Featured Blog Posts (653)

TRACKING RESULTS - Making Excellence A Competitive Advantage

Promises of savings without tracking DRIVES ME NUTS.  People are being harmed and we don't have any idea how big the harm is.  Comprehensive Home Performance really takes off once you connect tracking results because now you can offer a thing very rare.  

You can offer TRUTH.  You can offer PROOF that what you say will happen, will happen.  Delivering the "5th 

How do we create pressure for Utilities to open up their data so tracking can be automated?…

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Added by tedkidd on December 13, 2012 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Why Don't Architects and Interior Designers Care About HVAC Systems?

GUILTY! Once upon a time, I would have scoffed at mechanical engineers and contractors if they'd ask me, as the design architect, for a bigger room to put the HVAC (heating and air conditioning) equipment in.

"Are you crazy? And give up valuable storage space???"

They might have also ask me for dropped soffits and vertical chases to run the ductwork through. To which I would reply:

"What?!?! That's not consistent with my innovative and beautiful design! The…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on December 13, 2012 at 7:54am — 2 Comments

A Successful Technician

I am sure I am not the first to write about this, but it doesn't change expectations of homeowners or trade employers.  Why is it that millionaire ball players can be successful batting .300?  A pitcher can have thirty starts, win 20 games and could be named for the Cy Young?  Or that a successful quarterback can throw 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions?  The reason: they are much better than their peers.

     Imagine, as an HVAC Tech, you got the diagnosis correct  one-third of the…

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Added by Christopher Morin on December 4, 2012 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Combi System Animations

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

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Added by Lester Shen on December 3, 2012 at 9:30am — 25 Comments

Energy efficiency and a cold marriage

We know energy efficiency can save the world, but can it save a marriage?

Leave it to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to take on that question. The agency is known for its vanguard energy research.  But it is one thing to produce papers on topics like ‘Air Bypass in Vertical Stack Water Source Heat Pumps’ and another to delve into what a cold room can do to a new marriage.

That’s  the premise behind Irreconcilable Temperatures,  a…

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Added by Elisa Wood on December 1, 2012 at 3:30am — 1 Comment

From Construction to Collaborative Training—Q&A with Chris Dorsi

What do you call a former construction worker that knows how to dance the tango? Chris Dorsi. Okay, so maybe it’s not the best punch line, but it is certainly interesting. And that’s not the only thing we learned about Dorsi in the following interview.

Currently gearing up for regional conferences to be hosted by his newly founded company Habitat X in Portland and San Francisco, Dorsi is focused on combining professional training with…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 28, 2012 at 10:18am — No Comments

Storytelling from BECC

When I attend a conference I can always tell which sessions I find most inspirational by the amount of notes I take. While attending the annual Behavior Energy and Climate Change (BECC) conference on Monday of this past week in Sacramento, the note test proved itself once again. Hands down, I found the most inspiration from the afternoon Spotlight Panel titled “Hollywood, Media and Messaging.”

To be fair, I was excited about…

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Added by Macie Melendez on November 28, 2012 at 10:20am — No Comments

The Installed Price of Solar PV Systems Continues to Decline

The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). 

The median installed price of residential and commercial PV systems completed in 2011 fell by roughly 11% to 14% from the year before, depending on system…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 28, 2012 at 10:23am — 1 Comment

EE + RE? Top 10 Takeaways from Realtors' Annual Conference

NAR Image

 

Five very full days in Orlando at NAR Annual 2012 creates a full slate of new ideas, opportunities and new thinking about old obstacles. Here are my Top 10 ideas and…

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Added by Laura Reedy Stukel on November 23, 2012 at 12:51pm — 2 Comments

Great Home Energy Magazine HPwES article.

Great article.  I think Courtney Moriarta may be one of the brilliant original designers of Comprehensive Home Performance:

Home Energy Magazine - Home Performance with Energy Star :: Home Performance with Energy Star - Looking Back to See the Future 

Hopefully the current obsession with "cost effectiveness" will soon be replaced with focus on Comprehensive…

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Added by tedkidd on November 24, 2012 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Financing as Follow-Through

High initial costs can discourage homeowners from making large investments in energy improvements such as new heating equipment or insulation. Our Community Energy Services (CES) residential program tries to remove this barrier by helping identify available rebates as well as offering financing options such as low interest loans. Homeowners who complete a CES home visit qualify for a…

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Added by Anna Jursik on November 27, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

Book Review: Power from the People

Power from the People by Greg Pahl is yet another release in the “Communitiy Reslience Guide” series.

The book focuses on tangible information, which can guide communities, regions, and individuals into a stable future.

Pahl first focuses on the myriad problems that we face today. With rising energy costs come increased food costs, increased cost of living, and the ultimate breakdown…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 19, 2012 at 1:29pm — No Comments

Return Air Locations

     When using ACCA's Manual T for register selection, there are several basic rules that are followed regarding location. Most guidelines revolve around room air circulation and stagnant air, as well as the equipment application (heating only, cooling only, or combination). Application is the largest determining factor when it comes to return air locations.

      For heating only applications, a low return duct is ideal to bring back the coldest air otherwise stagnant in the room.…

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Added by Christopher Morin on November 17, 2012 at 10:39am — 3 Comments

The Haunted House Energy Audit That Almost Killed Me

The most terrified I've ever been was was the time I got called to do a home energy audit of the haunted house-as-a-system down the street. I still shudder when I think of that night. Yes, it was nighttime. The caller who hired me, a woman with a sultry voice, said that was the only…

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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on November 12, 2012 at 6:00pm — 2 Comments

Disaster Relief: Energy Efficient Homes for Hurricane Sandy Victims

Recently, the Obama government has sanctioned relief funds for people affected by the super storm Sandy as part of its LIHEAP or Low income Home Energy Assistance Program. According to the reports, around 284,000 homes have been affected in the catastrophe. The total financial loss estimated so far amounts to $88 billion. As a…

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Added by Simon Craig on November 13, 2012 at 10:38pm — 3 Comments

Updates on Presenters: Habitat X Conference in San Francisco

If you're planning on coming to the Habitat X Conference at Skyline College in San Francisco, you'll get to study alongside some of the most well-respected people in the industry.

On Monday December 10th, Ann Edminster will join us to discuss the shift in…

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Added by Chris Dorsi on November 8, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Using Cell Phones to Create a Feedback Loop

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

In previous posts, I’ve explained how to incorporate smart phones and apps into energy audits (here and …

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Added by Lester Shen on November 5, 2012 at 10:00am — 11 Comments

Hurricane Sandy and the Home Performance Industry

Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend a webinar put on by Energy Circle titled “Hurricane Sandy and the Home Performance Industry: How Do We Respond?” Peter Troast, CEO of Energy Circle, shared that when he woke up on Friday, he felt the need to start a bigger conversation—thus a webinar was born. For being a last-minute idea, the webinar was a huge success with a lot of response, which serves as yet another testament to the great people of this industry.…

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Added by Macie Melendez on November 5, 2012 at 1:21pm — No Comments

Book Review: The New New Deal Finds that “Weatherization Works”

This is personal. When I heard reports about rampant waste and abuse in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that turned out to be false, I thought of all the people I know who worked tirelessly to meet one goal of ARRA—to weatherize 600,000 homes before March, 2012—and it made me very angry. The men and women of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) met and exceeded that goal, with minimum fraud, abuse, and waste. In fact, they reached 1-million homes weatherized…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 2, 2012 at 2:30pm — 5 Comments

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