All Blog Posts (921)

A Green Home - It's Just Good Design

What makes a Green Home green? Is it the bamboo floors? Maybe it’s the low-e windows or the extra insulation in the walls? What about a high efficiency heating and cooling system? Or maybe it's a plaque by your front door that says, “I'm Green!”?

How about all of the above and then…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on April 11, 2011 at 8:02am — No Comments

Goodbye light bulb jokes?

Once upon a time, joking about ‘how many it takes to screw in a light bulb’ was a great way to poke fun at people’s intelligence. After all, what could be easier than screwing in a light bulb? Any idiot could do it.

Not so any more. Lighting has exploded into a sophisticated business. And for those who manage commercial buildings it can be downright intimidating.

Figuring out the difference between LEDs and CFLs is just the start. Then there are a whole range of dimmers,…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 9, 2011 at 12:44am — No Comments

New Energy Star requirements for Cool Roof coatings

I was forwarded an email that originated from the Energy Star Heat Island group.  This was something I was not aware of.  I have changed the font to red for the main point of my own comments below the quoted part of the email.

 

"This call will provide an overview of the revised requirements for ENERGY STAR labeling of roofing products. The focus will be on the certification and verification processes. Beginning January 2011, labeling requires third- party…

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Added by Hal Skinner on April 6, 2011 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

Putting Mercury in CFLs in Perspective

This is an updated version of the post that originally appeared here.



I'm a fan of CFLs, but I can understand how the small amount of mercury in them can worry some. If you're worried about the tiny bit of mercury in CFLs, I can't tell you one way or another how to decide for your home, all I can do is give you the facts that are available, and let you make your own decision.… Continue

Added by Chris Kaiser on April 4, 2011 at 6:55pm — 7 Comments

US at top worldwide in EE innovation

This week’s energy news looks bad for the United States – at first glance. The nation has slipped to second behind China in clean energy investment. Moreover, five of the G-20 nations have surpassed the US for clean energy investment relative to size of economy.

But look at little deeper into the report, “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race,”  and you’ll see that the US did not slide in all forms of…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 1, 2011 at 2:34pm — 2 Comments

More Evidence that the Stimulus Bill Is Working

The Bay Area and our neighbor to the north, Portland, Oregon, have had a friendly competition over which of us is the greenest state. Portland scored big points by providing proof positive that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) a.k.a. the Stimulus Bill, has created good paying, permanent jobs in the new, greener economy.



The Energy Efficiency and Community Block Grant (EECBG) program, which targets… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on April 1, 2011 at 2:15pm — No Comments

BPI Celebrates Home Performance Heroes at ACI

Tamasin Sterner, Founder, President, and Chief Coach of Pure Energy was given the Tony Woods Award for Excellence in Advancing the Home Performance Industry at the opening plenary of the ACI National Conference in San Francisco on March 30, 2011. Tamasin has been advancing home performance through mentoring, teaching, consulting work, and building analysis for almost 30 years and is a regular Home Energy contributer. "I had to prove that I can do everything that men can do—and more", she says,… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 31, 2011 at 12:30pm — No Comments

H.O. Electric To Install Electrical Vehicle Charging Systems

  

EV Charging Station…
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Added by H.O. Electric on March 31, 2011 at 8:08am — 1 Comment

Perceived Value of an Energy Audit

There is a lot of discussion and debate in the home performance industry about why home energy audits have only penetrated such a small portion of the U.S. housing market.  We know that performance problems in existing homes are the rule rather than the exception.  We know that most reasonable comprehensive home energy upgrades will result in a minimum 10-30% reduction in energy consumption and utility bills.  We know that energy audits identify measures that can improve indoor air quality,…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on March 30, 2011 at 5:00pm — 6 Comments

Residential Solar PV vs Residential Wind Turbine



This post originally appeared on Mapawatt Blog and is a great comparison of residential solar vs. wind

 

If you're a homeowner interested in creating your own clean energy, chances are you are considering installing a solar pv array or a wind turbine.  Which is…

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Added by Chris Kaiser on March 29, 2011 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

How To Kill A Watt While Sizing a UPS

In my last two posts, I described some basic water conservation measures we’ve taken at the Poole Ancestral Homestead. We’ll return to that topic in the near future. But for now, I’ve turned my attention to optimizing our home’s use of electric power.

Utility-provided electricity is often an expensive form of energy. And it’s seldom efficient, because coal- and gas-fired plants (from which most of us get our electricity) actually waste a great deal of energy in the form of heat…

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Added by John Poole on March 28, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

How To Make The Right Evaluation

Thinking of convincing the homeowner that you are the right contractor for the window replacement project? Make sure that you are prepared to demonstrate that you have the knowledge to evaluate the problem correctly. The customer wants and expects to perceive this quickly or you will not be selected for the follow-up. So, to ensure your business is the one selected for that coveted follow-up session, it is critical to showcase your knowledge and experience, the two fundamental factors that say… Continue

Added by David Allen on March 27, 2011 at 6:55am — No Comments

How North Dakota Learned to Weatherize Manufactured Homes

How Oil Pointed the Way to Home Energy Savings

 

Don Ames

 

When the oil fields began to be developed in places like North Dakota, manpower was an immediate need. Manpower was needed in remote places where the oil was hiding and having enough ready housing was a problem. The cheapest and quickest solution was manufactured housing. Pull it in, set it up, and your done.

Manufactured home communities began to sprout up over…

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Added by Don Ames on March 25, 2011 at 3:21pm — No Comments

Electric Cars and the Kindness of Strangers

Guest blog by Cara Miale

March 23, 2011

As if we don’t have enough phobias already, now there is range anxiety, a malady brought on by the electric car. But it’s okay; there is a cure, or rather an app for that.

Studies indicate that many electric car drivers – and those considering joining the…

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 25, 2011 at 7:55am — No Comments

Business Performance Makeover Contest

Want your business to be better? Of course you do! Bring on the Business Performance Makeover Contest, a collaboration between EGIA, BPI, and Efficiency First—and sponsored by Home Energy.

 

Here are the details:

The contest will be conducted nationwide to find two contracting firms that want to dramatically grow their businesses in 2011. Owners of home improvement, home performance and home energy efficiency-related installation companies can enter to win online by… Continue

Added by Macie Melendez on March 22, 2011 at 3:31pm — 1 Comment

Google SketchUp for Home Energy Raters - Measurements Made Easy

Hey, HERS raters, what if I told you that you could get the volume of a multi-pitched roof for all of your home energy…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on March 21, 2011 at 4:30am — 5 Comments

Low-Flow Aerators All Around

Today, another small step on the Poole Ancestral Homestead’s journey to deep-energy-retrofit nirvana was taken, and it consisted of installing low-flow aerators on all of our faucets. [article]

Added by John Poole on March 20, 2011 at 8:00pm — No Comments

How Does Your Dishwasher Measure Up?

How to Shop for a New Dishwasher



Don Ames ,  March 20, 2011



The dishwasher is one of the major appliances in a home. When a new dishwasher is needed it pays to know how to shop for a new one. There is a little more to it now that the Energy Star efficient program got involved. Things like…

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Added by Don Ames on March 20, 2011 at 8:54am — 1 Comment

ACI National Home Performance Conference - 1 week to go

Come celebrate our 25th anniversary by honoring 25 industry innovators ACi national in San Francsico March 28-April 1st.  Absolutley something for everyone!

 

See who is being honored and come celebrate with your friends or make new ones as you build your career!!

 

Added by Amy Fazio on March 20, 2011 at 5:51am — No Comments

Breaking light bulb myths

I have to agree with the Tea Party; the US government should not choose the light bulbs I use in my home.  And fortunately, it does not.

Yet that’s the spin being pushed by those who want to roll back federal lighting performance standards. An odd mythology is developing around the standards.

Opponents claim that the…

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 18, 2011 at 6:06am — 1 Comment

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Chris Laumer-Giddens posted a blog post

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Hal Skinner replied to Hal Skinner's discussion What an RCC can do with no R- insulation in the walls.
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