Featured Blog Posts (513)

Utility Green Button

Below is the post that originally was put up on Mapawatt on the Utility Green Button.  As the Green Button is adopted by more and more utilities, I believe Home Energy Pros should make sure to inform every customer of its existence and how it can help homeowners better manage utility bills.

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The idea for the utility Green Button was first put forth by U.S. CTO Aneesh…

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Added by Chris Kaiser on March 25, 2012 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

BPI at the Crossroads

This is a look at some of the recent changes & challenges facing BPI I originally posted on my site:http://blog.sls-construction.com/2012/bpi-at-the-crossroads-exams-new-certifications-standards

Lately BPI (aka Building Performance Institute, Inc.) has been growing exponentially and making plenty of waves in the certification field. Just this last July they had…

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Added by Sean Lintow Sr on March 25, 2012 at 4:30pm — 7 Comments

NOx NOx "Who's There?"

 

 

"Ellie." "Ellie who?"  "The Elephant in the living room."

 

The elephant in our room is NOx, and elephants eat a lot.  Then they poop.  A lot. We need to watch where we step. 

 

As technicians following the BPI Standards, we test for CO in the flue as well as in the ambient air as part of any audit where there are combustion appliances.  Imagine my surprise when my new…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on March 21, 2012 at 4:30am — 9 Comments

Illinois Home Performance Added to Northern Illinois multiple listing service

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS), has added additional green design, disclosure, and data verification to its connectMLS™ system. Following on the heels of MRED’s overwhelmingly successful integration of Walk Score®,…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on March 15, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

When in doubt, Incentivize!

These are the latest ideas and bills in congress, which may or may not actually happen.

First up are new tax credits for homeowners investing in energy efficiency upgrades. The Cut Energy Bills at Home Act.

It's based on annual predicted energy cost savings from heating, cooling, hot water and “permanent lighting” in a primary residence. For a minimum credit of $2,000, homes would need to reduce energy costs by 20 percent. Incremental credits are…

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Added by Tom Delconte on March 14, 2012 at 5:30am — 2 Comments

Energy Audit: Hot tubs and Shortcut Return Air Ducts

Energy Audit: Now Recommendations for Energy Saving Up-dates

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

Now that we have the hot tub and the hole-in-the-wall under control, it is time to go ahead…

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Added by Don Ames on March 6, 2012 at 1:33pm — 4 Comments

Home Energy Audit With a Hole in the Wall

Why is there a heating register 4 feet up on the wall?

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

In my last article, I spoke about a home energy audit and the hot tub on the back deck. Remember, it was a manufactured home with a great deck overlooking a roaring hillside stream. Next door, the neighbors were the countryside recyclers, at least I suppose that's what they might call themselves.

Personally, I think I would call them by a…

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Added by Don Ames on March 1, 2012 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Metrolist, Colorado's 800-Pound Gorilla, Goes Green

On March 8, 2012, Metrolist, Denver’s real estate colossus, will finally unveil its “green-field addendum.”  And it’s been a long time coming, says Jamil Dillon.

 

Dillon would know because he helped hatch the idea.  He was the Residential Program Senior Associate at the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) in 2010 when he and green home builder Sean Smith began conversations with some Colorado MLSes, including Metrolist, to provide “green” and energy-efficient home-listing info. …

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Added by Melissa Baldridge on February 28, 2012 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Energy Audit and 5 Hot Tub Energy Saving Tips For Winter

Hot Tub's Ready to Go, Using Power All Winter

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

Finding a new address can be a little rough out here in the country. It doesn't help when the Google Map misses the important fact that a road is actually a dead end and it doesn't connect with another road like Google thinks. So I find two dead end roads instead of a nice continuous loop. And, as is always the case, I am on the wrong dead end. Oh well,…

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Added by Don Ames on February 20, 2012 at 3:21pm — 4 Comments

FTC Weighs In Regarding Energy Savings Claims by Window Companies

It looks like the time has come to pay the piper for over the top promises of savings from replacement windows. Last week the Federal Trade Commission settled with five window companies that have been making exagerated and unsubstantiated claims of energy savings regarding their products. According to Window & Door, "the cases are part of a broad FTC effort to ensure that environmental marketing is truthful and based on solid scientific evidence, government officials…

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Added by Adam Flowers on February 28, 2012 at 12:00pm — 7 Comments

Folk Labels and Home Energy

You’ve almost certainly seen them: a yellow Post-it on the thermostat or a brief note scribbled near the water heater controls, or perhaps a dog-eared card taped to the clothes washer. These are reminders to ourselves (or visitors) about how to operate the device. We call them “folk labels” so as to distinguish them from “official labels,” such as the EnergyGuide, UL, Energy Star, or other information provided by the manufacturer.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on March 1, 2012 at 3:38pm — 3 Comments

Why people don't change their electrical supplier!

It's inexplicable as to why people are sluggish or fearful in regards to getting a better rate on their electric supply rate! 

Only 2% of people were thinking of changing their electricity or gas supplier, down from a third who were interested before the market was opened up statewide in 2006.

The study and recent survey also looked at how many people had already changed suppliers – just 2% for gas and 3% for electricity. You might almost call…

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Added by Tom Delconte on February 28, 2012 at 7:00am — 8 Comments

BCAP Gap Analyses a Resource for Midwest States

Energy Code Gap Analyses are reports that document a particular state’s energy code infrastructure to assess current gaps, identify best practices, and give recommendations for how these practices can be improved. The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) has conducted several Gap Analyses over the course of the past year and these analyses can be a major step towards informing the state on how to reduce energy use by improving energy codes in those states. The gap analyses are part of…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on February 15, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

Obama's budget good for energy efficiency

President Obama’s 2013 budget caused a lot of smiles this week among energy efficiency advocates – even if it is more of a wish list than anything else. Obama calls for about $1.2 billion in spending for energy efficiency.

 

What’s this mean to the energy efficiency industry?

 

Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, says that…

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Added by Elisa Wood on February 17, 2012 at 10:21am — 5 Comments

Comfort as a Selling Point

One aspect of the HVAC industry that I believe many contractors are yet to embrace is that of utilizing comfort as a selling point. And by not doing so, they are missing out on potential business and falling farther behind the leaders of the industry. What I mean by this is that, over the past two decades, understanding of the indoor environment, indoor air quality and the interrelation of building systems has increased dramatically. Think AHRAE 55-2010, and the factors effecting human…

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Added by Adam Flowers on February 13, 2012 at 12:18pm — 3 Comments

This Winter Is 37% Warmer than 2010-11 (by Heating Degree Days)

We celebrated Groundhog Day earlier this month. Naturally, that means we held our annual juggling festival here in Atlanta, but some people associate groundhogs with their weather forecasting ability. My question this year was, How can Punxatawney Phil (the weather predicting…

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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on February 13, 2012 at 8:00am — 6 Comments

Thermostatus: The latest on Thermostat legal status

Many pros already know that a standard upgrade is to install a Honeywell IAQ thermostat! That's why you simply must take a look at this analysis on the Thermostat Wars, Honeywell versus Nest, which now threaten to pre-empt even the infamous browser wars, and cause consternation within the industry:…

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Added by Tom Delconte on February 16, 2012 at 5:30am — 12 Comments

Seeking Warmth in Maine - A Community Reaches Out

On Friday, The New York Times published an article titled "In Fuel Oil Country, Cold That Cuts to the Heart." The article, about the Hartford's, an elderly couple in Maine who can't afford to pay for the oil needed to heat their (rather leaky) home, is both heart-wrenching…

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Added by Macie Melendez on February 9, 2012 at 11:18am — 4 Comments

Fresh fallen leaves stuck on furnace filter

What does it mean if the furnace filter collects lots of lint just like what the dryer makes???...Perhaps the dryer is venting inside and the filter is askew and leaks in the return air or filter gap are pulling it into the furnace. Check 'em.

What does it mean if the filter has three-dozen oak leaves pressed onto it?? Today I found an unusually high bill and a handful of foliage fallen from the neighboring trees. In the attic I found a donut of leaves under the vent where the screen…

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Added by Joseph Lamy on February 3, 2012 at 5:56pm — 1 Comment

Illinois Carpenters Get Training for the Clean Energy Economy

Nick Magrisso recently posted a blog on the NRDC website highlighting the Carpenter Training Center in Elk Grove Village in Illinois as part of his series of exploratory video blogs on how energy efficiency is creating jobs in Illinois. It has been long recognized that a large amount of energy is wasted through improper or outdated building techniques. In addition to creating jobs,…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on January 31, 2012 at 8:01am — No Comments

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