Featured Blog Posts (505)

Despite record breaking cold winter our MI GreenStar Certified home saved 50% Energy!

Despite the extreme record breaking cold this winter, we still saved nearly 50% energy compared to the home prior to the remodel and about the same compared to conventional homes in West Michigan.…
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Added by Brett Little on May 31, 2014 at 5:30pm — 14 Comments

Top 5 A/C Code Requirements not Enforced

  This list does not represent the entire code, or even all municipalities.  Everyone knows those towns that will hit you on every piece of the local code requirements, word for word from the text.  But, don't be surprised when code officials, both building and mechanical inspectors, start failing permit inspections for these previously rarely enforced portions of the code!  Are you going to wait until enforcement, or lead the industry in doing what the minimum is required by…

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Added by Christopher Morin on June 5, 2014 at 5:34pm — 8 Comments

Residential Green Valuation Tools

Ever wonder how appraisers develop value of houses with green or energy efficient features?  Residential Green Valuation Tools was published last month by the Appraisal Institute.  The 189-page book has 13 chapters that address the most often asked questions about the valuation process and green building.  As the author of the book, I found the challenge of writing this book a great learning and…

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Added by Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA on May 26, 2014 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal Part 3

Here is the latest from the 10 Maple Lane Retrofit Project.

Met with Bill Stewart on Monday and signed an agreement for:

  • Wall insulation
  • Vapor barrier on crawlspace floor
  • Duct repair and some air sealing

I also asked them to move the filter to the return grill so…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 21, 2014 at 2:54pm — 7 Comments

DIY Minisplits: Which side are you on?

 Recently, Friedrich has modeled and sold in limited markets their DIY Mini-Split Heat Pump, Breeze.  Just a few days ago, they scaled back their rollout in order to meet customer demand by limiting sales to New York and South Florida.  I am torn between…

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Added by Christopher Morin on May 17, 2014 at 6:51pm — 7 Comments

Making Homes Cozier With a House Party

This week, Elevate Energy read two great accounts of how friends and neighbors came together to learn how to make their own homes cozier and more energy efficient. Thanks for sharing!

This homeowner wanted to improve her “leaky old ship” of a home and discovered an energy loss culprit.

Keri…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on May 15, 2014 at 8:32am — No Comments

Interview with Van Jones: Rebuilding the Dream in Detroit, Part 3

[This is the third in a three-part inteview with Van Jones, who delivered the keynote address in Detroit, Mich., on April 30, 2014, to attendees of the ACI National Home Performance Conference.  The full interview is posted in three consecutive blogs.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 15, 2014 at 2:48pm — No Comments

Interview with Van Jones: Rebuilding the Dream in Detroit, Part 2

[This is the second in a three-part inteview with Van Jones, who delivered the keynote address in Detroit, Mich., on April 30, 2014, to attendees of the ACI National Home Performance Conference.  The full interview is posted in three consecutive blogs. …

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 14, 2014 at 2:11pm — No Comments

Affordably Net-Zero

In addition to saving energy, net-zero technologies offer a plethora of health, safety, and environmental benefits; but achieving zero energy can be prohibitively expensive. In this interview, Lucas Alm and Dan Handeen…

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Added by Anna Jursik on May 8, 2014 at 8:00am — 4 Comments

I survived my first ACI

I did it. I survived my first conference in this industry, the 2014 ACI National Home Performance conference in Detroit.



When I joined The Energy Conservatory in June 2013 I was brand new to this industry. Before TEC I didn’t even know this industry existed, let alone what a blower door was. To help me learn all of this building science geekiness I decided to take BPI’s Building Science Principles course and exam. I read the book twice, and then took the exam, which I passed! I…

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Added by Kim Tanner on May 9, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

Everyone Knows You Except for Your Electric Utility

Netflix, you were right. I liked Downton Abbey. And thanks, Amazon I do want to read Michael Lewis’ new book. I still can’t figure out how Google knows I have a new dog.

Even if at times it feels a bit eerie, such ‘consumer-of-one’ marketing is a convenience many of us have come to appreciate. And it’s an approach now embraced by most major retailers.

The exception? You’ve guessed it: the ever-old fashioned electric utility.

But…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 10, 2014 at 1:19am — 2 Comments

Interview with Van Jones: Rebuilding the Dream in Detroit, Part 1

Van Jones delivered the opening plenary keynote speech for ACI's 2014 National Home Performance Conference in Detroit last week.  I've been aware of Van's work since he started the Green Collar Job Corps program at the Ella Baker Center in Oakland, Calif., back in 2007.  Van was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act that was signed into law by Pres. George W. Bush in that year. 

Under the Obama…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 13, 2014 at 2:46pm — 1 Comment

New Air Tightness Record in Ontario (Dare I say Canada?)

It happened again yesterday: a new record (tell me if you know of a tighter house in Ontario if not Canada!) for air tightness was broken in Oakville by Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) Ed Marion of Passive House Ontario.

And this was just a pre-drywall test, so it can only get better from here.…

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Added by Greg Labbe on May 6, 2014 at 1:51pm — 5 Comments

The House of Mystery

Sometimes we forget how complicated a house is. Building scientists know all about a house’s complexity because, even with help from supercomputers, they still can’t reliably simulate many of the processes taking place, let alone model the whole house. Perhaps the biggest challenge is that the darn thing can’t keep still. Cycles with different periods impose their wills on the structure and equipment in not entirely predictable ways. The seasons impose annual cycles for the sun and average…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 2, 2014 at 2:54pm — No Comments

ACI National Home Performance Conference 2014 Highlights

As usual, the ACI National Home Performance Conference contained too many highlights to mention in one blog post. So I will share just a few.

Got up early on Tuesday and went with Tom White, Home Energy Publisher, to a rehab house in a neighborhood of…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 2, 2014 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments

Home Energy Efficiency Now Recognized by Appraisers

The Appraisal Institute has developed a Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum. The Appraisal Institute Green Addendum is the first residential energy efficiency appraisal report addendum developed by appraisers, for use by appraisers when appropriate. This report evaluates items of high performance housing for consideration by appraisers.

Measuring the Value of Home Energy Efficiency

The Appraisal Institute Green Addendum will serve as a tool for…

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Added by Everblue on April 30, 2014 at 5:39am — No Comments

A Bit More on Energy Out West 2014

I'll be flying out to Detroit for the ACI National Home Performance Conference next Monday, but before get to Detroit and that great conference, I thought I'd share one more special moment from Energy Out West.

On Thursday afternoon last week, just after lunch, John Tooley, Anthony Cox,…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on April 24, 2014 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Plugging into the Internet of Things

Imagine if your furnace let you know when needed a tune-up, or if your home theatre saw you coming and turned itself on. According to Marc Jensen, managing partner and chief technology officer at space150, the Internet of…

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Added by Anna Jursik on April 22, 2014 at 7:31am — No Comments

Energy OutWest 2014

David Hepinstall (right) and his colleague from the Association for Energy Affordability in New York City through their work provide a powerful antidote to cynicism. 
I was at the Energy OutWest Conference several years ago, but a memory still…
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Added by Jim Gunshinan on April 17, 2014 at 11:30am — 4 Comments

5 Things New Energy Efficiency HVAC Contractors Need to Know

1. Do not sell on Price! Use 'Simple Payback'

The price of High-efficient equipment will undoubtedly cost more money up front, compared to the minimum efficiency systems. Taking into account existing repair bills, utility bills, installation, and equipment costs, a high-efficient furnace, boiler, or heat pump will cost the homeowner less over the estimated 10-15 years of operation. When completing the 'Simple Payback' calculation, the high-efficient heating system in New England will… Continue

Added by Christopher Morin on April 15, 2014 at 5:56pm — 1 Comment

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