March 2012 Blog Posts (22)

Game of Homes!

Energy Battle is a new game that may be the solution to training a younger generation to save energy at home. It was developed by graduate students at Delft University of Technology.…

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Added by Tom Delconte on March 30, 2012 at 6:00am — 2 Comments

Big Blue Goes Green - How 203Ks May Be the Future of Green Mortgages

When Sarah Coleman and Carl Sack first saw “Big Blue,” they knew they were home.  The massive house, so named because all the rooms were painted shades of the color, was built in the 1920s on two and a half lots in the Corey-Merrill neighborhood of inner-city Denver.  

 

But their…

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Added by Melissa Baldridge on March 27, 2012 at 8:00pm — 10 Comments

BPI at the Crossroads

This is a look at some of the recent changes & challenges facing BPI I originally posted on my site:http://blog.sls-construction.com/2012/bpi-at-the-crossroads-exams-new-certifications-standards

Lately BPI (aka Building Performance Institute, Inc.) has been growing exponentially and making plenty of waves in the certification field. Just this last July they had…

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Added by Sean Lintow Sr on March 25, 2012 at 4:30pm — 7 Comments

Utility Green Button

Below is the post that originally was put up on Mapawatt on the Utility Green Button.  As the Green Button is adopted by more and more utilities, I believe Home Energy Pros should make sure to inform every customer of its existence and how it can help homeowners better manage utility bills.

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The idea for the utility Green Button was first put forth by U.S. CTO Aneesh…

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Added by Chris Kaiser on March 25, 2012 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

Desert Year: Why Is It So Hard to Care?

By Skip Laitner

Guest blogger, Energy Efficiency Markets

 

Why is it so hard to care about snakes? Or the desert? The climate? And especially the environment more generally?

 

This time the snake was real.  Right there on the side of the road.  Some evenings ago, however, in the waning hours of twilight, it turned out to be just a short length of black rubber hose that was also laying…

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 23, 2012 at 9:22am — No Comments

NOx NOx "Who's There?"

 

 

"Ellie." "Ellie who?"  "The Elephant in the living room."

 

The elephant in our room is NOx, and elephants eat a lot.  Then they poop.  A lot. We need to watch where we step. 

 

As technicians following the BPI Standards, we test for CO in the flue as well as in the ambient air as part of any audit where there are combustion appliances.  Imagine my surprise when my new…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on March 21, 2012 at 4:30am — 9 Comments

The Five Disadvantages of Solar Power Again

Does Solar Power Have Disadvantages? How Can Anyone Say This About Renewable Energy?

Posted by Tom Delconte on www.homeenergypros.lbl.gov

Comments by Don Ames, www.detectenergy.com

Tom posted the 5 "disadvantages" listed below. I did not agree with the list so I thought I would post them as Tom did and then add my comments below each one. Be sure and join the discussion by posting…

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Added by Don Ames on March 20, 2012 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

Energy Audit And Energy Saving Measures For A Big Home

The Energy Audit is Complete: The Homeowner Chooses These Energy Saving Improvements

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

Now that the 5 year old has put down the foam dart gun and stopped crawling in and out of the blower door, it's time to make some energy saving recommendations to the homeowner. After completing an energy audit of the home, it is usually fairly easy to start the conversation with the owners on what they should…

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Added by Don Ames on March 18, 2012 at 10:20am — 3 Comments

All sustainability is local

“All politics is local.” This quote from the late US Congressman Tip O’Neill continues to frame political strategies today. It turns out his premise also applies to environmentalism. All sustainability is local, as a Massachusetts software company reveals in a new application that takes on the complicated task of quantifying the green efforts of corporations.

 

Massachusetts-based Energy Points has devised a…

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 16, 2012 at 9:01am — No Comments

Illinois Home Performance Added to Northern Illinois multiple listing service

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS), has added additional green design, disclosure, and data verification to its connectMLS™ system. Following on the heels of MRED’s overwhelmingly successful integration of Walk Score®,…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on March 15, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

When in doubt, Incentivize!

These are the latest ideas and bills in congress, which may or may not actually happen.

First up are new tax credits for homeowners investing in energy efficiency upgrades. The Cut Energy Bills at Home Act.

It's based on annual predicted energy cost savings from heating, cooling, hot water and “permanent lighting” in a primary residence. For a minimum credit of $2,000, homes would need to reduce energy costs by 20 percent. Incremental credits are…

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Added by Tom Delconte on March 14, 2012 at 5:30am — 2 Comments

The five disadvantages of solar power


It's intermittent. Solar energy is only available when the sun is shining.

It's low efficiency. It requires large areas of land.

It's not completely free of environmental impact. Ultrapure polysilicon is now scarce.


It's high cost.


You must climb your roof to wash it off. Just ask Ed Begley, Jr.!



Added by Tom Delconte on March 13, 2012 at 8:30am — 3 Comments

Three Steps to Get You Started on Do-it-Yourself Smart Home Automation.

Three Devices That Will Get You Closer to Saving Energy Through Smart Home Automation

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

I have been enjoying the advertisement on the radio that goes something like this, "If your home was built in the 1950's, why would you expect it to perform better than a T.V. built in the 1950's?"

The point is well taken if you are interested in energy conservation. Homes built in the 1950's do not perform…

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Added by Don Ames on March 10, 2012 at 8:15pm — No Comments

Trillion dollar answer to Bachmann's light bulb question

US Congresswoman Michele Bachmann often asks why government should tell us which kind of light bulb to choose. Turns out it’s a question with a trillion dollar answer.

 

We will save $1.1 trillion through 2035 because of existing energy efficiency mandates for light bulbs and appliances, according to a report issued this week by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient…

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 9, 2012 at 8:43am — No Comments

What leading edge developments should I be focusing on?

You woke up this morning full of vim and vigor, ready to tackle the world of home energy efficiency. Of course, your first dreamy thoughts were: is this major solar flare going to knockout electricity in the midwest power grid, and then, if Fermilab has found proof of the Higgs Boson, will I be able to fully explain the phenomena of convection and chimney effect to people? After your morning coffee, the reality check sets…

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Added by Tom Delconte on March 7, 2012 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

Energy Audit: Hot tubs and Shortcut Return Air Ducts

Energy Audit: Now Recommendations for Energy Saving Up-dates

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

Now that we have the hot tub and the hole-in-the-wall under control, it is time to go ahead…

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Added by Don Ames on March 6, 2012 at 1:33pm — 4 Comments

Yes, Virginia, you can save money on fuel!

It really wouldn't be fair not to share this timely report, which was aired in major cities last night:

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/03/05/3-on-your-side-one-penny-home-heating-oil/

It describes a buying program which resembles other rewards programs. The website is called Neighbor Oil. They offer discounts on oil and propane, based on a points system.…

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Added by Tom Delconte on March 6, 2012 at 7:11am — No Comments

Will cyber-sensitives reveal the future of energy efficiency?

The US economy is three times larger than China’s, yet when it comes to developing a clean energy industry, China keeps besting us. The US came in second – again – to China this quarter in Ernst & Young’s much-watched …

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 2, 2012 at 8:18am — 2 Comments

How will people afford to heat their homes?

Fuel poverty, that is to say people who can't afford to heat their homes, is at all time high levels in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. It causes at times a terrible human condition, death, which is estimated as 8,000 people per year in the U.K. There have been calls for immediate "super energy efficiency." No doubt the rest of the world is affected, also.

Heating oil prices in the U.S. are topping $4.11/gal(up), propane $2.90/gal(up), natural gas…

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Added by Tom Delconte on March 2, 2012 at 8:17am — 2 Comments

Home Energy Audit With a Hole in the Wall

Why is there a heating register 4 feet up on the wall?

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

In my last article, I spoke about a home energy audit and the hot tub on the back deck. Remember, it was a manufactured home with a great deck overlooking a roaring hillside stream. Next door, the neighbors were the countryside recyclers, at least I suppose that's what they might call themselves.

Personally, I think I would call them by a…

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Added by Don Ames on March 1, 2012 at 11:30pm — No Comments

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