All Blog Posts (975)

Icing on the . . . Cake??



 

     R-49 attic insulation is recommended for this climate, and I spec R-60 for most attic floors because…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on February 12, 2011 at 8:51am — 1 Comment

ACI's Energy Upgrade California

ACI's Energy Upgrade California, held January 10-11 in Los Angeles, presented a pretty good picture of how the Energy Upgrade California program will roll out across California. Currently an investor-owned utility (IOU) pilot program, it offers modest rebates for whole house improvements. There are a variety of rules and regulations, and paperwork, and processes that were all laid out pretty clearly at the conference. In addition, the local municipalities talked about their related programs and… Continue

Added by Steve Mann on February 11, 2011 at 5:21pm — 3 Comments

Obama, better buildings and the innovators

When Obama unveiled his “Better Building Initiative” last week, it wasn’t just the usual architects, builders, and energy efficiency service companies that perked up with interest. A whole new segment of energy efficiency companies saw opportunity: the innovators.

Emissaries from the high tech world, the innovators are a growing force in energy efficiency. They bring web and wireless to what was once a field more about windows and weatherization.

Obama’s plan would create new…

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Added by Elisa Wood on February 11, 2011 at 9:11am — No Comments

Staging and Phasing Efficiency

A few weeks ago I was interviewed on the“Green, Better, Best” radio show. I was asked in advance to provide a "top ten” list of energy saving tips for the home. I've been asked this many times before, and I always feel like I’m being asked to discover the “easy” button. When it comes to energy generation and efficiency, there are no silver bullets that will take down the beast, but with good planning…

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Added by Paul Scheckel on February 11, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

New Label for Things Made from Wind Energy

I am composing this blog post on a computer that was likely assembled in a factory that runs on electricity made from coal. The aluminum for the case and other parts of the computer probably came from a smelter powered by natural gas. The electricity powering the computer here in California could come from a combination… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on February 10, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Where to find energy efficiency business opportunities

No one would disagree that this is a good time to be in the energy efficiency business. Another report, this one out last week, signals just how good.

Conducted by Comverge, the survey of more than 100 US utilities found that 92% plan to increase their efficiency budgets by at least 10% in 2011. Comverge also found that 22% plan to boost their EE budgets by more than 20%.…

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Added by Elisa Wood on February 8, 2011 at 8:34am — No Comments

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

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