All Blog Posts (960)

Cashing in on Local Energy Rebates

There are excellent energy rebate programs going on all across the U.S. to make your home more energy efficient. No matter what state you live in, the majority of local electric utility distribution providers are offering financial incentives to homeowners to upgrade the energy efficiency of their home. What is available in your area is totally dependent upon which specific local distribution supplier that you have. Not everyone lives in an area where incentive programs are…

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Added by Dennis Cheslik on August 6, 2012 at 1:19pm — No Comments

Pushing This Green Button Will Lower Your Power Bill

Let's take a closer look at the Green Button and see if it is more than just an adult toy. According to Obama and other government supporters, the Green button is going viral. Ya, right, I don't believe it.

There has been several efforts in previous years to get power companies to "sign on" to programs that allow electric and gas customers to see how much energy they are using right there and then. The theory is that households that have energy usage data readily available will use…

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Added by Don Ames on August 2, 2012 at 8:06pm — 12 Comments

The Most Awaited Thermal News of Summer 2012!

It's out! The news you were waiting for! It's not from the Feds, since they gave up on thermostats three years ago, finding them too difficult to test! Some independent agency did it, and it's still a mystery:

User friendly thermostats report

Venstar(top three) & Nest(top three?) are mentioned, but who are the others? Is Lux at the…

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Added by Tom DelConte on August 1, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the HERS Index

A lot of home builders and homeowners are getting certified home energy ratings to find out how efficient their homes are. There's also a lot of buzz about HERS ratings, with builders looking at them…

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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on July 25, 2012 at 1:25pm — 2 Comments

From the Field: Residential Energy Programs and Mobile Devices

CEE has always been attuned to advances in technology, whether assessing improvements in appliances and energy systems or applying new communication tools to innovate around program delivery. We recently interviewed Tom Spielman, Director of IT, and Rich Szydlowski, Director of Business Development and…

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Added by Anna Jursik on July 25, 2012 at 8:13am — 2 Comments

In Memoriam: Carol Markell

We are very sad to announce the sudden passing of our colleague, Carol Markell. Carol died unexpectedly on Thursday, July 19, in the company of her closest friends while on vacation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. As Home Energy’s Advertising and Marketing Manager for over a decade, Carol developed relationships with scores of Home Performance industry professionals and advertisers, networking at…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 24, 2012 at 3:30pm — 4 Comments

Book Review: Would Gordon Gekko Go Green?

By Elisa Wood

July 17, 2012

 

Energy books tend to be either jargon-filled tomes or hand-wringing, end-of-the-world, please-just-shoot-me-now reprimands. So it was a relief to see that Brian Keane avoids both of these worn-out roads in his new book, “Green is Good: Save Money, Make Money, and Help Your Community Profit from Clean Energy.”

 

Keane expertly tells the clean energy story…

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Added by Elisa Wood on July 23, 2012 at 11:33pm — 1 Comment

4 Mini-Splits and Heat Pump Efficiency, Will It Work?

Yes, I drive tractors too. Along with the home energy audit work, I’m a farmer at heart. I received a call from a gentlemen that needs some help backfilling and leveling out the dirt around the foundation of his homes new addition.

Now that the ground is dry enough, I load up my 24 horsepower Kabota tractor with bucket, attach the tiller and head over to his place. I find an old original house that was constructed shortly after the wagon trains arrived. Attached to the side is the new…

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Added by Don Ames on July 22, 2012 at 12:32pm — 1 Comment

Spooky Photo from the Field

Interesting Find During an Energy Audit

Working as Building Analysts doing Home Performance, we often make interesting discoveries. Some days in the field, you come across…

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Added by Peter Van Buren on July 20, 2012 at 1:17pm — No Comments

I Confess the Need for Building Standards and Worker Training

I was discussing an upcoming article with my colleagues at Home Energy magazine about the Standard Work Specifications (SWS) being developed by DOE for single home, multifamily, and manufactured housing retrofits, and it brought to mind an experience I had as teenager, the need for confession, and the importance of standards.

Here is my confession:

When I was in high school I worked after school and summers doing building maintenance at a local elementary school. (Brag…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on July 19, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments

The Unavoidable Future—Q&A with Cyro Boccuzzi

This past week, I had the opportunity to pick the brain of Cyro Boccuzzi, IEEE senior member and executive vice president at Brazil-based Enersul, as well as a smart grid technologies expert. Not only did he have insight into smart grid technology and trends, but he also says smart grids are the unavoidable wave of the future.  …

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Added by Macie Melendez on July 17, 2012 at 2:28pm — No Comments

Triple Evacuation vs. Deep Vacuum Method

Deep Vacuum Chart; Carrier…

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Added by Christopher Morin on July 12, 2012 at 11:36am — 1 Comment

Efficiency in Action, Does it Get Any Better Than This?

Owner Tony Malkin worked with experts from organizations ranging from Johnson Controls to Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to develop a retrofit that would save 38 percent of the building's energy and $4.4 million each year. Oh -- and add about 250 jobs as well.

The building's retrofit was a grand experiment, really. RMI describes Malkin as saying, "We knew that by retrofitting the Empire State Building, we would catch the world's attention. Through this project, we set out to prove or…

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Added by Jim Peck on July 11, 2012 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

The "Snackwell Effect" Revisited

(I posted this blog to the KQED Quest site a few years ago, but a recent discussion begun by Tom Delconte in the General Forum has raised the issue again. Hope to—paraphrasing Evan Mills in his response to Tom—make a mountain into the molehill it really is.)

Recent articles in USA Today and California's Flex Your Power e-Newswire discussed the phenomenon known in energy efficiency circles as "take back" or the "Snackwell Effect" (see "…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on July 11, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

Big Oil Propaganda

I'm sure most of you have seen the commercials by US petroleum companies extolling the virtues of coal and natural gas. Did you notice that those ads only run on major news organizations TV and radio stations. Why is that?

It didn't really strike me until the recent record breaking heat waves across the US. I found it so odd that weather people don't even mention global warming despite the obvious…

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Added by Joseph Novella on July 10, 2012 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Look Before You Leap: Being a Desk Jockey Can Help You Do an Energy Audit

Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/

Typically, an energy auditor knows very little about the house she is visiting until she actually arrives at the house. In a previous i.e. post,…

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Added by Lester Shen on July 9, 2012 at 7:30am — 3 Comments

Joliet couple first in county to get energy conservation home certification

The following post was written by Julie Johnson with Journatic News Service.  The original publishing of the story can be read here

(Office of Will County Executive Larry Walsh,…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on July 6, 2012 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

4 Things to Check Before Installing a New, High Efficient Heating System.

I had just completed a home energy audit and learned that insulation levels and air sealing measures were up-to-speed. After crawling into the attic, performing a duct blaster, checking the temperature of the hot water, and a bunch of other things, I had come to the educated conclusion that this home’s best chance for improved energy efficiency and lower energy bills while heating the house would include replacing the heating source.

The 80% gas furnace is in the garage right next to…

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Added by Don Ames on July 4, 2012 at 10:38pm — 7 Comments

Women in Energy: Research and Engineering

We're writing a series on women who work in the energy field and thought home energy professionals would be interested to hear their perspective.

Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/

Center for Energy and Environment focuses our research and programs on Minnesota buildings and homes, but …

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Added by Anna Jursik on July 3, 2012 at 9:28am — No Comments

Editorial: Why Japan's Electricity Crisis Matters

You may not read about it on the front page of the newspapers, but Japan is undergoing a second electricity crisis. The first took place last spring and summer after the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent meltdown of multiple nuclear power plants. That power crisis mostly affected Tokyo and northern Japan. This second crisis affects all of Japan, and it has implications for the United States (and the world) at many different levels.

From an energy perspective, Japan is (at…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 3, 2012 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

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