Home improvement has long been synonymous with Home Depot and Lowe's. But a Texas-based green conscience start-up is aiming to make sustainable home improvement appeal to more than just environmentalists.
TreeHouse will open the world's first energy-positive home improvement store in Dallas Friday. Through the use of 539 rooftop solar panels and two Tesla Powerwalls the store will actually generate energy well in excess of its needs.
“This store runs on 100 percent sunshine,” Treehouse's Ben Kusin said, adding that the excess renewable energy that the store generates will be put back onto the power grid and made available for others to use.
The company is the first retailer authorized to sell Tesla's home energy storage battery.
"A home battery could make energy bills an archaic relic of a past system," said TreeHouse co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard, speaking at Tesla’s energy storage event in California. "You can now own your own production and storage of the energy you need. This takes us one step closer to completely powering homes without fossil fuels."
The store will be the retailer’s second location. It's flagship store opened in Austin in 2011. An additional store, planned for the Plano area, is due to open this fall. Dubbed the Whole Foods of home improvement, TreeHouse's expansion highlights a demand for eco-friendly products and a desire to reduce carbon footprint.
Yet, President Donald Trump is expected to announce Thursday whether the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. White House sources tell NBC News that the president is leaning toward an exit.
The 2015 agreement, which is not a binding treaty, was spurred by the overwhelming global scientific consensus that rising global temperatures over the last several decades are caused by man-made activity. The accord's goal is aimed at preventing the planet from warming by more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which scientists warn could have damaging consequences.
The agreement calls on countries to make voluntary national pledges to reduce emissions. Despite Trump's decision, businesses like TreeHouse will forge ahead with eco-friendly alternatives.
"The home consumes the highest amount of our natural resources, such as water and energy, produces the largest amount of landfill waste, and is where we will be exposed to the greatest number of toxins in our lifetime," the company said. "By working to solve these problems, TreeHouse finds new routes to dramatically change the quality of our lives. We can build better shelters for ourselves, our communities, and our planet."
TreeHouse offers a carefully curated selection of products and services that promote healthful and sustainable living spaces, with an emphasis on performance and design. Every product is scored based on health, performance, corporate responsibility and sustainability.
“TreeHouse is reinventing home improvement with the twin goals of ecological and human health,” the company explains on its web site. “Our core principles are applied to everything in the store. From thoughtful and innovative products to comprehensive, high-quality services -- every element is designed to build a better home.”