Jim Gunshinan's Blog (56)

Voices from the 2011 NASCSP Training Conference, Seattle

Voices from the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP), Wednesday, September 21: 

 (Some are direct quotes, some are loose paraphrasing, and some are what I think I heard them say. Meanings are 100% accurate!)

 

WAP has weatherized 520,000 homes through August and spent $3.5 billion of the $5 billion we were given through ARRA. WAP is the 8th largest job creator of all the ARRA projects; we've created…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 21, 2011 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Ode to a Home Performance Contractor

For 11 years people at Home Energy have bugged me to write a "home performance poem" because they know I am a poet as well as an editor. Well, it finally happened. I participate in a writing group and the last time we got together we decided as an exercise to write about something we have never written about before. Hope you like it!

 

Ode to a Home Performance Contractor

 

My name is House. I stood before you empty

and foreclosed upon.…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 1, 2011 at 11:50am — No Comments

Our Remodel In a Minor Key

We got tired of sharing a bathroom, we were afraid as we grow older that we would trip and break our hips on the stairs leading from the kitchen into the garage and to our backyard; and since the only route from inside the house to our back yard was through the garage, we decided to remodel our 1,200 square foot cottage in Walnut Creek. It seems so long ago.

 

We did it right. We interviewed several architects and design/build companies, had an architect work with us to draw up…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on August 19, 2011 at 2:20pm — No 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

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…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 8, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

New Label for Things Made from Wind Energy

I am composing this blog post on a computer that was likely assembled in a factory that runs on electricity made from coal. The aluminum for the case and other parts of the computer probably came from a smelter powered by natural gas. The electricity powering the computer here in California could come from a combination… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on February 10, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Goodbye to the Light Bulb We All Know and Love

You know which light bulb I mean. It’s the one you’ve burned your hands on when trying to unscrew it too soon after it’s been turned off. It’s the one you put in the lamp in your living room to read by in your comfortable chair; the one you use to light the stairways at night. It’s the 100-watt incandescent that uses… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on January 14, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

Through prediction or performance, how do we meet our energy challenges?

Henry Gifford, a mechanical systems designer and principal at Gifford Fuel Saving, Inc. in New York City, is suing the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for millions of dollars. Gifford, in the class action suit, claims that the USGBC has committed fraud in the selling of its Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) program, and has unfairly kept work away from people like him who are not involved in the program. (Photo of Henry Gifford by Travis Roozee.)…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on December 9, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Democrats More Prone to Guilt

In general Democrats are more sensitive to the negative effect of their actions on others. That is one conclusion of a study done by Cornell University researchers, who shared their findings at the Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference (BECC) now taking place in Sacramento. Cornell Economist Benjamin Ho explained that an extensive human behavior study showed that Democrats are more likely to respond to television commercials and… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on November 18, 2010 at 10:46am — No Comments

Man’s Best (and Most Energy Efficient?) Friend



My cousin Mark is a pretty smart guy who reads widely. (All my cousins are above average.) Here is what Mark sent to me in an e-mail about dogs:…



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Added by Jim Gunshinan on November 9, 2010 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Insulate Your !#@!$ Attic Hatch

My attic hatch insulation kit came in the mail this morning and I am very excited. Excited enough to go into a hot dusty attic to install it over the weekend.



I promised Michele that I will practice the Yoga of home improvement projects and keep the cursing down to a minimum. My home improvement projects usually involve some cursing. I worked part time as a janitor when I was in high school and that is where I…
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Added by Jim Gunshinan on November 9, 2010 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Leslie Gets Weatherized



Ben Bustamante works on Leslie's house. Photo by Leslie Jackson





When Home Energy’s part-time Associate Editor Leslie Jackson got home from a trip to New Orleans, where she did research on the rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina, she got a message on her phone. It was…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on October 29, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

Window Shade Study Shows Positive Results

(This is from Robb Aldrich of Steven Winter Associates.)



It’s no secret that windows are a liability when it comes to heat loss in homes. Conductance of quality insulated, low-e windows is typically 0.30-0.35 Btu/ft2hr°F, or about R-3. If installed in a wall that performs at R-20, heat lost through windows is 6-7 times higher (per unit area) than heat loss through the rest of the wall.…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on October 20, 2010 at 12:52pm — No Comments

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

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