I remember not all too long ago, yes I am still on what I hope to be the first half of my life, that Central Air-Conditioning was a luxury. Like the radio, then the television; next the telephone, and now the cell phone, Air-conditioning has become a necessity. What was before Air-Conditioning? What did the weather people (yes, politically correct here on Excess Air) say to the elderly before they would recommend "staying inside, out of the heat"?
I remember what I used to do…
Energy efficiency can be a tough sell. Providing detailed information about financial savings and environmental benefits doesn’t always motivate conservation. So when rational arguments don’t work, how can we influence energy behavior? Perhaps by creating an emotional response with inclusive and engaging public art installations, such as the upcoming Northeast Green Light Project.…
Back in the ‘80s, the Center for Neighborhood Technology and others helped the City of Chicago pass a residential utility disclosure ordinance that required the disclosure of heating bills when residential properties are sold or leased in the city. Why? Heating expenses constitute a significant home expense, and it’s important for consumers and Realtors to have access to this information.
Until now, complying with the ordinance could take up to two weeks: a Realtor submitted an…Continue
All of us have elderly relatives or friends, but have you ever considered their energy consumption patterns? On the surface, those patterns may look little different from your own, but in fact the aging population brings new needs across the whole spectrum of health, transportation, recreation, housing, and safety. And since the over-65 cohort is a growing…Continue
Most energy audit reports place windows very low on their list of energy improvement priorities. This isn't surprising because of the relatively high cost of replacement windows coupled with what are commonly marginal improvements in their thermal performance. Since audit reports generally prioritize energy efficiency improvement opportunities according to their cost vs. thermal benefit (fuel savings) ratio, the energy…Continue
Home builder Sean Smith feels like Sisyphus – the Greek mythological figure doomed for eternity to push boulders uphill only for them to crash downhill when he neared the top. Smith’s boulder? Higher appraisal prices for the green homes he builds in metro Denver.
“We built a house a couple of years…Continue
Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/
In the early nineties, I began developing interactive CD-ROMs to teach school age children about energy and environmental issues. We created games to teach these concepts. An essential step in our process was…Continue
Added by Lester Shen on June 26, 2013 at 7:00am — No Comments
I recently received the email below from a fellow supporter of the Weatherization Program regarding the current status of Federal funding for the Low Income Weatherization program.
Relatively speaking, while I have done little in terms of personal lobbying in DC at the Federal level on Weatherization, Brad Penney deserves credit as one of the greatest leaders in personally convincing members of Congress to fund the Weatherization program during the FY2013 and 2014 - the two years…Continue
Added by Stan Harbuck on June 30, 2013 at 5:34pm — No Comments
I live in New England, New Hampshire, to be specific, and I just don't get the lack of seriousness about weatherization and credentials here. I'm BPI Certified Building Analyst and Envelope Specialist, have taken the Resnet Energy Smart Contractor test, have OSHA 10, lead certified renovator, the list goes on and on. Means nothing here. Area contractors insulate to be just good enough and nothing more. I can't tell you how many times that I have gone to a new construction job and have been…Continue
The Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum is a form used to standardize the reporting of high performance house features from green certifications to incentives offered. The Addendum can be downloaded in a PDF format from the Appraisal Institute’s Website. It is seems there is much confusion on who should be completing the Addendum, why they should complete it and what they…Continue
As energy auditors and raters went about their business of testing homes, performing energy audits and HVAC system inspections, they discovered and reported certain “problems” to the homeowners of Texas. For example, they reported that HVAC systems were oversized, or suffering from massive duct leakage! In late 2011, The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which oversees the HVAC industry,…Continue
It has come to my attention that there may be a building science-based conflict in the language of the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) and 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
The 2012 IECC sets the mandatory blower door tested and certified air infiltration rate at 5 ACH50 in CZ1 & 2 and an even tighter 3 ACH50 in CZ 3 and above. The problem lies in the fact that the new…Continue
New Study: "Impact of LEED-Certified Affordable Housing on Asthma in the South Bronx"
Here is more evidence that the occupants of energy efficient, healthy, and affordable housing enjoy better health compared to those in traditional low-income housing. The results of an in-depth study by Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City of residents who recently moved into LEED-certified low-income multifamily housing showed:
Added by Jim Gunshinan on June 20, 2013 at 5:00pm — No Comments
President and founder of Chicago-based Weiss Building & Development, Brandon Weiss is a third-generation builder who credits time spent in Europe to his sustainable approach to life.
While he’s built more than 90 high-performing homes since he started his company in 2005, it wasn’t until recently that he started work on his own family home.…Continue
Since the 1980s, hot water condensing boilers (CB) have…Continue
It says something that Ernest Moniz chose to deliver his first public talk as US energy secretary to an energy efficiency crowd.
His appearance last week at EE Global in Washington, D.C. was a surprise of sorts. And the timing was significant. Moniz had only been confirmed as energy secretary three hours before taking the podium at the Alliance to Save Energy’s annual conference.
Why did he make the stop?
Probably not because of the size of the crowd. About 550 people…Continue
Changing one’s daily routine and making big decisions about money is hard. When a home performance contractor asks a customer to consider an audit, they are asking a lot. Besides the cost of the audit and any retrofit measures the homeowner chooses to pay for, which is probably the biggest challenge, there is also the inconvenience. The audit and retrofit may require the homeowner to take time off from work. Having workers climb in and out of the attic, under the crawlspace, and drill holes…Continue
Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 28, 2013 at 2:37pm — No Comments
The easiest way to show a homeowner how their investment in high-efficient equipment will help their wallet is to use the "Simple Payback" Calculation. This 'tried and true' sales tactic will quickly explain how many years before the additional investment to upgrade is paid off. Of course, there are many features that a high-efficient system provides, like superior levels of comfort, wether it be climate control or just condenser noise just outside their children's bedroom. These…Continue
We don't see a lot of bi-partisan bills in Congress these days. Here's one focusing on home energy-efficiency from a WV-R and a VT-D, both on the energy committee, the HOMES Act, HR 2128 (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.113hr2128) introduced yesterday. Now, I'm not holding my breathe on passage, but I take it as a good sign that energy-efficiency is part of the…Continue
The late poet and political activist Muriel Rukeyser famously said, The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms. It’s not just words that make up stories. A scientific equation is a story, and so is getting up from my seat and stretching—it’s the story of back care for an editor. We can tell a story with the expression on our faces. What does it tell you when a loved one rolls her eyes at you, or blows you a kiss? How do you feel when a stranger winks at you? Flips you the bird? That last…Continue
Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 17, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments