Featured Blog Posts (642)

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

Editorial: Energy Efficiency Advice to the Next Administration

As I write this editorial in early October, the outcome of the election remains uncertain. That’s just fine, because it allows me to offer early advice to whichever candidate wins. Here are some recommendations based on my years with Home Energy.

The government plays an important role in lowering energy demand. If Americans expect the government to establish policies to regulate natural-gas fracking and power plant emissions, then it should also address energy efficiency. The…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 2, 2012 at 10:26am — 2 Comments

Building Science is not really science

Building Science is not really science; it is more of a concept. While the concepts were developed by scientists the system itself is not really hard science. The concepts are generally employed by building analysts and construction professionals. While I consider myself a student of building science I do not consider myself a building scientist. I am simply a tradesman with special training. While some in the field might have different opinions about their role in this industry I am…

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Added by Glen Gallo on October 29, 2012 at 11:26pm — 7 Comments

'Energy democracy' becomes more real

Will new technologies democratize energy much the way the Internet did information?

Industry movement seems to point in that direction with the rise of the smart grid, time-of-day pricing, distributed solar, and the electric vehicle. Together these technologies offer a vision of a less centralized energy system, one where communities and households ‘vote in’ or shape the electric grid by how they decide to consume energy, a phenomenon also called the …

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Added by Elisa Wood on October 25, 2012 at 9:10am — 4 Comments

Building Code: ACCA Manual S

     A seldom practiced design procedure, equipment selection, has been part of the International Residential Code for many years, and local MA/RI code at least since 2010.  This critical step is the second part of residential system design, following a Manual J load calculation and prior to the Manual D duct design.  I think confusion around the dated manual has contributed to lack of use and enforcement.  Whether you are installing an air-conditioner, heat pump, furnace, or boiler, there…

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Added by Christopher Morin on October 24, 2012 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

401(e): Workplace Energy Saving Program

Community Energy Services draws from CEE’s experience applying community organizing principles to…

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Added by Anna Jursik on October 22, 2012 at 7:04am — 1 Comment

Why Test?

I've been wondering lately why we're so hell bent on testing houses. After all, we're a bunch of smart building scientist type guys and gals, right? We may not be Joe Lstiburek's (for which our families and fiends, unbeknownst to them, are mighty grateful), but we have a working knowledge of air and moisture movement, thermal and pressure boundaries, various Deltas (T, P, and the rest), and all that other stuff BPI made us learn. We don't assess houses one day in Tallahassee, the next in…

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Added by Ron Jones on October 18, 2012 at 1:00pm — 6 Comments

Words That Turn Home Energy Pros Into Building Science Dorks

"Ma'am, we've just tested your house and found your infiltration rate to be 16.7 ACH50, your R-values to be only 26% of the IECC…

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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on October 18, 2012 at 8:01am — 4 Comments

Born Into Home Performance—Q&A with Maureen Mahle

Maureen Mahle is the vice president and director of Sustainable Housing Services for Steven Winter Associates, Inc. She’s also new to the Home Energy Board of Directors. As a welcome to the board, and as an introduction to our readers, we decided to get to know Maureen a little better. Below is our conversation.

Home…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on October 18, 2012 at 9:16am — 1 Comment

Speaking to the Heart and Soul of Home Performance

It was my first weatherization conference since becoming the editor of Home Energy. I remember sitting in the crowd listening to the opening speaker and being very inspired. We’re soldiers, I thought. Some of us are on the front lines—the weatherization workers—and some of us, like the staff at Home Energy, offer support from the safety of our offices in Berkeley. We are fighting for our nation’s energy security, and for the health of children and adults, and for the survival…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on October 17, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Soon photovoltaic from any materials

 The discovery of new materials for making cheap and efficient solar cells is the Holy Grail for solar panels industry. 

 Some recent findings represent a significant step towards achieving that goal.…

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Added by Gjorevski Saso on October 15, 2012 at 10:02am — No Comments

Know Your Enervee Score: Energy Efficiency Made Easy

Back in May, I was looking to buy a new flat screen computer monitor for my home office. After spending ten minutes searching online, I found the best deals at J&R Electronics and decided to go down to their Sunnyvale store to make sure that I could find a model that would connect successfully to my MacBook Air laptop. I was overwhelmed by the vast selection of flat screen monitors and really had no idea which one to go for after I narrowed my search down to a 23" size monitor and a…

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Added by Alex Katzman on October 11, 2012 at 8:49am — No Comments

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