laundry room or else on rod under stairs outside to dry. 
  • Occasionally do some summer cooking in small toaster oven or crock-pot outside kitchen. 
  • Added PV solar panels with City grant program, 5.1+ kW system. 
  • Added metal roof when hail damage required roof replacement. 

Pat & Dale Bulla are members of First Unitarian Church in Austin, the Interfaith Environmental Network (IEN), and the IEN Energy Action Team. 


© 2013 Interfaith Environmental Network