Featured Blog Posts (513)

Celebrating Early Adopters of Energy Efficiency

Andrew Rudin's article in the latest issue of Home Energy describes his experiences with a PV and a solar thermal system. The results are not encouraging because the energy savings were modest at best and financial benefits possibly non-existent. The real-world performance described by Rudin is a depressing reminder that good intentions alone can't wring energy savings from an expensive, imperfect…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 6, 2011 at 1:41pm — 2 Comments

Attic Fans Can Cause Headaches for Technicians

Attic fans can suck air down flues causing spillage.  Spillage can cause CO poisoning.  Attic fans can't always be easily accessed or controlled.  Read on:

 

While doing a comprehensive quality control visit last week, our Pure Energy Final Inspector noted that both the atmospheric draft water heater and atmospheric draft boiler failed these safety tests:

  • Both spilled fumes for longer than one minute (the spillage tests failed)
  • Both had inadequate draft…
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Added by A. Tamasin Sterner on August 30, 2011 at 4:00pm — 18 Comments

Wash Post reports on Green is Good for Resale!

Hopefully you caught this article over the weekend. It has been picked up and repeated like crazy!  

 

Kenneth Harney of the Washington Post wrote a column entitled Is green good for home resale?  The article highlights studies from Seattle, Portland and California.  It offers nice perspective on why these…

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Added by Laura Reedy Stukel on August 29, 2011 at 9:01pm — No Comments

Ode to a Home Performance Contractor

For 11 years people at Home Energy have bugged me to write a "home performance poem" because they know I am a poet as well as an editor. Well, it finally happened. I participate in a writing group and the last time we got together we decided as an exercise to write about something we have never written about before. Hope you like it!

 

Ode to a Home Performance Contractor

 

My name is House. I stood before you empty

and foreclosed upon.…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 1, 2011 at 11:50am — No Comments

Efficient + Disaster Resilient = Sustainable

Picture a so-called “green” building in a floodplain.  Now picture a storm-hardened home guzzling gas like there is no tomorrow.

For me, neither of these conjures up an image of true sustainability.

By virtue of being built unconsciously (or defiantly) in harm’s way, a building is not durable and thus not (in my book) sustainable.  Similarly, a disaster-resilient building belching out greenhouse gases that any scientist worth their salt will tell you is contributing to present…

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Added by Evan Mills on August 28, 2011 at 12:00am — 4 Comments

HOME ENERGY SCORE PROGRAM Pilot Summit Update to Stakeholders

Thank you for your continued interest in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Home Energy Score pilots. The pilots wrapped up their scoring efforts last month, with more than 1,000 homes assessed and scored in total.  We are now in the process of analyzing the pilot data as well as the wealth of information our pilot partners provided to us last week at a pilot wrap-up meeting in Washington,…

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Added by Home Energy Score pilots on August 22, 2011 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Our Remodel In a Minor Key

We got tired of sharing a bathroom, we were afraid as we grow older that we would trip and break our hips on the stairs leading from the kitchen into the garage and to our backyard; and since the only route from inside the house to our back yard was through the garage, we decided to remodel our 1,200 square foot cottage in Walnut Creek. It seems so long ago.

 

We did it right. We interviewed several architects and design/build companies, had an architect work with us to draw up…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on August 19, 2011 at 2:20pm — No Comments

Home energy devices: Can we bewilder Edison?

Why do so many energy insiders insist that home energy automation will fail?  Many whom I respect say the typical householder will never take the time to fiddle with smart gadgets that reduce energy costs.

Their skepticism, however, just elicits a verbal shrug from Peter Porteous, CEO of…

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Added by Elisa Wood on August 12, 2011 at 12:13am — 4 Comments

What if the light bulb produced more than light?

Talk about a light bulb moment.

A professor of engineering at Edinburgh University recently demonstrated for the first time to a wide audience his technology that uses common every day lights to transmit data.

Harald Haas streamed a video through a desk lamp at Ted Global 2011at Scotland’s Edinburgh International Conference Center in July.

If commercialized, the technology not only creates a vast new application for light, but also dramatically expands our now limited…

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Added by Elisa Wood on August 4, 2011 at 5:42pm — 1 Comment

Waxing Nostalgic

The candle has been around the cave and the realm of weatherization and energy efficiency for some time now, but here’s an app which few have ever conceptualized.

 

In the early days of weatherization, before the thermagraph, even before the blower door, the trusty candle provided us several enlightening concepts. It would flicker when breezes brushed against its flame as a clear indicator of infiltration. Before the fancy schmancy digital manometers, a few old timers would…

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Added by Joseph Lamy on July 21, 2011 at 11:20am — 1 Comment

Greenitude, Chainsaws, and Everything Else



 This blog is cross-posted with Remodeling Magazine with the kind permission of the editor.

 

Let me recommend an excellent, well-written blog indeed.  Melissa Baldridge goes well beyond the nuts-and-bolts conversations in which we so often engage, and she presents ideas from a broader perspective.  At the point where remodeling meets building performance, the industry necessarily concerns…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on July 15, 2011 at 1:16pm — 3 Comments

Where to find jobs in energy efficiency

Here’s something you don’t hear people complain about much these days: worker shortages.  That is, unless you’re in energy efficiency, an industry that is booming as others are busting.

Sixty percent of those responding to a recent survey by the Association of Energy Services Professionals cited a lack of talented workers in energy efficiency.

“Energy efficiency is a rapidly growing segment of the overall energy industry and we…

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Added by Elisa Wood on July 14, 2011 at 6:30pm — 6 Comments

ASHRAE 90.2 Developments

*This post was drafted by Isaac Elnecave and Michael Hairston of the MEEA Policy Team

 

At the recently concluded ASHRAE Winter Meeting in Montreal, significant changes occurred to the development of the ASHRAE 90.2 standard (ASHRAE 90.2 is the companion standard to ASHRAE 90.1 and applies primarily to residential dwellings). Prior to the…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on July 14, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments

The Bumpy Road to Net Zero Energy

By Alan Meier



It’s easy to lose the longer perspective when we are involved in day-to-day efforts to save energy. That’s why I want to focus on a single home—Danny Parker’s house in Florida—to illustrate the bumpy road to zero energy use. The figure on the right shows 21 years of electricity use, along with many of the major events in Danny’s household. (Follow the green…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 11, 2011 at 12:30pm — 16 Comments

Codes, Ignition Barriers, Foam Products, Manufacturer's Installation Specs

In the housing retrofit and energy upgrade world, we use lots of foam products, don't we?  Did you know that some products may not be used in certain areas of houses? Codes and product manufacturers specify what can be used where, and when an ignition or thermal barrier must be used to cover the product in order to meet codes and protect occupants in the event of a fire.  Read all about our research at www.PureEnergyCoach.com and click on Quality… Continue

Added by A. Tamasin Sterner on July 7, 2011 at 8:14am — 5 Comments

Google quits smart meters. Anyone care?

Who doesn’t pat themselves on the back when Google puts money into their industry? Ah, the giant likes this market. I must be on the right track!

So what does it mean now that Google has announced it will retire its Google PowerMeter because it didn’t catch on? Are all those companies who are investing in smart grid on the wrong track?

Clearly not. Google had star quality…

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Added by Elisa Wood on July 1, 2011 at 8:22am — 9 Comments

So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright

 

 

     Once a month or so Marie and I have dinner with a group of old friends, all of whom happen to be particularly interested in theater and other creative arts. The subject of architecture in general and Frank Lloyd Wright in particular popped up during one such recent gathering over Indian food.  Our friends burbled enthusiastically about their past visits to various Wright buildings and how beautiful they are. 

 

     I got into trouble when…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on June 11, 2011 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments

The Ductopus or the Centipede - Which HVAC Duct System Is Better?

I've been thinking lately that I might be in danger of losing all my friends in the HVAC business because I've been a bit heavy on showing examples of what they get wrong but not so good at showing what they do well. If you read my article… Continue

Added by Allison A. Bailes III on June 6, 2011 at 10:39am — 2 Comments

Preparing a Home for the Electric Car

henry ford model T electric cars adoption

Below is an article I wrote on the Mapawatt Blog.  I thought I would share it here on Home Energy Pros as well.  Are you preparing your home for an electric car?

As my electric Porsche…

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Added by Powell Smith on June 1, 2011 at 5:30am — 3 Comments

Looking forward to the day smart grid dies

The title of this blog might strike you as kind of weird, especially this week. After all, the Electric Power Research Institute made the news with a study showing that smart grid is going to be far bigger than we first thought.

Smart grid in simplest terms brings to the electrical grid the digital intelligence of computers and the Internet. Just seven years ago EPRI expected smartening the grid to cost $165 billion.  But its new…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 27, 2011 at 8:03am — No Comments

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