Featured Blog Posts (523)

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

100 Homes and Counting...

On April 15, 2011, Homes for Our Troops, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2004 that's dedicated to helping veterans who have returned home from combat with serious disabilities and injuries since September 11, 2001, kicked off the build of its 101st home in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Homes for Our Troops is building this particular home (see photo) for U.S. Army Sergeant Jude Recendez who lost both of his… Continue

Added by Macie Melendez on April 26, 2011 at 12:56pm — No Comments

Defining Quality: The John Tooley Way

Although I was a first-timer at ACI a couple of weeks ago, there were so many more numbers that I found interesting. First off, attendees had 144 sessions to choose from in just 2.5 days, there was at least on person in attendance from all 50 states (and 7 Canadian provinces), there were 101 exhibitors (the largest to date), and ACI celebrated its 25th anniversary. For all of this, I have one word: Wow!

 

And as attendees heard in the opening general session, all of this… Continue

Added by Macie Melendez on April 14, 2011 at 11:58am — 3 Comments

More Evidence that the Stimulus Bill Is Working

The Bay Area and our neighbor to the north, Portland, Oregon, have had a friendly competition over which of us is the greenest state. Portland scored big points by providing proof positive that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) a.k.a. the Stimulus Bill, has created good paying, permanent jobs in the new, greener economy.



The Energy Efficiency and Community Block Grant (EECBG) program, which targets… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on April 1, 2011 at 2:15pm — No Comments

BPI Celebrates Home Performance Heroes at ACI

Tamasin Sterner, Founder, President, and Chief Coach of Pure Energy was given the Tony Woods Award for Excellence in Advancing the Home Performance Industry at the opening plenary of the ACI National Conference in San Francisco on March 30, 2011. Tamasin has been advancing home performance through mentoring, teaching, consulting work, and building analysis for almost 30 years and is a regular Home Energy contributer. "I had to prove that I can do everything that men can do—and more", she says,… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 31, 2011 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Perceived Value of an Energy Audit

There is a lot of discussion and debate in the home performance industry about why home energy audits have only penetrated such a small portion of the U.S. housing market.  We know that performance problems in existing homes are the rule rather than the exception.  We know that most reasonable comprehensive home energy upgrades will result in a minimum 10-30% reduction in energy consumption and utility bills.  We know that energy audits identify measures that can improve indoor air quality,…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on March 30, 2011 at 5:00pm — 6 Comments

How To Make The Right Evaluation

Thinking of convincing the homeowner that you are the right contractor for the window replacement project? Make sure that you are prepared to demonstrate that you have the knowledge to evaluate the problem correctly. The customer wants and expects to perceive this quickly or you will not be selected for the follow-up. So, to ensure your business is the one selected for that coveted follow-up session, it is critical to showcase your knowledge and experience, the two fundamental factors that say… Continue

Added by David Allen on March 27, 2011 at 6:55am — No Comments

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