All Blog Posts (849)

The Executive Roundtable Meets for a Renewable Energy Market Update

The Executive Roundtable, made up of renewable energy industry leaders, met in order to discuss the future of the renewable energy industry. Due to the recent recession and talk on Capitol Hill to reduce or cut incentives, the renewable energy industry faces a defining moment that could lead it in different directions. However, the industry remains one of the U.S. economy's most consistent job creators and experiences much support among politicians and the public.



Chief Editor David… Continue

Added by Fida Hossain on February 7, 2011 at 10:38pm — No Comments

Solar Thermal Installations a Highly Efficient Technology Growing in Popularity

In 2008, the solar thermal industry in the United States underwent a period of unprecedented growth. The Great Recession caused the economic situation to worsen in 2009, lowering consumer spending as well as decreasing the demand in the solar thermal industry. Slowly in 2010, the solar thermal industry began to recuperate and experienced an optimistic growth in which solar thermal installations began to increase in popularity. Consumers began realizing that solar thermal installations are a… Continue

Added by Fida Hossain on February 7, 2011 at 10:34pm — No Comments

How to Get A Solar Contractors License In California

Solar energy has consistently grown 33% in the past thirty years within 1979-2010. It is projected to be over 40% for this decade. With an estimated 32 GW of solar power installed globally, 7.2 GW was installed last year alone, according to John Addison, publisher of the Clean Fleet Report.



Solar energy is becoming more marketable by the day, and now represents a large portion of new construction related jobs. If you are a contractor or interested in becoming a contractor, be a part of… Continue

Added by Fida Hossain on February 7, 2011 at 10:28pm — No Comments

Solar Industry on the Rise: Start Your Career

The "National Solar Job Census 2010: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce" is a first-of-its-kind report that quantifies the current employment and projected growth rate of the United States' solar energy industry. The Census' study is based on a statistically valid sampling of 2,400 solar companies throughout the nation. The Solar Foundation, Green LMI Consulting, and Cornell University among others surveyed the companies and concluded that the solar energy industry expects to increase their… Continue

Added by Fida Hossain on February 7, 2011 at 10:19pm — No Comments

Musings on Texas Rolling Blackouts

The recent incident of rolling blackouts that occurred in the Texas ERCOT power grid raises some interesting issues for home owners, residential energy professionals and others concerned about energy policy.  A recent article by…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on February 5, 2011 at 12:00pm — 8 Comments

Energy efficiency and calling in the dogs

My dogs came in immediately when I called them tonight. The cookies I’ve recently begun serving up upon their return seem be making an impression.  At last they see a reason to leave behind all the fun things to chase in the woods.

Yes, I’ve been slow to understand – or at least enact – the basic principle of reward as incentive. The same problem exists in the utility industry when it comes to energy efficiency. For years investor-owned utilities have resisted energy efficiency,…

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Added by Elisa Wood on February 2, 2011 at 1:25pm — 1 Comment

Discover the Solutions for Drafty Uncomfortable Homes

The energy efficiency movement is starting to impact the awareness of how the indoor conditions of an existing building can be greatly improved. Homeowners who once dread the winter months and thought that they had to live with the pain of a drafty uncomfortable home are now increasingly seeking to improve these homes.

This search often brought homeowners out into the marketplace looking for solutions and the best professional help. As a result, we are…

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Added by David Allen on February 2, 2011 at 11:48am — No Comments

Code is a four letter word

 

From my experience in the field I would say that code is the most overused misunderstood word. Early in my construction career I heard this word thrown around. It was and is referenced often with true meaning and good advice.  

However it has also been used as a conversation ending to a dispute from the Ivory Tower “Thou shalt not doubt in me for I am the reference of thy Code and cannot be denied”. It is from these sources that I have issue. I have found that often times…

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Added by Glen Gallo on January 31, 2011 at 3:45pm — 3 Comments

The New Rules of Home Improvement

Many homeowners are beginning to recognize the higher standards that are being demanded from home improvement contractors.The new rules of certification, accreditation and independent verification have complemented well the old ways of selecting a contractor so that the two establish a benchmark that bodes well for the professional perception of the industry. It is not a coincidence that in 2010 credentialing and training organizations have achieved their highest…

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Added by David Allen on January 27, 2011 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Extending Energy Efficiency Financing To Underserved Households

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory just released a new Policy Brief on NYSERDA’s Green Jobs-Green New York Program.  It focuses on their recent effort to extend EE financing to underserved households. Prior to the launch of GJGNY, NYSERDA used Fannie Mae Energy Loans to provide program participants with access to financing to overcome the upfront cost barrier of energy upgrades.  The underwriting standards for this unsecured loan product, including a minimum decision credit score of 640, …

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Added by Merrian Fuller on January 25, 2011 at 3:13pm — 2 Comments

How to make energy efficiency affordable

Energy efficiency is a tortoise in the green energy race. Not glamorous like solar, wind or smart grid, it tends to plod along in the back of the pack, attracting little media attention. But being last can be a good thing; you learn from the frontrunners.

Such is the case when it comes to financing. EE is beginning to borrow from strategies that have spurred tremendous growth for solar and other energy resources. These include customer aggregation and a kind of power purchase…

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Added by Elisa Wood on January 24, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

Recruiting BPI Proctors

BPI Affiliates and Certified BPI Proctors

Energy Audit Training Centers is recruiting local and regional BPI Affiliates and Certified BPI Proctors to provide Field Testing and BPI Certification for our online students.

Visit us at www.energyaudittrainingcenters.com

Added by Jeff Rogers on January 24, 2011 at 7:02am — 1 Comment

How to Talk to a Builder

Recently I was talking to one of our HERS raters who said that one of the reasons he prefers going after the existing home market is that he’s more comfortable talking with homeowners than with builders. He’s afraid that builders will see his lack of construction knowledge and send him packing.

What can you do to overcome this fear? Take heed of these points, and you’ll be fine:

  • Realize that you don’t need to know everything about building.
  • Let the builder know…
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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on January 20, 2011 at 7:07pm — 2 Comments

Energy Auditing Ourselves

A short while ago I was in a meeting that centered on creating a flexible winter weatherization plan that would have a wide degree of application.  While such plans are not uncommon in the least, I was surprised to hear that we, as inhabitants, came up as a serious aspect of energy inefficiency.

As someone who works with material and energy inefficiencies,…

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Added by Nathan Christensen on January 17, 2011 at 12:00pm — 5 Comments

Energy Efficiency and the Big Picture

I keep striving to see the Big Picture, which some consider a flaw, but while in that mode I chanced upon a book that may have given me a Glimpse.



I recommend reading, “The Plundered Planet: Why We Must—and How We Can—Manage Nature for Global Prosperity,” the latest work by Paul Collier. Collier is Professor of Economics at Oxford University, and a former director of Development Research at the World Bank. He demonstrates an understanding of how countries and economies work--and…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on January 16, 2011 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment

Goodbye to the Light Bulb We All Know and Love

You know which light bulb I mean. It’s the one you’ve burned your hands on when trying to unscrew it too soon after it’s been turned off. It’s the one you put in the lamp in your living room to read by in your comfortable chair; the one you use to light the stairways at night. It’s the 100-watt incandescent that uses… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on January 14, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

Auditors Offering Contracting Services - Conflict of Interest?

This very question was recently posed in the BPI Group.  Is there a conflict of interest when an energy auditor also offers contracting or weatherization services to their clients?  At first glance, many would say that the easy answer is "yes". The common reasoning is that people will steer their clients towards the products they sell in order to make as much money as possible.  After all, that's what we are all in business for, isn't it?  The other answer was "it's just human…

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Added by Jon LaMonte on January 14, 2011 at 8:35am — 10 Comments

The Ultimate Lazy Gizmo - Radio Controlled Blinds

Don’t you just hate it when you have to wake up because of the blasted sunshine on your face? Not everyone is a morning person. Shutting out the light when you need a few more minutes of snoozing doesn’t have to be such a pain. Enter the ultimate lazy gizmo, radio controlled blinds.What’s that I hear? You don’t have the money to have these radio controlled blinds installed? Don’t be…

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Added by Andy Jones on January 12, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

A Game Changer for New Home Construction

Meritage homes, a big national production home builder, has announced its intention to only offer ultra energy efficient homes.  They will document this by using the HERS Index (Home Energy Rating System), which is currently used for ENERGY STAR qualified homes, and is a standard of the U. S. mortgage industry.  A home built to the current 2006 IECC energy code has a HERS Index of 100, and is considered the "reference" home for a given design.  To meet ENERGY STAR requirements in our climate…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on January 9, 2011 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Energy Efficiency Programs in Progress!

On Wednesday,  January 5, 2011 Home Energy Consultants attended a marketing training seminar in Fayetteville sponsored by Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) and presented by CLEAResults Consulting, which is implementing the SWEPCO Residential Solutions incentive program.  The training session was intended for any participating contractor of the SWEPCO program, including contractors for heating and air conditioning, insulation, duct sealing, air sealing and energy…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on January 7, 2011 at 4:30am — No Comments

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