Featured Blog Posts (725)

It’s Time to Stop Using Fire in Our Homes

At some point in time man gained control over fire. Fire was very useful: it could be used to cook food, provide light, and its heat allowed us to survive in hostile environments.

Thousands of years later, some things haven’t changed much. Whether we have a natural gas or propane furnace or (in some parts of…

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Added by Efficiency First California on July 18, 2017 at 6:39pm — 1 Comment

Good Intentions, Poor Results

The energy efficiency industry in California is tangled with regulation.

Without a doubt, there are many policies that have been successful. California’s strict building codes have reduced energy use per capita and are responsible for eliminating the need to build 15-20 new power plants over the last 30 years. This is a great result and job well done.

But there are also plenty of cases where…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 12, 2017 at 9:30am — No Comments

Angry Air!

John Tooley said, “Air is like crooked rivers, crooked people, teenagers, and cheap labor.  It always seeks the path of least resistance.”  He didn’t say that Angry air is Noisy air.   Air doesn’t like being forced through corrugated, flexible ducting, pushed around corners, and made to force open dampers.  It resists being made to perform in a way that it doesn’t want to.  It takes more and more force as the resistance increases.  Air is just fine when you just let it move at will.  It can…

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Added by Paul Raymer on July 7, 2017 at 12:48pm — No Comments

EPCs - Do You Know The Law?

Whether you are a property owner, landlord, tenant, contractor, or otherwise, it is essential to know the current and proposed laws surrounding energy performance certificates, or EPCs.

An EPC is essentially a guide to how efficiently a property uses energy, the cost of running the property, and recommendations on how to potentially improve the energy efficiency of the property.

An EPC is…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 5, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

New Report Shows Big Jump in Net-Zero Energy Homes

Net-zero energy homes seem to be growing their way out of a purely niche market. The number of zero energy residential units—homes that produce as much energy as they consume—in the United States and Canada grew 33% over the previous year, according to a new report by the Net Zero Energy…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 28, 2017 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Seeking Novel Applications of Thermal Storage

Through its JUMP platform, Oak Ridge National Lab has partnered with Trane to host a technology challenge on thermal storage.  It is crucial that innovative techniques and materials be developed that efficiently condition occupied spaces, contribute to improved occupant comfort, and have low product and installation costs.  Such energy, comfort and cost considerations will best enable…

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Added by Sarah OConnell on June 27, 2017 at 6:13am — No Comments

The Results Are In: These Are The Most Energy-Efficient Utilities in the US

Our first-ever scorecard of US utilities, released today, reveals striking regional differences and the best— and worst — performers on energy efficiency. The 2017 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard looks at the performance of the 51 largest electricutilities in the United States and highlights cutting-edge efforts. Topping the list are Eversource Massachusetts and National Grid…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 20, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Women in Building Performance: Cynthia Adams

Cynthia Adams is the CEO of Pearl, a national home certification company, which certifies home features that contribute to its comfort, energy performance, and indoor air quality. As a third-party certification company, Pearl provides independent documentation for refinance or resale (think Carfax for homes).

Macie Melendez: How did you get started in the home performance…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 13, 2017 at 10:37am — 3 Comments

First-Ever Comprehensive National Standard Practice Manual is Updated Guidebook for Energy Efficiency Cost-Benefit Analysis

The first-ever comprehensive national guide for utility-funded energy efficiency programs is now available to help utilities, regulators and other interested stakeholders make the best possible energy efficiency decisions for their jurisdictions.

The National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM) presents a comprehensive framework and key principles for costeffectiveness assessment of energy efficiency…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 23, 2017 at 9:30am — No Comments

Seeking Innovation in Roofing Systems

Oak Ridge National Lab has partnered with GAF to host a technology challenge on roofing systems.  The challenge is part of the online crowdsourcing site, JUMP, and aims to identify innovation solutions for ensuring energy efficient and durable low-slope roofing systems employing concrete decks.

The National Roofing Contractors Association’s 2014-2015 Market Survey indicates that concrete decks represent about 14 percent of the new and retrofit low-slope construction market. In recent…

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Added by Sarah OConnell on May 12, 2017 at 9:47am — No Comments

Top tips for maintaining an evaporative cooler

Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers have become a top choice for anyone looking for an alternative cooling solution from their home or office. In the past, evap cooler technology was limited for use in large operations that have easy access to exterior air such as factories.

The…

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Added by Kobus Niemand on May 4, 2017 at 3:30am — No Comments

Congratulations to the 2017 Race to Zero Winners!

The Ryerson University and University of Toronto team topped the …

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 9, 2017 at 6:56am — No Comments

Connecting the Dots: Real Estate and Home Performance

A new type of conversation between REALTORS® and their clients is changing the real estate industry before our eyes. As homebuyers browse Zillow listings and spend their Sundays visiting open houses, their agents are educating them to evaluate not just curb appeal and square footage, but also utility bill costs, comfort, and health. And homebuyers are listening.

In fact, 56 percent of REALTORS® say that…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 9, 2017 at 6:50am — 5 Comments

Attic Fans and CAZ Pressure - Testing Fun!

Consider turning attic fans on when checking for the worst case CAZ depressurization. The fan may be changing the pressure dynamics of the home in dangerous ways.…

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Added by A. Tamasin Sterner on May 8, 2017 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

Crowdsourcing for Innovation

Share Your Ideas!

Novel Building Envelope Design for Increased Thermal Performance

In 2014, more than 40% of US primary energy and 70% of electricity was consumed in residential and commercial buildings, resulting in annual energy costs of more than…

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Added by Sarah OConnell on March 24, 2017 at 7:30am — 4 Comments

The Legends of Home Performance

A project long in the making, we're happy to finally reveal some of our Legends of Home Performance videos. We've been working with videographer Debra Little for almost a year now, and she's had the pleasure of sitting down and hearing the stories of several home performance industry heavy hitters.  

"I've been shooting these at various conferences I've attended and it's been a thrill for me to hear [their] stories and be able to help make them accessible for folks to enjoy," says…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on April 27, 2017 at 7:27am — No Comments

Building a Clean Energy Future, Respect for the People Who Will Build It

What a dream job should look like

You don’t need to spend a great of time deal in the policy world before you hear a conversation about workforce development. In fact, the Energy Upgrade California incentive program was originally created as a workforce development solution. Flashback to 2008, the Great Recession: contractors were out of work and the economy was in a downward spiral. The incoming Obama administration designed a program to stimulate the economy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment…

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Added by Efficiency First California on April 25, 2017 at 1:29pm — No Comments

Women in Building Performance: Jamie Peters

Jamie Peters is the Director of Client Solutions at EnergySavvy, a software company that aims to transform the way utilities interact with and serve their customers. Peters brings seven years of energy efficiency program experience to EnergySavvy, including launching…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on April 17, 2017 at 12:43pm — No Comments

Why Builders Should Care About Grade I Installation

Quality installation of insulation matters and if builders aren’t getting RESNET Grade I installation with fiberglass batts then they’re getting a HERS-score penalty, says new fact…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on April 11, 2017 at 11:19am — No Comments

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