I am composing this blog post on a computer that was likely assembled in a factory that runs on electricity made from coal. The aluminum for the case and other parts of the computer probably came from a smelter powered by natural gas. The electricity powering the computer here in California could come from a combination… Continue
Added by Jim Gunshinan on February 10, 2011 at 3:30pm —
The recent incident of rolling blackouts that occurred in the Texas ERCOT power grid raises some interesting issues for home owners, residential energy professionals and others concerned about energy policy. A recent article by… Continue
Added by Gary Kahanak on February 5, 2011 at 12:00pm —
From my experience in the field I would say that code is the most overused misunderstood word. Early in my construction career I heard this word thrown around. It was and is referenced often with true meaning and good advice.
However it has also been used as a conversation ending to a dispute from the Ivory Tower “Thou shalt not doubt in me for I am the reference of thy Code and cannot be denied”. It is from these sources that I have issue. I have found that often times… Continue
Added by Glen Gallo on January 31, 2011 at 3:45pm —
Many homeowners are beginning to recognize the higher standards that are being demanded from home improvement contractors.The new rules of certification, accreditation and independent verification have complemented well the old ways of selecting a contractor so that the two establish a benchmark that bodes well for the professional perception of the industry. It is not a coincidence that in 2010 credentialing and training organizations have achieved their highest…
Added by David Allen on January 27, 2011 at 7:30am —
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory just released a new Policy Brief on NYSERDA’s Green Jobs-Green New York Program. It focuses on their recent effort to extend EE financing to underserved households. Prior to the launch of GJGNY, NYSERDA used Fannie Mae Energy Loans to provide program participants with access to financing to overcome the upfront cost barrier of energy upgrades. The underwriting standards for this unsecured loan product, including a minimum decision credit score of 640, … Continue
Added by Merrian Fuller on January 25, 2011 at 3:13pm —
Energy efficiency is a tortoise in the green energy race. Not glamorous like solar, wind or smart grid, it tends to plod along in the back of the pack, attracting little media attention. But being last can be a good thing; you learn from the frontrunners.
Such is the case when it comes to financing. EE is beginning to borrow from strategies that have spurred tremendous growth for solar and other energy resources. These include customer aggregation and a kind of power purchase… Continue
Added by Elisa Wood on January 24, 2011 at 8:30am —
Recently I was talking to one of our HERS raters who said that one of the reasons he prefers going after the existing home market is that he’s more comfortable talking with homeowners than with builders. He’s afraid that builders will see his lack of construction knowledge and send him packing.
What can you do to overcome this fear? Take heed of these points, and you’ll be fine:
- Realize that you don’t need to know everything about building.
- Let the builder know…
Added by Allison A. Bailes III on January 20, 2011 at 7:07pm —
I keep striving to see the Big Picture, which some consider a flaw, but while in that mode I chanced upon a book that may have given me a Glimpse. Continue
I recommend reading, “The Plundered Planet: Why We Must—and How We Can—Manage Nature for Global Prosperity,” the latest work by Paul Collier. Collier is Professor of Economics at Oxford University, and a former director of Development Research at the World Bank. He demonstrates an understanding of how countries and economies work--and…
Added by Gary Kahanak on January 16, 2011 at 7:00pm —
You know which light bulb I mean. It’s the one you’ve burned your hands on when trying to unscrew it too soon after it’s been turned off. It’s the one you put in the lamp in your living room to read by in your comfortable chair; the one you use to light the stairways at night. It’s the 100-watt incandescent that uses… Continue
Added by Jim Gunshinan on January 14, 2011 at 11:00am —
This very question was recently posed in the BPI Group. Is there a conflict of interest when an energy auditor also offers contracting or weatherization services to their clients? At first glance, many would say that the easy answer is "yes". The common reasoning is that people will steer their clients towards the products they sell in order to make as much money as possible. After all, that's what we are all in business for, isn't it? The other answer was "it's just human… Continue
Added by Jon LaMonte on January 14, 2011 at 8:35am —
Meritage homes, a big national production home builder, has announced its intention to only offer ultra energy efficient homes. They will document this by using the HERS Index (Home Energy Rating System), which is currently used for ENERGY STAR qualified homes, and is a standard of the U. S. mortgage industry. A home built to the current 2006 IECC energy code has a HERS Index of 100, and is considered the "reference" home for a given design. To meet ENERGY STAR requirements in our climate… Continue
Added by Gary Kahanak on January 9, 2011 at 4:00pm —
On Wednesday, January 5, 2011 Home Energy Consultants attended a marketing training seminar in Fayetteville sponsored by Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) and presented by CLEAResults Consulting, which is implementing the SWEPCO Residential Solutions incentive program. The training session was intended for any participating contractor of the SWEPCO program, including contractors for heating and air conditioning, insulation, duct sealing, air sealing and energy… Continue
Added by Gary Kahanak on January 7, 2011 at 4:30am —
Thanks to all those who have contacted us!
Added by Wanyu Rengie Chan on January 5, 2011 at 2:00pm —
“So what can we do to keep homes improving from an energy efficiency standpoint?”
For a long time, answers such as “improve insulation” or “designed better HVAC” systems would have likely been what first came to mind. However, with new building guidelines,…
Added by Nathan Christensen on January 5, 2011 at 7:03am —
Can you improve indoor air quality with an energy audit? You bet. Recently our company was asked to do some troubleshooting on a 50 year old home in Northwest Arkansas. The occupant has environmental sensitivity and respiratory issues, and was having difficulties staying in her home due to her physical reactions and symptoms. The homeowner suspected the culprit was cellulose fibers from attic insulation added several years previously.
We showed up with our diagnostic… Continue
Added by Gary Kahanak on January 3, 2011 at 4:30am —
I am an unabashed supporter of smart meters. While testifying about energy efficiency at the European parliament, I logged into my home’s smart meter (in California) and showed them my current energy use. The members of Parliament were so impressed—none of them had ever seen output from a smart meter—that I may have influenced energy efficiency legislation in Europe. I teach a course about energy efficiency at the University of California, Davis, and I make every… Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 1, 2011 at 1:30pm —
It's amazing what excuses homeowners will come up with when it comes to avoiding spending money. Even though I have found that most people in our field truly feel they are helping people, salesmanship (often uneasily) still comes into play based on homeowner perception of sales people (and based on all the BS that floats around out there do you blame them). Getting past objections can sometimes become an art form.
I recently performed a full energy audit on the home of a… Continue
Added by Jon LaMonte on December 20, 2010 at 7:00pm —
It took me a while to figure out that a building is basically just a structural framework with control layers. Yeah, there's also electrical, plumbing, mechanical systems, and finishes, but the heart of a building is the stuff that holds it up and that moderates the flows of heat,… Continue
Added by Allison A. Bailes III on December 17, 2010 at 1:10pm —
Added by Wanyu Rengie Chan on December 16, 2010 at 9:18am —
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and nowhere is this adage truer than with the assurance of a manufacturer’s compliance with energy efficiency standards and endorsement programs. If any link is broken in this process, then it is impossible to “haul up” those energy savings for the consumer. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are finally taking actions to repair some of the more fragile links in this chain, beginning with the actual… Continue
Added by Carol A. Markell on December 15, 2010 at 9:00am —