Featured Blog Posts (630)

Building Rainwater Harvesting Systems

Rainwater harvesting is a system which requires a two-step process. The two major events in rainwater harvesting are catchment and storage. The first hurdle is developing an adequate method of collection. Once the rain is collected, a proper and large storage system is required. The complexity and size can vary dramatically. The simplest methods involve the rerouting of gutters into an above ground rain barrel up to a complex system of catchment dishes, filters, pumps, ponds and…

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Added by GBRI on March 24, 2016 at 12:30am — No Comments

Better Buildings Accelerators: Driving Uptake of Home Energy Information and Upgrade Programs Nationwide

The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Home Upgrade Program and Home Energy Information Accelerators work with partners across the nation and are making important progress in lowering the costs of energy upgrade programs, while improving overall program effectiveness and enhancing access to information on home energy performance for consumers. These efforts help…

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Added by Lester Shen on March 17, 2016 at 7:52am — No Comments

Energy Raters and Builders Raise the Bar for Home Performance at RESNET’s Building Performance Conference

RESNET convened its Building Performance Conference in Scottsdale this March, a hospitable time of year in the Arizona desert. I roamed the sessions, and a few of the bars, to keep abreast of developments in home energy rating and performance. 

2016 PRIORITIES: IMPROVING QUALITY AND LOWERING COSTS OF HOME BUILDING 

The many young attendees wearing new company jerseys at this year’s conference were a sign that the energy-rating business, at least for new homes,…

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Added by Tom White on April 25, 2016 at 10:25am — No Comments

Energy Fit: Engaging Consumer Experiences That Lead to Better Energy Habits

Fitness wearables inspire people to change; to exercise more in order to meet their daily goals. These sophisticated gadgets gather previously untapped data about our everyday lives to give us a better understanding of ourselves – otherwise known as the “quantified self.”

Like fitness wearables, exposing how we’re using energy can unlock our collective potential to reduce our electricity bills and our…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on April 6, 2016 at 10:28am — 1 Comment

Increasing Home Value Through Energy Upgrades

It turns out that one of the most valuable remodeling options is one you can’t see. That’s the conclusion of the recent Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling magazine, which compares the average cost for popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale value in 100 different U.S. markets. For…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on April 6, 2016 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Addison Homes Wins Bridge Award for Green Building

Addison Homes won the Southern Home & Garden Bridge Award for Green Building for the third consecutive year.

Produced by the Home Builders Association of Greenville and the Sales & Marketing…

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Added by Diane Jackson on March 23, 2016 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Living in the Age of Jetsons (minus flying cars)

Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/

In the early 1960s, "The Jetsons" treated TV audiences to a cartoon future filled with jetpacks, flying cars, and helpful robot maids named Rosie... Swap Rosie for Alexa, and 50 years later we're edging closer and closer to realizing that colorful vision…

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Added by Lester Shen on March 28, 2016 at 8:45am — No Comments

Free Electricity

A curious situation has recently arisen in electricity grids around the world: The wholesale price of electricity has occasionally gone negative. This means that the market will pay customers to use electricity. The grid in Texas experienced negative prices last September. Soon afterward, a Texan retail electricity provider—not to be confused with a utility—began offering residential…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on March 10, 2016 at 8:29pm — No Comments

Truly Reality TV: Finding the Right Time and Place for Home Energy Performance

Originally published on Feb. 22, 2016 on RMI Outlet.

By Douglas Miller (Rocky Mountain Institute) & Laura Reiter (Cineflix)…

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Added by Douglas Miller on February 22, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

Who among us tracks the accuracy of Manual J?

Who among us tracks the accuracy of Manual J?

I have hour meters on maybe 20 systems now.    I like to see the run time when it's "4" degrees in Kansas City.  99% rate in KC is +4' degrees.  My goal at 4' is 100% run time.   I have a super sealed home 2,100 square feet  with a 2 ton ground type heat pump R-30 walls, R-60 attic, R-8 windows & doors with 98% run time @ "+ 4' ".  When the strip heat turned on, it smelled up the home with the dirt  off the 5 KW strip, heat…

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Added by Eric Kjelshus on February 27, 2016 at 8:06pm — 4 Comments

Home Energy Efficiency, Meet Real Estate: A 2015 Year in Review and a Forecast for the Future

A lot is happening at the intersection of residential energy efficiency and real estate.

First, let us set the scene. Elevate Energy and others have long recognized a specific challenge: When homeowners invest in improving the energy efficiency of their home and property, these measures are often…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on February 25, 2016 at 10:05am — 1 Comment

Texas' Five-Star Butterfly and Hummingbird Retreat

[This blog is cross-posted from Home Energy Magazine.]

By Doug Garrett

When we built our new home 50 miles from Austin on 21+ acres we made the decision to have all of our indoor water come from harvested rainwater and to make our flower gardens bigger than they were at our first country…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on February 16, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments

Well-Built Dumb Home

Well-Built Dumb Home

  • One of the smartest things ever said about building a new home, was about something dumb:…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on February 17, 2016 at 5:45am — 3 Comments

Bonus room attic walls heat load

Hi Everyone...

First of all I am 59yr old retired Federal employee. I took HVAC in a trade school 30 years ago. While working a full time job, HVAC was basically side work for me. After a couple years of  residential installs and service work, I transferred into the building maintenance dept. HVAC was 75-80% of my job. We went to several onsite schools for a couple days here and there for the newest HCAV stuff. Keep in mind this is all commercial units we are working on in Federally…

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Added by Anthony Adams on February 12, 2016 at 11:15am — 4 Comments

Michigan Energy Auditor Certifications

Starting February 8, 2016, the Michigan Energy Code will adopt the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (2015 IECC) with "amendments, deletions, and additions deemed necessary for use in Michigan." The state will be skipping the 2012 IECC, thereby increasing the energy efficiency requirements of its homes by 10-12%.

Michigan building code

What is the 2015 IECC?

State building codes exist to provide a standard set of guidelines for all builders,…

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Added by Everblue Training on January 28, 2016 at 9:58am — 2 Comments

Axial flow fans – An Overview

A fan is a mechanical device, which produces a stream or flow of air/gas. The fans are used both at residential and commercial spaces serving different purposes. These are often used to move air or gases via ventilating systems. In industries, these are used to force air inside the hot steam boilers and help to reduce the temperature of machines and other equipments. Fans function similar to the compressors, which is relatively at low pressures. These are basically divided as axial and…

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Added by miguel pace on January 20, 2016 at 5:30am — No Comments

Insulating a Slab-On-Grade in Hotlanta

Insulating a Slab-On-Grade in Hotlanta

Why in the world are we insulating a slab-on-grade in Hotlanta?

Reason #1: Atlanta is not, I repeat, NOT a cooling dominated climate. Wait...What?!?!?

Yes, it gets plenty hot here in the Summer, but it also gets downright cold. Which is why it's one of the more difficult climates to design and build in. We get both extremes.

I'm not saying we know what cold is, like all y'all do up yonder in them…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on February 1, 2016 at 4:03am — 9 Comments

The Compliance Project

Many of us have been working for decades to push the energy codes toward higher performance. We've had some good success along the way, as state after state adopt more stringent codes. Unfortunately, in many regions we have a long, long way to go. Even in those places where the most stringent codes are in place, execution and enforcement are often weak. And, as for going…

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Added by Chris Dorsi on February 11, 2016 at 12:14pm — 13 Comments

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