Featured Blog Posts (630)

Unexpected Blessing

When I received an email from Larry Zarker of BPI, informing me that I had been inducted into the BPI Building Performance Hall of Fame, I thought it must be a big mistake. Then I looked at the list of previous inductees and was sure it was a mistake! I haven’t even done a blower door test all by…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 27, 2015 at 1:30pm — 6 Comments

Survey - Healthy Efficient New California Homes Study

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is conducting a research study on new homes in California. We invite you to participate in this survey if you live in a: 

  • House or townhouse or duplex,
  • AND if your home was built in 2002 or…
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Added by Wanyu Rengie Chan on May 28, 2015 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Why Don't Homeowners Spend Money on Energy Saving Upgrades??? Blame "Cognitive Biases"

A great transcript from a recent NPR "Morning Edition" broadcast about a recent California survey on water conservation efforts. The results are exactly what we find with energy conservation... When homeowners were asked what actions will save water, most said "taking shorter showers" (turning down the heat), or "keeping water off while brushing" (wearing a sweater) which of course is a complete mismatch of real saving efforts, like installing low-flow toilets (installing insulation).- which…

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Added by Jose Macho on May 18, 2015 at 1:30pm — 5 Comments

TV Sets, Homes, and QCI

I have had the pleasure of talking to a lot of wonderful people about the challenges of the BPI QCI Certific ation, and I am getting some unique insight.  I started out working on my book – Residential QCI Handbook on a quest to help candidates who are preparing to take the exam. …

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Added by Paul Raymer on May 18, 2015 at 5:17am — No Comments

Revisiting Electrification

I must admit that I am still having trouble getting my head around this idea. But the arithmetic is fairly simple: an 80% reduction in carbon emissions simply can’t be achieved without drastic cutbacks in residential natural gas use. In the residential sector, natural gas burned on site is responsible for about one quarter of carbon emissions. We can use carbon-free electricity generated…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 4, 2015 at 9:37am — 7 Comments

Shades of Gray in Residential Construction Morality

I was called in to perform a last minute duct test for a modular home builder.  He was all in a dither to have a duct test and a blower door test done on a Friday so that he could get his Certificate of Occupancy (CO) so the homeowner could move in the following Monday.  He said that he’d just found out that he needed these tests.  The building inspector asked for them at the last minute!

I was glad to do it partially because it’s good to have builders aware of what is going on…

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Added by Paul Raymer on April 27, 2015 at 5:24am — 22 Comments

Residential Electric Load Disaggregation

“What gets measured gets managed” is a quote often attributed to the venerable management expert Peter Drucker.  The simple but powerful idea behind the statement is that without quantitative measurement, it is impossible to benchmark the current state and manage progress toward a desired state.  Variations of the quote abound but it is difficult to trace the quote to a specific book, paper, or speech.  As it turns out, an earlier incarnation of this idea predates Drucker.

Renowned…

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Added by Charlie Hewitt on April 26, 2015 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Working with Roofing Professionals

GAF has introduced training called the Home Energy Saver Certificate - Building Science for the Roofing Professional.  It's online, ondemand training narrated by Shane Monday of HUB Energy Group.  The professional roofing contractor sees a much larger number of existing homes than many other types of contractors. We're working to connect them with Home Energy Professionals.

You can check out the training we developed and register for free at:…

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Added by Martin Grohman on April 8, 2015 at 7:19am — No Comments

Programming in-floor electric radiant heat, is it worth it?

Does a programmable thermostat for an in-floor electric radiant heat system add efficiency, or is it faux efficiency?

My electrician installed in-floor electric heat in a second floor bathroom remodel I recently completed, and he used a non-programmable therm. I asked him to change it, and he pushed back that there is little efficiency gain because the thermal mass of the mud bed and tile create a long cycle time to raise the temperature. Better to leave the temperature set, and have…

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Added by Sean McLoughlin on April 2, 2015 at 6:08am — 4 Comments

Which version of CAZ testing is used for BPI/QCI testing?

Combustion Safety Testing is one of the most important components of the HEP QCI exam.  Because it is linked to the safety of the occupants, it has been a fundamental element of BPI exams since the inception of the organization.  As we make homes tighter and more energy efficient, we cut back on the…

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Added by Paul Raymer on April 20, 2015 at 4:13am — No Comments

What does it take to be a certified Home Energy Professional Quality Control Inspector (HEP QCI)?

A quality control program requires knowing a lot about a lot of different subjects.  A HEP (BPI Home Energy Professional) Quality Control Inspector is qualified to compare a project outcome to the project requirements or work scope so that the final result is satisfactory to both the program and the homeowner.  It requires both technical knowledge as well as “soft skills” which are…

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Added by Paul Raymer on April 14, 2015 at 4:03am — No Comments

150 Years to 10

Houses should last a very long time.  The Knap of Howar was built approximately fifty-five hundred years ago.  Pueblos in New Mexico were built over a thousand years ago.  Saltford Manor House, in Somerset, England was built sometime in the twelfth century and is still occupied!  These houses are built of extremely durable materials like stone or adobe.  But even the wooden houses…

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Added by Paul Raymer on April 6, 2015 at 4:26am — No Comments

Illinois, the ERI, IECACA & RESNET - The final push

Monday April 6th (10 AM to noon) will decide whether the ERI aka as the HERS option will be part of Illinois new Energy Code or dropped till the next code cycle. While many local rating companies joined forces to help get it brought back up for discussion after it was…

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Added by Sean Lintow Sr on March 30, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Our Newest Reason to Brag and Your Best Reason to Attend!

We're stoked!  RaterFest! 2015 is now officially a RESNET® Regional Conference.  

We couldn't believe it, but when we…

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Added by Hannah Finch on March 26, 2015 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Green Premium - Price Bump for Green Homes & Schrödinger’s Cat

A valuation premium for green homes and energy efficiency is a lot like Schrödinger’s cat, says a new study released by the Colorado Energy Office.  If…

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Added by Melissa Baldridge on March 14, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

Drainwater Heat Recovery Units & Water Efficiency

Reblog, originally posted on www.bluehouseenergy.com 16 Feb 2015

Hot water distribution efficiency is now included in HERS ratings, under an amendment to ANSI/RESNET Standard 301-2014. This is a Good Thing. To date, all of our efforts to represent, and then…

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Added by Shawna Henderson on March 17, 2015 at 8:38am — 6 Comments

Rocket Science?

The old expression when something is supposed to be simple is to say that, “This is not rocket science!” as though rocket science was the most complicated thing we can think of.  I will admit that some of the things rocket scientists have done are pretty amazing.  I don’t have a clue how you land a probe on an asteroid moving at thousands of miles an hour somewhere out there in space.  Or manipulate a vehicle on the surface of a planet and send back, “Wish you were here!” snapshots - in…

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Added by Paul Raymer on March 6, 2015 at 4:00am — 4 Comments

Over 146,000 Homes in the U.S. were HERS Rated and issued a HERS Index Score in 2014

In 2014 there were 146,860 homes in the United States that were energy rated by certified RESNET HERS Raters and issued a HERS Index Score.  According to the data from the U.S. Census Bureau this represents over 33.8% of all new homes sold in the nation.  The average HERS Index Score of the homes rated in 2014 was 63.

The five leading states in terms of homes receiving a HERS Index were:

  • Texas – 28,784
  • Florida – 14,994
  • North Carolina –…
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Added by Laurel Elam on March 4, 2015 at 7:54am — No Comments

At Home with the Internet of Annoying Things

The Internet of Things has already improved my everyday life. Devices that communicate with each other deliver new services and features that I appreciate. However, as the Internet of Things expands from a few linked devices to a pervasive network, I fear that aggravation will soon replace appreciation. Are we moving toward the Internet of Annoying Things?

We become aware of the Internet of…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on March 2, 2015 at 8:53am — 4 Comments

How to Optimize On-Bill Financing to Help Illinois Building Owners Invest in Energy Efficiency

This post is written by Marcella Bondie Keenan, policy fellow at Elevate Energy.

Building owners can save money by investing in energy efficiency improvements. But if they can’t afford the upfront costs of the upgrades, they continue to pay higher energy bills and are even less able to pay for energy efficiency improvements down the road.

On-bill financing (OBF) is one tool to help owners break out of this cycle. It provides an opportunity to invest in energy…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on February 18, 2015 at 11:36am — 2 Comments

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