Featured Blog Posts (587)

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…

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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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

Advanced certification for RESNET Thermographers

I’m just back from the RESNET national conference in Orlando and I am very excited to report that RESNET certification is now available!


What’s needed?

• You must be a RESNET Building Performance Auditor or a Rater

• You must have 3 months experience using thermal imaging and a blower door

• You must have taken a training course that complies with the standards of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT)


If you have these…


Added by John Snell on March 5, 2011 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

ENERGY STAR V3 Class - Day 2

So are you curious about what is going to be covered in this class for Raters? This blog post was pulled from my original article done back in February. This class was taught by Allison A Bailes III of Energy Vanguard, and was tweeted live with the hash tag –…


Added by Sean Lintow Sr on March 4, 2011 at 5:53am — No Comments

ENERGY STAR V3 Class - Day 1

So are you curious about what is going to be covered in this class for Raters? This blog post was pulled from my original article done back in February. This class was taught by Allison A Bailes III of Energy Vanguard, and was tweeted live with the hash tag –…


Added by Sean Lintow Sr on March 4, 2011 at 5:42am — No Comments

Energy Tax Credits for 2011: What's Available

Thanks to the federal tax bill signed into law in December, there are still energy tax credits available for 2011. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that the amounts available in 2011 have been reduced for certain improvements. From 2009 through 2010, homeowners were rewarded with a 30% tax credit for making their homes more energy efficient ($1500 maximum credit). For 2011, homeowners will receive only a 10% tax credit for home energy efficiency improvements ($500 maximum credit).… Continue

Added by Dennis Cheslik on March 3, 2011 at 4:33pm — 3 Comments

The Making of an Industry at ACI


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

Building Science Proven by the Bug Man

A buddy of mine, Dennis, that’s an exterminator called me the other day while I was standing in Home Depot.  “Jon, I’ve got a problem and I need some of your building science expertise.” The problem he was having was being caused by some granules he had put down to repel some flying squirrels.  The granules…


Added by Jon LaMonte on February 21, 2011 at 6:02pm — 2 Comments

How the Heck Does a Heat Pump Get Heat from Cold?!

It's been cold out this winter, so I've been talking a lot about heat. Invariably when I talk to people about how heat pumps can keep your home warm in winter, they get a look of bewilderment on their faces and ask how that's possible. No one ever tells me that they're confused about how a…


Added by Allison A. Bailes III on February 13, 2011 at 7:42pm — No Comments

Icing on the . . . Cake??


     R-49 attic insulation is recommended for this climate, and I spec R-60 for most attic floors because…


Added by Ed Voytovich on February 12, 2011 at 8:51am — 1 Comment

ACI's Energy Upgrade California

ACI's Energy Upgrade California, held January 10-11 in Los Angeles, presented a pretty good picture of how the Energy Upgrade California program will roll out across California. Currently an investor-owned utility (IOU) pilot program, it offers modest rebates for whole house improvements. There are a variety of rules and regulations, and paperwork, and processes that were all laid out pretty clearly at the conference. In addition, the local municipalities talked about their related programs and… Continue

Added by Steve Mann on February 11, 2011 at 5:21pm — 3 Comments

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