All Blog Posts Tagged 'energy' (166)

Where do the presidential candidates stand on energy efficiency?

We know that what a political candidate says during a campaign often differs from what the eventual office-holder does. We also know that candidates choose their words carefully to give themselves wiggle room for modifications in course.

So we listen for innuendo and subtleties when candidates talk about our special interests. What kind of qualifying language do they use? Are they truly against X, Y and Z, or only under special circumstances?

 Below are some quotes on energy…


Added by Elisa Wood on August 21, 2012 at 7:55pm — 1 Comment

Part II: Designing for High Performance, Controlling Heat Flow in Slab-On-Grade

In Part I of this series on designing for high performance, we discussed the control…


Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on August 15, 2012 at 3:15am — No Comments

Designing for High Performance: Slab-On-Grade, Part I – Controlling Moisture Flow

We’re just a few weeks away from a computer generated, self-guided interactive virtual tour of the Serenbe Residence near Atlanta, Georgia (Climate Zone 3a). We’re using REVIT software to generate the 3D model, then  …


Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on August 13, 2012 at 4:00am — 6 Comments

Will the Green Button Report Real Time Power Usage?

When I think about real time power usage data, I am thinking about data that is being made available that very second. Data that is being reported in real time is like watching a football game live. You know that the running back just added 10 yards on to his total because you just saw the run on the T.V. That's real time.

It is being reported that the Green Button program being offered by many power companies allows customers with a Smart Meter to see their power usage in real time,…


Added by Don Ames on August 9, 2012 at 8:00pm — 6 Comments

Cashing in on Local Energy Rebates

There are excellent energy rebate programs going on all across the U.S. to make your home more energy efficient. No matter what state you live in, the majority of local electric utility distribution providers are offering financial incentives to homeowners to upgrade the energy efficiency of their home. What is available in your area is totally dependent upon which specific local distribution supplier that you have. Not everyone lives in an area where incentive programs are…


Added by Dennis Cheslik on August 6, 2012 at 1:19pm — No Comments

Pushing This Green Button Will Lower Your Power Bill

Let's take a closer look at the Green Button and see if it is more than just an adult toy. According to Obama and other government supporters, the Green button is going viral. Ya, right, I don't believe it.

There has been several efforts in previous years to get power companies to "sign on" to programs that allow electric and gas customers to see how much energy they are using right there and then. The theory is that households that have energy usage data readily available will use…


Added by Don Ames on August 2, 2012 at 8:06pm — 12 Comments

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the HERS Index

A lot of home builders and homeowners are getting certified home energy ratings to find out how efficient their homes are. There's also a lot of buzz about HERS ratings, with builders looking at them…


Added by Allison A. Bailes III on July 25, 2012 at 1:25pm — 2 Comments

Book Review: Would Gordon Gekko Go Green?

By Elisa Wood

July 17, 2012


Energy books tend to be either jargon-filled tomes or hand-wringing, end-of-the-world, please-just-shoot-me-now reprimands. So it was a relief to see that Brian Keane avoids both of these worn-out roads in his new book, “Green is Good: Save Money, Make Money, and Help Your Community Profit from Clean Energy.”


Keane expertly tells the clean energy story…


Added by Elisa Wood on July 23, 2012 at 11:33pm — 1 Comment

4 Mini-Splits and Heat Pump Efficiency, Will It Work?

Yes, I drive tractors too. Along with the home energy audit work, I’m a farmer at heart. I received a call from a gentlemen that needs some help backfilling and leveling out the dirt around the foundation of his homes new addition.

Now that the ground is dry enough, I load up my 24 horsepower Kabota tractor with bucket, attach the tiller and head over to his place. I find an old original house that was constructed shortly after the wagon trains arrived. Attached to the side is the new…


Added by Don Ames on July 22, 2012 at 12:32pm — 1 Comment

The "Snackwell Effect" Revisited

(I posted this blog to the KQED Quest site a few years ago, but a recent discussion begun by Tom Delconte in the General Forum has raised the issue again. Hope to—paraphrasing Evan Mills in his response to Tom—make a mountain into the molehill it really is.)

Recent articles in USA Today and California's Flex Your Power e-Newswire discussed the phenomenon known in energy efficiency circles as "take back" or the "Snackwell Effect" (see "…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on July 11, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

4 Things to Check Before Installing a New, High Efficient Heating System.

I had just completed a home energy audit and learned that insulation levels and air sealing measures were up-to-speed. After crawling into the attic, performing a duct blaster, checking the temperature of the hot water, and a bunch of other things, I had come to the educated conclusion that this home’s best chance for improved energy efficiency and lower energy bills while heating the house would include replacing the heating source.

The 80% gas furnace is in the garage right next to…


Added by Don Ames on July 4, 2012 at 10:38pm — 7 Comments

Visually Inspect Your Home For Energy Saving Gold

Whether you are a “do-it-yourself” home energy auditor or a seasoned professional, learning about a home from an initial visual inspection is an important tool during an energy audit of home which can highlight energy saving opportunities. The visual inspection is the first indication…


Added by Don Ames on July 2, 2012 at 3:47pm — 1 Comment

Electric Power Saving Products For Home Owners

All homeowners are energy users. It is anticipated that if every household in America used only one incandescent light bulb, they would still be able to match the energy output of one whole nuclear power plant. Certainly, each family utilizes a lot more than just one  lamp , so you could imagine  the amount of energy that is needed just to illuminate  the house. But there is something  you can do about  this. You can start with appliances with low work load to reduce  the electric energy…


Added by Orlando Racelis on June 14, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments

How To Reduce Energy at Home

9 Steps to a More Energy Efficient Home and Lower Power Bills

How to reduce energy at home has gradually become a household desire as a result of high definition T.V.'s and homes the size of a castle. Throw in a struggling economy and the melt down of a nuclear plant and becoming more energy efficient seems like a great idea.

Our power bills rise as a result of increasing power costs and the need for more and more power to operate are power hungry homes and…


Added by Don Ames on April 11, 2012 at 7:32pm — 2 Comments

The “Passive House:” Finally a Reality

In years past, the idea of the “passive house” was only a dream. In concept form, the passive house was one that minimized energy losses and operated at maximum energy efficiency. The result would be a home with little to no monthly energy expenses and a fraction of the environmental impact of most homes. Amazingly, the passive house is no longer just a dream; in fact, it’s become a reality. Several companies are able to build passive homes for everyday consumers, creating a huge shift in…


Added by Jeff Wendland on April 9, 2012 at 6:45am — 3 Comments

Home Energy Audit 111 Years Old

by Don Ames,

I gathered up my auditing equipment and headed off to a neighboring community to perform a home energy audit that was constructed in 1901. Before I head out of the office and leave the comfort of my desk computer, I look up the home through County Records to determine about what year the home was constructed, about how big the home is, and if records show any remodel years.

When records indicate…


Added by Don Ames on April 4, 2012 at 10:33pm — 10 Comments

Game of Homes!

Energy Battle is a new game that may be the solution to training a younger generation to save energy at home. It was developed by graduate students at Delft University of Technology.…


Added by Tom DelConte on March 30, 2012 at 6:00am — 2 Comments

The Five Disadvantages of Solar Power Again

Does Solar Power Have Disadvantages? How Can Anyone Say This About Renewable Energy?

Posted by Tom Delconte on

Comments by Don Ames,

Tom posted the 5 "disadvantages" listed below. I did not agree with the list so I thought I would post them as Tom did and then add my comments below each one. Be sure and join the discussion by posting…


Added by Don Ames on March 20, 2012 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

Energy Audit And Energy Saving Measures For A Big Home

The Energy Audit is Complete: The Homeowner Chooses These Energy Saving Improvements

by Don Ames,

Now that the 5 year old has put down the foam dart gun and stopped crawling in and out of the blower door, it's time to make some energy saving recommendations to the homeowner. After completing an energy audit of the home, it is usually fairly easy to start the conversation with the owners on what they should…


Added by Don Ames on March 18, 2012 at 10:20am — 3 Comments

When in doubt, Incentivize!

These are the latest ideas and bills in congress, which may or may not actually happen.

First up are new tax credits for homeowners investing in energy efficiency upgrades. The Cut Energy Bills at Home Act.

It's based on annual predicted energy cost savings from heating, cooling, hot water and “permanent lighting” in a primary residence. For a minimum credit of $2,000, homes would need to reduce energy costs by 20 percent. Incremental credits are…


Added by Tom DelConte on March 14, 2012 at 5:30am — 2 Comments

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