May 2011 Blog Posts (12)

Looking forward to the day smart grid dies

The title of this blog might strike you as kind of weird, especially this week. After all, the Electric Power Research Institute made the news with a study showing that smart grid is going to be far bigger than we first thought.

Smart grid in simplest terms brings to the electrical grid the digital intelligence of computers and the Internet. Just seven years ago EPRI expected smartening the grid to cost $165 billion.  But its new…


Added by Elisa Wood on May 27, 2011 at 8:03am — No Comments

Policing - stop bad building advice at the source

I am always looking for good information and resources to share with customers about building science.  I really want to engage people to understand building science, and empower them to work on their own homes more.  Sometimes, the task of deconstructing misinformation is bigger than I realize...


Cruizing the internet this afternoon, seeking recources for some customers who intend to take on their own basment remodel.  I have found lots of good DIY guides on the DIY Network,…


Added by Ginger MacDonald on May 26, 2011 at 10:40am — 1 Comment

Why the incandescent deserves its death

First off, there is no law actually calling for the death of the incandescent.  The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 actually states…


Added by Chris Kaiser on May 25, 2011 at 7:07am — 14 Comments

Design, circa 1997

At a job site meeting this past week, our newest design clients handed Abe a small pile of dog-eared, marked-up “inspiration” magazines. They contained pictures and ideas collected by the homeowners, and demonstrated their affection for clean lines, neutral colors, and a judicious use of space. …


Added by Cara Luecht on May 20, 2011 at 10:50am — 1 Comment

How the poor may boost clean tech

It’s not surprising that a company liked Greenhouse Holdings, which builds eco-friendly infrastructure, would have a thriving California-based operation.  But as John Galt, the company’s executive chairman and founder, told Renewable Energy World magazine, the company is not just focusing on wealthy…


Added by Elisa Wood on May 20, 2011 at 4:27am — No Comments

Energy efficiency absorbs water

Efforts have been underway for decades to conserve both energy and water, but never in concert. This is unfortunate because energy uses a lot of water and water uses a lot of energy.

Two leading conservation organizations have set out to bring the efforts together. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Alliance for Water Efficiency this week published a white paper that describes the co-dependence of water and energy resources, and outlines strategies to use…


Added by Elisa Wood on May 13, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

The Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump's Big Brother - CITY MULTI

In my last four HVAC Design jobs, I've specified ductless mini-split heat pumps. I have four more such jobs underway now.

Why mini-splits?

  • Efficiency (up to 26 SEER)
  • Variable Refrigerant…

Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on May 11, 2011 at 8:02am — 1 Comment

Energy efficiency and the annoying guy next door

Who would have thought backyards would cause so much trouble for the North American energy industry? First came the NIMBYs, the not-in-my-backyard protesters who block power projects from being built near them. And now we have the GIMBBYs – the give-me-a-bigger-backyard homeowners who are unwittingly getting in the way of energy efficiency.

GIMBBYs aren’t worried about seeing wind turbines or transmission lines from their backyards as are the NIMBYs. It’s the guy next store that they…


Added by Elisa Wood on May 6, 2011 at 12:48pm — 1 Comment

Energy Efficient Appliances - Add Appeal To Your Home Listing

If you can afford it, go for an Energy Star rated appliance. You'll save in energy costs in the long run and if you ever decide to sell your home, it may have greater appeal.

Energy efficient appliances are of great interest to home buyers. First and foremost, these appliances save energy, which translates into lower utility bills.

Additionally, eco-friendly buyers appreciate the efforts made by the seller.

For More…


Added by Tampa Real Estate on May 5, 2011 at 2:41pm — 1 Comment

Three Simple Acts That Can Make A Difference


This past April 22nd was Earth Day 2011, and it's official theme was A Billion Acts of Green. The basic idea is that, if at least a billion of us each pledged to perform some relatively simple “act of green”, we’d all be that much closer to a greener, more sustainable world. Here are examples of three simple, relatively low cost (lightweight, if you…


Added by John Poole on May 5, 2011 at 1:39pm — No Comments

No Carts Before Horses - Design for Energy Efficiency Early

My recent visit to Savannah for the USGBC's green product expo charged up my historic preservation bug and got me to thinking about how to apply building science to historic buildings.

Most of us that have ever lived in, owned, or even just visited a historic home…


Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on May 4, 2011 at 4:30am — No Comments

What Tokyo Must Do

Few countries have been dealt such a tragic combination of natural and manmade disasters as Japan. The part of the disaster that I understand is the shortage of electricity. I wrote a book, Saving Electricity in a Hurry, in 2005 while working at the International Energy Agency.1 In the book, I explained the measures that a government must take in order to quickly reduce electricity demand while protecting…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 1, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

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