Featured Blog Posts (716)

The Real Women of Home Performance: Mina Agarabi

Mina Agarabi is the Principal Mechanical Engineer at Agarabi Engineering PLLC, a consulting firm focused on operations and maintenance and energy efficiency. Prior to establishing her firm, she conducted light commercial and residential energy assessments and oversaw the installation of numerous energy-efficiency projects at Association for Energy Affordability and Steven Winter Associates. Agarabi has several…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 11, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

Green Real Estate Agents Help "Power" Veterans Through Solar in Habitat for Humanity Homes

Andy Nelson is the CEO and president of San Diego-based Willis Allen Real Estate. Joining the firm in 1977 as the youngest team member, Nelson drew on his leadership experience and training as a former naval officer to implement his innovative ideas and became CEO four years later. Nelson continues to grow the business by researching new high-end…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 11, 2015 at 9:35am — No Comments

‘Tour of Zero’ Offers Virtual Look at Zero Energy Ready Home

Consumers are eager for homes that live better, work better and last better -- and the US Department of Energy's “Tour of Zero” gives them a virtual look at some innovative projects that provide exactly…

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Added by Michelle Usher on October 21, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

VW Isn't the Only One That Circumvents

The outrage against Volkswagen (VW) is justified, but let’s not forget that other manufacturers—a lot of manufacturers—have been circumventing energy and emissions tests for decades. Here are a few of my own experiences.

Cadillac was circumventing emissions test procedures 20 years before VW. Cadillac’s engineers faced the same dilemma: How do they comply with emissions control requirements without sacrificing performance? Not surprisingly, they solved…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 2, 2015 at 10:04am — 5 Comments

Seaming with Industrial Tape: Q&A with Risa Edelstein

Recently we got the opportunity to speak with Risa Edelstein, an expert on barrier seaming with adhesive tape. Edelstein is one of the executives at ECHOtape, a worldwide provider of pressure sensitive industrial tape.

Tape works with insulation systems as a complement for energy efficiency. It is an accessory product…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on October 21, 2015 at 10:27am — No Comments

Stevens Institute of Technology Wins Solar Decathlon 2015

Stevens Institute of Technology won top honors overall at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 by designing, building, and operating the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive solar powered house.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on October 21, 2015 at 10:29am — No Comments

Addison Home’s Third Net Zero Energy Home Featured in ‘Upstate Under Construction’

Addison Homes’ third Net Zero Energy Home project made the pages of GSA Business Journal's “Upstate Under Construction,” a quarterly feature on architecture, engineering and construction that spotlights economic expansion across the region. …

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Added by Michelle Usher on October 13, 2015 at 8:43am — No Comments

Addison Homes Wins Housing Innovation Award

Addison Homes traveled to the EEBA Excellence in Building Conference & Expo in Denver this week to pick up the 2015 HOUSING INNOVATION AWARD from the U.S. Department of Energy. This award recognizes the…

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Added by Michelle Usher on October 9, 2015 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

Energy Ambassadors: Cuba and Vermont

Last winter i had the pleasure of hosting a Cuban colleague for a week in Vermont. We toured the state's most interesting energy related sites and shared cultural perspectives. A few years earlier, Mario co-hosted an energy professionals group I toured with in Cuba. I like to think of us as Energy Ambassadors. It's a great story, but only the first chapter has been written!…

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Added by Paul Scheckel on October 6, 2015 at 5:11am — No Comments

Broad stakeholder engagement enriches complex energy planning in Minnesota

From Megan Hoye, CEE engagement coordinator:

Across CEE’s programs, services, and policy work is an ongoing commitment to enrich the energy community through direct knowledge-sharing, tool development, and innovative engagement. In addition to sharing our own program learning and research findings, we engage energy and community development experts to ensure our region continues to put its best energy foot forward. In turn, two weeks ago, CEE facilitated a…

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Added by Tim Hanrahan on September 29, 2015 at 1:13pm — No Comments

It's not rocket science... Or is it?

From Helen Booth-Tobin, CEE policy and communications specialist:

Of course intelligence comes in many forms and no single field holds the market. Still, there is a certain positive association between rocket science and smarts — and as a research-driven organization, we took the opportunity to explore that association a bit, with a couple willing test subjects in our own staff. (Originally posted at…

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Added by Tim Hanrahan on September 24, 2015 at 6:26am — 1 Comment

The NASCSP Landscape

That’s the National Association for State Community Services Programs, which held it’s annual training conference September 16-18 in Sacramento. NASCSP serves the DOE WAP program, as well as other low-income programs through training and advocacy in Washington D.C.

I’ve been to several of these conferences over the 15 years I have worked at Home Energy. There are always changes, but this year I noticed a big change. A lot of the leadership that shepherded WAP through the ARRA…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 21, 2015 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Air Sealing and Insulation Joins the Cost Versus Value Study

It’s really nice when hard work pays off.

As part of the collaborative efforts of the Value for High Performance Homes Campaign, we were able to get an energy efficiency measure – air sealing and insulation – added to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost versus Value study. This matters because it legitimizes a valuable, low-cost, and manageable home improvement project which home…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on September 17, 2015 at 9:38am — No Comments

What is a Green Building Rating System?

As the demands for Green Buildings increase, so does the demand for comprehensive rating systems that define exactly what a Green Building is. While it may seem like having a rating system for Green Buildings would confine Green Building and discourage innovation, this is not the case. Many different Green Building rating systems that are currently in place encourage innovation and builders who incorporate particularly innovative aspects into their Green Building can earn extra points and…

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Added by GBRI on September 17, 2015 at 5:00am — No Comments

Common acronyms and definitions

The building science and home performance industry is full of confusing acronyms. These acronyms are used a lot in articles, blog posts. social media posts, webinars, conference sessions, etc. To help you, we have compiled a list of some of the more popular acronyms you’re likely to hear or read.

ABAA – Air Barrier Association of America

The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) was incorporated in Massachusetts in 2001 and consists of…

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Added by Kim Tanner on September 14, 2015 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Four factors you need to know about measurement and calibration

On August 27, The Energy Conservatory (TEC) participated in a webinar called “Meeting the RESNET Equipment Calibration Requirements. Learn from the Experts,” hosted by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).



While preparing for this webinar, we started thinking about the most important issues related to measurement and calibration. To ensure our gauge users are getting the most accurate readings, we have listed four factors every building tester should know about…
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Added by Kim Tanner on September 8, 2015 at 7:30am — No Comments

At PlugFest, Energy Efficiency Plays Well With Real Estate

If you haven’t heard, there’s a lot happening right now at the intersection of home energy performance and real estate.

Let’s set the scene first. As you may have experienced, when homeowners make improvements to an existing house, the most important aspects of home performance – including safety, comfort,…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on September 8, 2015 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Twenty-First-Century Energy Efficiency—with Carbon on Our Minds

After the first oil embargo, in 1973, our nation recognized the need to save energy in a coordinated way. It made sense to designate energy utilities to coordinate energy-saving activities in buildings, because nobody had better access to the customer and to key information about the customer. This led to three decades of utility-managed energy conservation programs. Many succeeded. Some did not.

But times change. Today, there’s a new imperative:…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 2, 2015 at 3:23pm — 2 Comments

Deconstructing and Moving a Historic Home

This spring in New Orleans I hosted “True Tales of Haunted Home Performance,” at the Home Performance Coalition National Home Performance Conference. I was joined in this true storytelling event by seven home energy pros, who contributed their real-life stories.

All the storytellers gave examples of what they had learned from the haunted houses they worked on, including John Tooley's heat pump from hell, and Chris Dorsi's haunted time capsule. We'll be reprinting these two stories in…

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Added by Tom White on September 1, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

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