Featured Blog Posts (540)

At Home with the Internet of Annoying Things

The Internet of Things has already improved my everyday life. Devices that communicate with each other deliver new services and features that I appreciate. However, as the Internet of Things expands from a few linked devices to a pervasive network, I fear that aggravation will soon replace appreciation. Are we moving toward the Internet of Annoying Things?

We become aware of the Internet of…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on March 2, 2015 at 8:53am — 4 Comments

How to Optimize On-Bill Financing to Help Illinois Building Owners Invest in Energy Efficiency

This post is written by Marcella Bondie Keenan, policy fellow at Elevate Energy.

Building owners can save money by investing in energy efficiency improvements. But if they can’t afford the upfront costs of the upgrades, they continue to pay higher energy bills and are even less able to pay for energy efficiency improvements down the road.

On-bill financing (OBF) is one tool to help owners break out of this cycle. It provides an opportunity to invest in energy…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on February 18, 2015 at 11:36am — 1 Comment

Net Zero Summit March 3-5

I wanted to encourage all you deep energy/ZNE enthusiasts to hie thee to the Net Zero North American Leadership Summit in Boston, March 3-5. The program is a standout, ranging from solar pioneer Steven Strong to Senator Jaime Eldridge to energy guru Marc Rosenbaum, and countless other rock stars. Here's the program. Check it out, register now! Wide-ranging discussions will be had (I first typed "ranting" --…

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Added by Ann Edminster on February 18, 2015 at 9:42pm — No Comments

A Big Boost For Weatherization: Habitat for Humanity on Deck to Help Out

Happy to see that one of our best clean energy advocates, Brad Penney, has rejoined NASCSP as a consultant lobbying for the Weatherization Assistance Program. Weatherization has made a comeback after bottoming out at $68M in FY 2012.  The FY 2015 enacted level is back up to $194M, and the White House has requested $228M in FY 2016. Brad will be leading the advocates fighting to boost Weatherization funding back over $200M and hopefully reach the Administration request in the current…
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Added by Stan Harbuck on February 12, 2015 at 6:00am — 2 Comments

The #1 Item Missing from High-Efficient HVAC Installations

     Imagine this: you go out to your local entertainment big-box store and purchase the top of the line “HUMONGOUS” television.  When you get home, you don’t think anything about it and just go ahead plugging it directly into the wall socket, right?  What’s that you say, ludicrous?  Of course, we would only plug that piece of beautiful technology into a UL rated surge protector!

     So, I gave it away in the first paragraph: a UL rated surge protector.  But, don’t…

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Added by Christopher Morin on February 12, 2015 at 12:00pm — 4 Comments

Point-of-Sale Energy Efficient Financing

It’s no secret that finances are often a barrier to home performance upgrades for homeowners. This is precisely why programs like the PowerSaver loan program are helpful as they work with contractors and equipment installers interested in offering energy efficient financing at the point of sale.

So what is the PowerSaver loan?

Choose from Three Loan Products

There are three PowerSaver…

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Added by Macie Melendez on February 5, 2015 at 12:20pm — 3 Comments

Sales funnels are funny shaped things

One challenge seems to be at the forefront of a lot of the discussions I'm having with colleagues and associates these last few weeks is sales. Closing sales. Making the sale. Getting some traction...getting any movement at all...

Mark Mitchell is a sales and marketing consultant for the building materials industry who writes a good blog. I have been reading Mark's blog for a little while now, diving into the archives…

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Added by Shawna Henderson on January 26, 2015 at 9:23am — 1 Comment

Drainage Planes and Rotting Buildings

We had some serious problems with rotting in buildings that were constructed in the period 1980 and 2000s. ‘Leaky Condo Crisis’ reached fever pitch in Vancouver, BC and surrounding region (excellent Wikipedia entry details the problems, the situation and the fallout here.

In a nutshell, SoCal dry-hot climate details (no rainscreen, no overhangs)…

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Added by Shawna Henderson on January 15, 2015 at 9:00pm — No Comments

New $1.6 Million Program Helps Electric-Heated Buildings in Chicago Save Energy, Money

Many Chicago apartment buildings are electrically heated – meaning that the primary heat source is delivered via electricity, rather than natural gas or other sources. A …

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on January 15, 2015 at 7:51am — 2 Comments

How Low Should I Operate my Heat Pump?

UPDATED: Break Even COP’s for MA

How do you know if you should install a ductless mini-split, or upgrade your air-conditioner to a heat-pump and create a dual-source application during replacement this Winter?  I have been asked this countless times over the past week!  I personally always prefer the option of multiple fuel sources, particularly since energy prices have been all over the place during the last decade.  Fortunately, using averaged…

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Added by Christopher Morin on January 14, 2015 at 11:30am — 3 Comments

What's Reasonable Versus What's Heroic

Ann Edminster, M.Arch, LEED AP (pictured left, observing work done in her attic) is a recognized international expert on green-home design and a principal developer of the LEED for Homes rating system. She travels widely and consults with builders, homeowners, developers, design firms, utilities, investors, and public agencies. We recently discussed what’s at the heart of the…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 7, 2015 at 1:52pm — 4 Comments

Duct Sealing Offers Veteran Comforts

It started with a leaky roof and ended with an ecstatic Vietnam vet who felt more comfortable in his home than he could ever remember.

Awhile back, Joe St. Pierre over at Aeroseal Solutions got a call from Dale McClelland, a licensed energy auditor he had met at a recent Chicago-area tradeshow. In his…

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Added by Brad Brenner on December 24, 2014 at 10:27am — No Comments

The Fast-Changing World of Saving Energy

In reviewing the content of Home Energy's January/February issue, I was struck by how rapidly the energy-saving business is changing. In the issue, we cover the come-from-nowhere explosion in LEDs. Another article about energy-efficient homes in Germany describes the rapid shift to near zero energy homes. That article also reminds us why it is getting risky to ignore activities on what used to be the…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 6, 2015 at 12:16pm — 2 Comments

Clean Energy Works Oregon: Total Home Performance

Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO) is the largest nonprofit home performance provider in Oregon, according to Derek Smith, CEO of CEWO. I spoke with Derek earlier this year about his work in the Pacific NorthWest region.

TW: Do you take a staged-retrofit approach? Or do homeowners complete the whole…

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Added by Tom White on December 17, 2014 at 5:02pm — 4 Comments

LED Lighting 24-month update 18,240 hours & counting

Background:

In November 2012 I replaced 80% of my home's interior lighting with LEDs (35 bulbs total) - see my LED Lighting, 6-month update blog post.

Today, 12December2014 is my 24 month update:

My 'Life-Test' bulbs (a pair of lights above my fireplace) have been 'ON' continuously for 25 months (760 days x 24hrs/day) - 18,240…

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Added by Dale Stephens on December 12, 2014 at 10:46am — 3 Comments

The Wired Home: Which Technologies Actually Work?

With today's sky-high energy costs, homeowners and energy industry professionals alike are constantly looking for ways to increase energy efficiency and save money. Fortunately, advancements in home automation technology have made this easier than ever.

From smart thermostats to air quality monitors to Wi-Fi enabled…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on December 17, 2014 at 4:32pm — No Comments

The 2015 New American Home

In September 2013, we posted a blog called Las Vegas: Bright Lights, Green City?questioning how energy efficient a place nicknamed “Sin City” could actually be. That post focused primarily on the growth of LEED-certified buildings in the city. Here we are now, and I see that the 2015 New American Home will debut at the International Builders Show in – where else – Las Vegas…actually, Henderson, which is…

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Added by Everblue Training on December 4, 2014 at 8:02am — No Comments

Poor HVAC Installation Leads to Increased Energy Use

A new study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) revealed that poor installation of air conditioning and heat pump units often leads to unsatisfactory energy performance. This research took three years to compile, with the help of surveys, field evidence, and various measurements for modeling. The most common installation errors included leaky ducts, improper refrigerant charge, oversizing of systems, and restricted…

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Added by Everblue Training on November 26, 2014 at 8:26am — 1 Comment

RESNET Combustion Safety Deadline is Near

An important deadline is looming for existing HERS Raters. By January 1, 2015, all existing Raters must have passed both the combustion safety written and simulation exams to maintain their certification. If existing Raters do not successfully complete these tasks, they will lose their certification and will not be able to perform home energy ratings as part of their business. This also applies to existing RESNET Rating Field Inspectors.

If you earned your HERS certification prior to…

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Added by Everblue Training on November 18, 2014 at 9:15am — No Comments

So you want / need to pass RESNET’s CAZ Tests?

As many know, by the end of this year all HERS Raters & Field Inspectors (RFI’s) in good standing must complete a three prong CAZ training & testing requirement (assuming it was not part of their original training). While one can debate should they or shouldn’t they have done this, the die has been cast and the mandate has been made. In case this is news to you,…

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Added by Sean Lintow Sr on November 19, 2014 at 7:48am — No Comments

Home Energy Pros

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.

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Paul Raymer posted a blog post

Rocket Science?

The old expression when something is supposed to be simple is to say that, “This is not rocket…See More
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Sean Lintow Sr replied to Jim Gunshinan's discussion Tax Time Blues
"Well if I had to guess your credit will be 0 as it used to be up to $1500 & wasn't as hard…"
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Weatherization to Home Performance -- Tools & Tips for Developing For-profit Services

Are you a low income weatherization contractor looking to add home performance work you your services? The Home Performance Resource Center, Efficiency First, and NCAF present resources developed through expert industry engagement. While many of the…
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Tax Time Blues

There is a tax credit available to homeowners who have walls insulated. The credits were continued…See More
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