All Blog Posts (1,044)

Steve Jobs's Lessons for the Home Performance Industry

Mac vs PC Home performance is to Apple as standard building practices are to the generic PC industry. We, the adherents to the whole house, high quality approach to assessing and managing the performance of homes, are Apple. The standard, old school, business-as-usual approach to building and renovating homes is the rest of the computer industry.

This idea got seeded after reading James Stewart's article,…

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Added by Peter Troast on October 11, 2011 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Health Issues Caused By Insulation Products

Does anyone know anyone who has had decreased health due to the installation of insulation materials?  I've been emailing back and forth with a man who had Atticat loose fill installed in two exterior walls.  He claims the odor is persisting and has developed teeth gnashing.

Added by A. Tamasin Sterner on October 11, 2011 at 4:27am — 2 Comments

Energy Valuation

I've been a contractor since 1972 and an accredited appraiser and real estate broker since 1990 and a HERS Rater since 2006. I'd like to know why everyone thinks poking sharp sticks at appraisers will get you more help? If I came to your job and started telling you how to do your business do you think I'd get your cooporation? I think a lump sum line adjustment will be easier to get into the mainstream valuation arena. Appraisals are not Energy Reports. Most appraisers aren't energy raters…

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Added by Chris J Folse on October 10, 2011 at 1:31pm — 1 Comment

Cost-Effectiveness of Home Energy Retrofits

Are Energy Saving Retrofits Cost-Effective?

by Don Ames

weatherization program

Government and Utility based programs that offer weatherization and other energy saving…

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Added by Don Ames on October 10, 2011 at 1:00pm — 5 Comments

Getting What It's Worth - Green Home Value

EcoHome Magazine provides a great case study on a home builder that takes the extra steps to provide the data points an appraiser needs during a green home appraisal.

Yup, it's too bad we need to take these extra steps right now.  And yup, you'd be crazy not to do the extra work!  The new…

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Added by Laura Reedy Stukel on October 7, 2011 at 11:01am — No Comments

Defining GreenMLS – Great video!

Wow. GreenMLS is friendly, fun and adds value when you look at it via an excellent cartoon video!  Kudos to USGBC Colorado and the Governor’s Energy Office in Colorado for breaking it down, making it fun and keeping it real!

Please share with folks who might not be aware of the growing inventory of green/energy efficient homes and how to properly promote them during resale!

Added by Laura Reedy Stukel on October 7, 2011 at 10:02am — No Comments

Energy efficiency economics: Beyond 101

At first blush, the economics of energy efficiency seem straightforward.

A business installs lighting controls or some other improvement. The business then sees its energy costs drop. From the savings, the business repays the investment over weeks, months or years, and then turns a profit on the asset.

While that equation holds true, analysts increasingly value the worth of energy efficiency in other more…

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Added by Elisa Wood on October 7, 2011 at 4:20am — No Comments

A Solution for Appraisers--the Weak Link

"Money makes the world go 'round," goes the old saying, and it's certainly true in the world of residential energy efficiency.  Many worthy home House and dollar sign symbols energy upgrade projects are cancelled or put on hold because the owners feel they won't get their investment back if they should sell soon.  Likewise for new construction, many builders in the speculative home market feel forced to build to the lowest performance standard, because energy upgrades won't "appraise out."

Plainly put,…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on October 1, 2011 at 5:00am — 21 Comments

CHP: Not the Brad and Jen of energy, but...

I hesitate to start this blog with the words “combined heat and power.”  You might stop reading.

Okay, so it’s not the Brad and Jen of energy. (That would be solar and wind.) But what it lacks in glamour, it makes up for in constancy and results. It’s an old guy, been around for about a century. And while its name might not sound green, it offers an extraordinarily efficient way to energize buildings.

About once a year, the …

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Added by Elisa Wood on September 30, 2011 at 8:27am — No Comments

Climate Policy Initiative Analysis Finds US Building Energy Codes Work

The Climate Policy Initiative has completed a study to measure and evaluate the impact of residential building energy codes on total household energy consumption, “Codes to Cleaner Buildings: Effectiveness of US Building Energy Codes”, was released by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) of San Francisco, California on September 7, 2011. Conducted by Jeff Deason and Andrew Hobbs of CPI, the study was done to see if building energy codes make an impact on home energy use and greenhouse gas…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on September 28, 2011 at 2:30pm — No Comments

What's Next? Getting off the fossil mainline - and proving it!

This is a long one, for intrepid geeks and those who appreciate energy intrigue - I couldn't help myself, I'm sure you understand... There is so much fun to be had in the energy world these days, the limits to your imagination are bounded only by your budget.

Allow me to introduce myself first, then on to the meat of hot water, off-grid, and energy monitoring. Lots of links and name dropping here for those who want some nitty gritty how to.

 

I've been a hands-on energy…

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Added by Paul Scheckel on September 27, 2011 at 3:24pm — 1 Comment

Home Energy Rap

Yes, you read the title right. Not only is Home Energy magazine providing bimonthly content in the form of a magazine, but we have now officially entered into the wild world of rap. Our very own editor, Jim Gunshinan presented the following Home Energy rap at the 2011 National Association for State Community Services Program (NASCSP) Training Conference that took place in Seattle last week. If nothing else, it will make you smile.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 26, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Only Dummies Replace Windows



It's amazing to me how we keep chasing windows in the Building Performance industry as if they were an important energy component. They are not (except when they are, I'll explain). Let’s look at some basic realities.

Joe’s Crazy Window Facts

 

  1. All windows are bad
  2. There are no HIGH performance windows, it's an oxymoron, refer back to item #1
  3. Windows are not drafty
  4. Low E windows don’t save on heating
  5. Occupants don’t…
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Added by Joseph Novella on September 26, 2011 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

My opinion on Why Google PowerMeter failed

http://rede3.com/Why_Google_PowerMeter_failed.html

 





Why was the plug pulled on Google PowerMeter?





Google’s philanthropic branch launched Google PowerMeter in February 2009. Its goal was to put the power of seeing electricity usage into the hands of the consumer. The idea was born of a study that showed that those that had access to daily energy data reduced usage by 10…

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Added by Glen Gallo on September 25, 2011 at 12:15pm — 4 Comments

Energy efficiency and the Solyndra effect

Not so long ago the green energy movement celebrated because President Obama used words like ‘renewable energy’ and ‘climate change’ in his inaugural speech. It wasa first for a US president.

Now comes the downside of being a political darling.

Opponents of green energy – or rather opponents of its proponents…

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Added by Elisa Wood on September 23, 2011 at 10:15am — No Comments

What Do We Do Now?

 

After the ARRA funding runs out at the end of March, 2012, what do we do? That was the big question on the minds of attendees today at the 2011 National Association for State Community Services Program (NASCSP) Training Conference in Seattle. At the same time everyone felt the need to recognize the huge success achieved by WAP in the three years covered by the ARRA finding, especially because of recent criticism of the WAP program in Congress: WAP is on track to weatherize up to…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 22, 2011 at 5:29pm — No Comments

Voices from NASCSP Training Conference, Seattle

Voices from the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) Training Conference, Wednesday, September 21:

(Some are direct quotes, some are loose paraphrasing, and some are what I think I heard them say. Meanings are 100% accurate!)

WAP has weatherized 520,000 homes through August and spent $3.5 billion of the $5 billion we were given through ARRA. WAP is the 8th largest job creator of all the ARRA projects; we've created 15,000 jobs.

—LeAnn M.…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 21, 2011 at 7:53pm — No Comments

Voices from the 2011 NASCSP Training Conference, Seattle

Voices from the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP), Wednesday, September 21: 

 (Some are direct quotes, some are loose paraphrasing, and some are what I think I heard them say. Meanings are 100% accurate!)

 

WAP has weatherized 520,000 homes through August and spent $3.5 billion of the $5 billion we were given through ARRA. WAP is the 8th largest job creator of all the ARRA projects; we've created…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 21, 2011 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Replacement Windows for Dummies

Recently, Home Energy Publisher Tom White participated in an interview with "Replacement Windows for Dummies," the popular book series known for approachable information on nearly every topic. They discussed what's new in the world of windows, tips on hiring qualified window installers, and much more. Below is a snippet of their conversation.

RWFD: What are some of the most significant new developments in energy efficient windows that benefit…

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Added by Macie Melendez on September 19, 2011 at 11:10am — 9 Comments

Squinting toward retirement: A boon for the lighting industry

Americans report in surveys that they are likely to retire later than expected as a result of this economic downturn that doesn’t seem to want to quit.  While that’s bad news for golf courses and Florida real estate, it helps one industry: energy efficient lighting.

We are squinting, rather than sprinting toward retirement these days. As part of the post-50 crowd, I very much appreciate good lighting in my work space, and I discovered that I am not alone in researching a …

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Added by Elisa Wood on September 16, 2011 at 9:18am — No Comments

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Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

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