Featured Blog Posts (518)

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

Why the incandescent deserves its death

First off, there is no law actually calling for the death of the incandescent.  The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 actually states…

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Added by Chris Kaiser on May 25, 2011 at 7:07am — 14 Comments

The Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump's Big Brother - CITY MULTI

In my last four HVAC Design jobs, I've specified ductless mini-split heat pumps. I have four more such jobs underway now.

Why mini-splits?

  • Efficiency (up to 26 SEER)
  • Variable Refrigerant…
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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on May 11, 2011 at 8:02am — 1 Comment

No Carts Before Horses - Design for Energy Efficiency Early

My recent visit to Savannah for the USGBC's green product expo charged up my historic preservation bug and got me to thinking about how to apply building science to historic buildings.

Most of us that have ever lived in, owned, or even just visited a historic home…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on May 4, 2011 at 4:30am — No Comments

What Tokyo Must Do



Few countries have been dealt such a tragic combination of natural and manmade disasters as Japan. The part of the disaster that I understand is the shortage of electricity. I wrote a book, Saving Electricity in a Hurry, in 2005 while working at the International Energy Agency.1 In the book, I explained the measures that a government must take in order to quickly reduce electricity demand while protecting…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 1, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

When you absolutely, positively NEED to get efficient overnight!

Every once in a while, we have an experience that completely crumbles some long-standing preconceived notion, and this week I’m pleased to share my revelation with you. I’ve just returned from a week-long trip to Cuba with a group of twenty other energy professionals sponsored by Solar Energy International andGlobal Exchange. The purpose of the trip was to explore…
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Added by Paul Scheckel on April 28, 2011 at 12:28pm — 6 Comments

Why I Love My Job

We all go through transitions in our lives.  One of the biggest is choosing or changing a profession.  As I mentioned in previous entries, my background for the previous 9 years was doing class action and warranty inspections on residential building products.  This meant I became keenly…

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Added by Jon LaMonte on April 21, 2011 at 6:47am — 6 Comments

No More "Damn Architects!" - The Case for Integrated Design

In 1997, I helped my parents design and build their home. Early in the construction process, I had suggested that the house be built 25 feet back from where we originally had it planned, and that the fireplace be moved to the back side of the living room. We had already put the stakes in the ground and were ready to start digging for…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on April 19, 2011 at 6:19am — No Comments

A Green Home - It's Just Good Design

What makes a Green Home green? Is it the bamboo floors? Maybe it’s the low-e windows or the extra insulation in the walls? What about a high efficiency heating and cooling system? Or maybe it's a plaque by your front door that says, “I'm Green!”?

How about all of the above and then…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on April 11, 2011 at 8:02am — No Comments

New Energy Star requirements for Cool Roof coatings

I was forwarded an email that originated from the Energy Star Heat Island group.  This was something I was not aware of.  I have changed the font to red for the main point of my own comments below the quoted part of the email.

 

"This call will provide an overview of the revised requirements for ENERGY STAR labeling of roofing products. The focus will be on the certification and verification processes. Beginning January 2011, labeling requires third- party…

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Added by Hal Skinner on April 6, 2011 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

US at top worldwide in EE innovation

This week’s energy news looks bad for the United States – at first glance. The nation has slipped to second behind China in clean energy investment. Moreover, five of the G-20 nations have surpassed the US for clean energy investment relative to size of economy.

But look at little deeper into the report, “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race,”  and you’ll see that the US did not slide in all forms of…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 1, 2011 at 2:34pm — 2 Comments

Putting Mercury in CFLs in Perspective

This is an updated version of the post that originally appeared here.



I'm a fan of CFLs, but I can understand how the small amount of mercury in them can worry some. If you're worried about the tiny bit of mercury in CFLs, I can't tell you one way or another how to decide for your home, all I can do is give you the facts that are available, and let you make your own decision.… Continue

Added by Chris Kaiser on April 4, 2011 at 6:55pm — 7 Comments

Google SketchUp for Home Energy Raters - Measurements Made Easy

Hey, HERS raters, what if I told you that you could get the volume of a multi-pitched roof for all of your home energy…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on March 21, 2011 at 4:30am — 5 Comments

Breaking light bulb myths

I have to agree with the Tea Party; the US government should not choose the light bulbs I use in my home.  And fortunately, it does not.

Yet that’s the spin being pushed by those who want to roll back federal lighting performance standards. An odd mythology is developing around the standards.

Opponents claim that the…

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Added by Elisa Wood on March 18, 2011 at 6:06am — 1 Comment

Redefining the Term "Mobile Home"

 

The most energy efficient home is one that's already built. Keeping a home out of a landfill saves all the materials in the house, as well as all the energy used to create the materials—the building's embodied energy. And historic homes preserve a slice of culture that would otherwise be lost forever. And what's better than keeping one 100-year-old house out of the landfill? Keeping two 100-year-old houses out of the…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 8, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Houses Don't Use Energy: People Do

As my good friend Rana Belshe says.  Let's not forget that the people who live in houses are the ones who are in charge of how the house loses and gains energy and how the appliances and HVAC use energy.  People are the key and heart of gettin' it done! 

Added by A. Tamasin Sterner on March 7, 2011 at 9:54am — 3 Comments

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