A pair of online resources intended to help consumers and contractors build and maintain a green structure have been launched.

GreenEnergyChoice.com is a Web site dedicated to helping consumers live green by providing renewable energy information and the ability to shop and order eco-friendly green energy plans. It compiled a list of 10 green tips to help consumers become more eco-wise at home. On the site’s list were several tips pertaining to electrical usage:

• Shut off electronics and appliances when not in use.

• Purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

• Install or pre-set air condition thermostats to conserve energy.

• Hire a professional energy auditor.

• Maximize natural lighting, and open windows on cooler days to reduce strain of running the air conditioning for extended periods.

• Shades or curtains provide natural relief from the sun, and using ceiling fans to circulate air can effectively replace air conditioning on cooler days.

• Replace outdated incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs that use up to 75 percent less energy and are guaranteed to last longer.

• Switch to renewable energy. The growing availability of wind, water, solar and other green-energy sources means consumers can enjoy -pollution-free power in their homes at affordable prices.

Consumers can maximize the energy efficiency of their homes by applying some or all of the above tips to their regular routines. GreenEnergyChoice.com also features a calculator for users to estimate energy usage and also provides help for purchasing RECs.

GE Consumer & Industrial’s new online environmental information center (www.geconsumerandindustrial.com/environmentalinfo) examines and sorts lighting and electrical industry information in a Web site that users can tap for information gathering and learning about salient sustainability trends and issues.

Launched in June 2008, the site details legislation, laws, compliance codes, technology, specification information, the EPAct and a variety of sustainability topics, including the U.S. Green Building Council’s voluntary Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification programs, GE’s lighting products, and how specific GE lighting and electrical products contribute to various LEED certifications.

The U.S. Green Building Council expects the number of LEED-certified buildings will climb 20 times higher between 2006 (4,500 buildings) and 2010 (100,000 buildings). In anticipation of this increase, GE and other companies are launching online resources to aid contractors in making the transition to a more energy-efficient design process.