All Blog Posts (994)

Bundling of Products & Services - How to Survive and Grow A Home Performance Business in 2013 and Beyond?

Working with my customers and friends that are home performance contractors we always seem to be seeking answers to questions such as:

What will make my business survive in the short term?

What does it mean to run a successful home performance business?  

What can I do if my local utility rebates, tax credits, and programs change?

For the most part it is true that individuals and…

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Added by Roch Naleway on September 22, 2012 at 8:00am — 14 Comments

Women in Energy: Students

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 research and programs focus on Minnesota buildings and homes, but advances in energy efficiency impact people all over the world. The…

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Added by Anna Jursik on September 17, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

Tracking Home Maintenance

Introduction

 

Home maintenance helps systems operate at optimal efficiency and lower the chances of a problem. For most people their house is their most valuable investment. So why do we tend to forget home maintenance? It seems like even cars get more love despite the large price disparity compared to a house.

 

Playing a Game of Memory

 

There are so many events, tasks, and errands…

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Added by Tyler Golberg on September 17, 2012 at 5:30am — No Comments

Are there Home Performance Contractors in your area working together to promote their industry?

We have a pilot project kicked off here in Portland. Contractors have joined forces to evaluate lead generation resources.

These contractors are going to all pitch in money and try different lead generation services/marketing tools. They will evaluate what works and what doesn't and report back to their peers.

What a fantastic idea. I have a lot of ideas and can't wait to hear what the group has to share.

In Portland we have a unique mix of educated homeowners. Some want…

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Added by Tammy Kenworthy on September 14, 2012 at 11:11am — 8 Comments

Carbon Credits in California

So it begins. California is now on its way to carbon trading. The first wave is to hit in November for Industries here in California. Only 10 percent of the credits will be auctioned in the first year and by 2020 50 percent will be auctioned.
I have never been an advocate of the carbon credit/carbon trading. Touted as a simple Pigovian Tax (like any Pigovian tax is simple) It’s aim is to reduce carbon emissions. The idea is to put a limit on carbon and then have the market trade…
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Added by Glen Gallo on September 13, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments

Humidification: Forced-Air Systems

Months fly by, and it is closer to Fall in New England.  Soon most local Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling companies will be consumed with Fall maintenance programs.  I remember spending countless hours a week dealing with humidifiers, whether it was the old Skuttle drum style, the Aprilaire bypass version, or even the steam models that have actually been improved over the years - particularly Honeywell's Truesteam.  The one…

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Added by Christopher Morin on September 11, 2012 at 1:17pm — 4 Comments

A Pattern Language for Residential Energy Efficiency

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

"The overall name of these interrelated structures is system. The motorcycle is a system. A real system. ...There's so much talk about the system. And so little understanding. That's all a motorcycle is, a system of concepts…

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Added by Lester Shen on September 10, 2012 at 8:30am — 8 Comments

The RETS Way to Green MLS

Those that are interested in a tipping point for residential energy efficiency often look to real estate, and Multiple Listing Services (MLS) as the Holy Grail.

Slowly but surely, one MLS at a time is adding fields for green features.  The last official count in 2010 showed that about 15% of the 850+ independently owned and operated MLS offered at least one green field.  Another 10% were planning to add fields. But anecdotal information since then indicates that some of the planning…

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Added by Laura Reedy Stukel on September 8, 2012 at 1:19pm — 4 Comments

Borrowing from solar thermal system - Why not use two tank systems with heat pump water heaters?

We are starting to roll out heat pump water heaters in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming).  One of the concerns we have in colder climates is the recovery time when the ambient air is cold. The lower the ambient temperature the less effective the heat pump water heater will be in generating hot water causing issues in households with more people, more bathrooms, and in colder months if the heat pump water heater is installed in garages or…

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Added by Roch Naleway on September 7, 2012 at 7:14pm — 40 Comments

Beyond the Cover—Q&A with Chuck Watkins, Veterans Green Jobs

The latest cover (right) of Home Energy features a photo of a man named Scott Willingham. Scott is pictured while working as part of the Veterans Green Jobs program, which trains veterans to work in the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), as well as other green jobs.

That cover photo leads readers to a…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 5, 2012 at 3:37pm — No Comments

Editorial: The Rising Cost of Water

The chart below recently caught my attention (1). It shows the changes in prices over time of residential “utilities,” that is, electricity, natural gas, water and sewage, and telephones. My attention normally goes directly to the familiar energy utilities, electricity and natural gas. But wait! Water and sewage prices—they are typically billed together—have outstripped all others. The prices for water and sewage have been climbing so rapidly that water-related expenditures now exceed those…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 4, 2012 at 2:00pm — 6 Comments

Home Energy Consumption for your region and your rates

Below is a post I published on calculating a home energy use by region using a tool my utility (Georgia Power) provided (made by Apogee).  It's a nice tool to show homeowners if their utility provides something similar.  It could help you validate how improvements to the home can help save energy.

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Added by Chris Kaiser on September 3, 2012 at 10:30am — 6 Comments

Replaced my A/C this weekend, results of downsizing by 1/3.

Recently my 13 yr old Carrier A/C devolved a leak and I chose to replace the system rather than track down the leak and repair the coil. I had been reading about doing manual J calculations and how contractors are scared to death to undersize. I had been talking to co-workers about this and it's an uphill battle getting them to think different than 1 ton per 500sq ft. So I decided to take confidence in correct sizing and "put my money where my mouth is" and install a 2 ton sized…

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Added by Bob Blanchette on September 2, 2012 at 4:39pm — 2 Comments

Lead Generation Services for Home Energy Professionals?

Home Energy Pros,


Has anyone used a lead generation service that they have had success with? 

What are your general thoughts about lead generation?

At Mapawatt.com, we think that linking educated consumers with home energy pros is a much needed service.  Of course there is Angie's list, but that is a paid service and I dont think it's that strong in Home Energy services.

Added by Chris Kaiser on September 1, 2012 at 8:36am — 2 Comments

Why Isn't the South Green? Or is it?

Everyone is seeking the elusive killer app that will revolutionize energy. Most expect it to be a high tech gadget, or new form of generation or a way to finally store mass quantities of electricity.

Not anthropologist Susan Mazur-Stommen. She’s looking in a completely different place: inside our heads, or more specifically inside the heads of those who live in the Deep South.

Mazur-Stommen, who is the director of behavior and human dimensions for the American Council for an…

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Added by Elisa Wood on August 31, 2012 at 8:44pm — 9 Comments

Mechanical Ventilation

Mechanical ventilation of your home is a good idea. That means a fan running 24 hours a day 365 days a year. It provides a means of reducing indoor air pollutants and improving IAQ. It’s good for you and your whole family. We have a cute saying “dilution is the solution to indoor air pollution”

 

But aren’t you supposed to show me ways to save money and use less electricity? I don’t get it

True…

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Added by Glen Gallo on August 31, 2012 at 3:03pm — 14 Comments

Calculate How Much More You're Spending By Not Using LED Light Bulbs

Early last week, as I walked into my condo's elevator, I noticed something different; it was really bright in there now. After I pressed my floor's button I looked up and saw that all 8 of the PAR20 halogen light bulbs were replaced with new ones that clearly weren't going to let anyone hide behind any areas previously darker with the old lights.

 

Curious, I emailed the landlord and did some research on kinds of brighter light bulbs. After about waiting a week for my landlord…

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Added by King Rosales on August 29, 2012 at 1:00pm — 4 Comments

Best Ways to Save Energy

This post on the Best Ways to Save Energy was originally seen on Mapawatt.  The goal is to provide homeowners a reference page that will help guide them to things they can do and incentives they can earn for saving energy.

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What are the best ways to save energy?  It’s a topic that we’ve been wondering a lot about.  The best ways to save energy for someone in Alaska are probably going to…

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Added by Chris Kaiser on August 25, 2012 at 9:03am — 6 Comments

Window Film Gets Respect in California

Recently the California Energy Commission (CEC) put window film on the fast track to get it into the new building code—to be effective in 2014. As the first state in the nation to place window film in the next building code, California has officially recognized window film as a legitimate, cost-effective energy saver.

This change in thinking is due to recent reports and studies that show just how effective window film, a thin polymer adhered to the inside of glass, is. One such study…

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Added by Macie Melendez on August 23, 2012 at 2:30pm — No Comments

10 Ways to Cool a House Without Air Conditioning

Sleeping on the front porch after a hot summer day was a straight out necessity. The upstairs of the 1940’s farm house had turned into a sauna and sleeping in the upstairs bedrooms was not possible. Even after the sun went down, the upstairs seemed to get hotter. Let's look at some ways to cool a house without air conditioning?

Now that I spend time trying to figure out how a home can be more energy efficient, I think back to those hot summer days and wonder two…

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Added by Don Ames on August 22, 2012 at 8:30pm — 3 Comments

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