Featured Blog Posts (469)

Leslie Gets Weatherized



Ben Bustamante works on Leslie's house. Photo by Leslie Jackson





When Home Energy’s part-time Associate Editor Leslie Jackson got home from a trip to New Orleans, where she did research on the rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina, she got a message on her phone. It was…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on October 29, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

Kermit was Right: It's NOT Easy Being Green

Download a more fully fleshed-out and illustrated version of this saga here.

It’s not easy being Green … even if you have a Ph.D. in the subject. Kermit was right, but I’m on a mission to prove him wrong.



Moving to a new home in mid-2008 presented a…

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Added by Evan Mills on October 26, 2010 at 1:30pm — 7 Comments

The Groundbreaking New Georgia State Energy Code

Georgia state energy code and the 2009 IECC Yesterday I went to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for a meeting of the State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC). Wait, wait, don't leave yet! I promise there's good stuff in here.

OK, let's try that again.

Yesterday I saw a bunch of guys sitting around a table make a groundbreaking decision that will alter the lives of home builders, energy raters, and utility customers. Yes, I'm talking about the great work done by the…

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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on October 26, 2010 at 9:00am — 3 Comments

Energy leveraging for weatherization agencies

I'm in St. Petersburg, Florida, attending the National

Community Action Foundation and Community Investment Futures Energy

Conference
. Today is the conference kick-off and I'm looking

forward to learning more about how community action agencies (CAA's),

the prime movers of the US DOE weatherization program, are using energy

leveraging… Continue

Added by Tom White on October 25, 2010 at 8:30am — 5 Comments

Efficiency Lives -- The Rebound Effect Not So Much

While the following discussion (originally published in Climate Progress) extends to energy opportunities well outside the residential sphere, it's the latest example an overstatement of the so-called "Rebound Effect". Although there are certainly times that a portion of the…

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Added by Evan Mills on October 22, 2010 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

Window Shade Study Shows Positive Results

(This is from Robb Aldrich of Steven Winter Associates.)



It’s no secret that windows are a liability when it comes to heat loss in homes. Conductance of quality insulated, low-e windows is typically 0.30-0.35 Btu/ft2hr°F, or about R-3. If installed in a wall that performs at R-20, heat lost through windows is 6-7 times higher (per unit area) than heat loss through the rest of the wall.…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on October 20, 2010 at 12:52pm — No Comments

Home Performance Business—Getting In the Door



There is a hot and heavy dialogue taking place in an online group that I belong to, made up mostly of people who are in the business of auditing homes and then making homes more energy efficient, healthy, and comfortable. The main gist of the discussion is, Do we rely on the government to encourage people to make their homes more efficient, or is it up to the market? Does this sound familiar? Tune into any election debate in the…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on October 19, 2010 at 12:56pm — No Comments

Across the Green Home Spectrum

Two weeks ago I was in Charleston, South Carolina for a meeting of the National Association of State Community Services Programs (NASCSP). Last week I stopped by West Coast Green taking place at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. NASCSP is a group of state managers for the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) for low-income families. West Coast Green is an interactive conference focusing on innovation for the built environment. From crawlspaces to sheep’s wool… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on October 5, 2010 at 11:30am — No Comments

Welcome to Home Energy Pros!

Welcome to Home Energy Pros – the unique digital community by and for those who work in the home energy performance arena.



It is no secret that we are on the cusp of a major transformation in how energy efficiency is deployed in the housing sector. After all, the U.S. President even went on television in a major…
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Added by Evan Mills on October 4, 2010 at 5:00am — 3 Comments

ERVs Get The Yellow Flag



As we make homes tighter, we need to provide ventilation, which costs energy. One way to reduce the energy impact of that ventilation is to use an air-to-air heat recovery system. A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) recovers sensible heat by exchanging heat between incoming and outgoing airstreams. An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is similar to an HRV but also allows moisture to be exchanged.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 1, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

A Cottage Industry with High Electricity Use

Can growing marijuana change the way homes use electricity? In rural Humboldt County, in far-northern California, there’s no doubt that it can. Figure 1 tracks average monthly residential electricity use in Humboldt County and in California. Until the mid-1990s, these two values were almost identical. But after 1996, Humboldt County’s electricity use suddenly turned upward. What happened? In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, which legalized the medical use of marijuana. In… Continue

Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 1, 2010 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Targeting the High Users

Homes with high energy consumption are likely to provide us more opportunities to save energy. If that’s true, then why don’t we see more programs and businesses geared toward the high users?



Regulatory authorities discourage utilities from creating programs targeting the high users. It is politically unpopular for utility programs funded by ratepayers to support the wealthy. High users, the logic goes, are probably wealthy and therefore able to save energy…
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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 1, 2010 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Home Energy Monitors

Home Energy Monitors, that is, devices that display a home’s energy consumption have been touted as Silicon Valley’s contribution to the national energy conservation effort. A Home Energy Monitor (or HEM) constantly informs the occupants of their home’s electricity and gas consumption, along with conversions to monthly costs and comparisons with previous periods. Some models can (or will) communicate with heating and air conditioning systems. These devices will…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on March 1, 2010 at 2:00pm — No Comments

LEDs: Avoiding the CFL Debacle

The lighting efficacies of LEDs have been rising steadily and are poised to overtake CFLs. Fluorescents and CFLs still outshine LEDs with respect to general applications and cost of light, but LEDs are already superior for some niche applications and offer many new exciting illumination opportunities. Now we need to ensure that the reputation of this new energysaving lighting source won’t be undermined by a tidal wave of shoddy products. Tests for quality, efficiency, and durability of LEDs… Continue

Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 1, 2010 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Local Search Ranking Factors 2011: Key Takeaways for Home Energy Pros.

Note: This post is cross-listed from the Energy Circle PRO blog.

Local Search guru David Mihm provides an extraordinary service to all of us by annually compiling the most important Local Search Ranking Factors as assessed by a group of leading consultants and thinkers in the local field. Since no one really knows what the search engine…

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Added by Peter Troast on June 22, 2011 at 3:00pm — 4 Comments

How did we grow an energy conscience?

The US has grown an energy conscience.  Just look around in stores that sell appliances, computers, televisions, light bulbs or any kind of electric equipment. You’ll see the words ‘energy saving’ or ‘energy efficient’ on a lot of the packaging.

This trend didn’t just happen, but is the result of some careful nurturing by government, most of it relatively invisible to the average consumer and certainly painless and free of sacrifice.

Of these policies, one of the most ingenious…

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Added by Elisa Wood on June 17, 2011 at 8:44am — No Comments

Test Taking Tips: ENERGY STAR V3, RESNET, CEA, & BPI

Whew, as of yesterday (April 22nd) and taking the ENERGY STAR V3 test (long story short – the test was not available when I took the original class), that is it for the test taking (Since posting this, I had to take another 2 tests & classes for another program I am working with - will the madness ever stop?). As I was sitting there taking the test, I was amazed at how many people were flipping…

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Added by Sean Lintow Sr on June 12, 2011 at 4:30am — 2 Comments

Design, circa 1997

At a job site meeting this past week, our newest design clients handed Abe a small pile of dog-eared, marked-up “inspiration” magazines. They contained pictures and ideas collected by the homeowners, and demonstrated their affection for clean lines, neutral colors, and a judicious use of space. …

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Added by Cara Luecht on May 20, 2011 at 10:50am — 1 Comment

Energy efficiency and the annoying guy next door

Who would have thought backyards would cause so much trouble for the North American energy industry? First came the NIMBYs, the not-in-my-backyard protesters who block power projects from being built near them. And now we have the GIMBBYs – the give-me-a-bigger-backyard homeowners who are unwittingly getting in the way of energy efficiency.

GIMBBYs aren’t worried about seeing wind turbines or transmission lines from their backyards as are the NIMBYs. It’s the guy next store that they…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 6, 2011 at 12:48pm — 1 Comment

ACCA Existing Residential Building Improvement Standard: Some Thoughts

My company, Building Efficiency Resources  (www.TheBER.com) is--among other things--a HERS providership.  We see a tremendous opportunity now and into the future for Raters on the retrofit side, and we are devoting considerable effort to exploring and developing ways for our Raters to seize that opportunity.  We bring to that task a clear understanding that not all Certified Raters are highly knowledgeable about existing homes, and that the farther back we…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on April 24, 2011 at 9:14am — 2 Comments

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