Gary Kahanak's Blog (8)

A Solution for Appraisers--the Weak Link

"Money makes the world go 'round," goes the old saying, and it's certainly true in the world of residential energy efficiency.  Many worthy home House and dollar sign symbols energy upgrade projects are cancelled or put on hold because the owners feel they won't get their investment back if they should sell soon.  Likewise for new construction, many builders in the speculative home market feel forced to build to the lowest performance standard, because energy upgrades won't "appraise out."

Plainly put,…


Added by Gary Kahanak on October 1, 2011 at 5:00am — 21 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,…


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

Musings on Texas Rolling Blackouts

The recent incident of rolling blackouts that occurred in the Texas ERCOT power grid raises some interesting issues for home owners, residential energy professionals and others concerned about energy policy.  A recent article by…


Added by Gary Kahanak on February 5, 2011 at 12:00pm — 8 Comments

Energy Efficiency and the Big Picture

I keep striving to see the Big Picture, which some consider a flaw, but while in that mode I chanced upon a book that may have given me a Glimpse.

I recommend reading, “The Plundered Planet: Why We Must—and How We Can—Manage Nature for Global Prosperity,” the latest work by Paul Collier. Collier is Professor of Economics at Oxford University, and a former director of Development Research at the World Bank. He demonstrates an understanding of how countries and economies work--and…


Added by Gary Kahanak on January 16, 2011 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment

A Game Changer for New Home Construction

Meritage homes, a big national production home builder, has announced its intention to only offer ultra energy efficient homes.  They will document this by using the HERS Index (Home Energy Rating System), which is currently used for ENERGY STAR qualified homes, and is a standard of the U. S. mortgage industry.  A home built to the current 2006 IECC energy code has a HERS Index of 100, and is considered the "reference" home for a given design.  To meet ENERGY STAR requirements in our climate…


Added by Gary Kahanak on January 9, 2011 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Energy Efficiency Programs in Progress!

On Wednesday,  January 5, 2011 Home Energy Consultants attended a marketing training seminar in Fayetteville sponsored by Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) and presented by CLEAResults Consulting, which is implementing the SWEPCO Residential Solutions incentive program.  The training session was intended for any participating contractor of the SWEPCO program, including contractors for heating and air conditioning, insulation, duct sealing, air sealing and energy…


Added by Gary Kahanak on January 7, 2011 at 4:30am — No Comments

Indoor Air Quality and Energy Audits

Can you improve indoor air quality with an energy audit?  You bet.  Recently our company was asked to do some troubleshooting on a 50 year old home in Northwest Arkansas.  The occupant has environmental sensitivity and respiratory issues, and was having difficulties staying in her home due to her physical reactions and symptoms.  The homeowner suspected the culprit was cellulose fibers from attic insulation added several years previously.


We showed up with our diagnostic…


Added by Gary Kahanak on January 3, 2011 at 4:30am — 3 Comments

Energy Audits--A Radio Interview

KUAF Radio of Fayetteville, AR interviewed Home Energy Consultants about energy audits in December 2010.  Listen.

Gary Kahanak, President of Home Energy Consultants, Inc., and a RESNET-certified Home Energy Rater, talks with Christina Thomas of KUAF

91.3 FM about the basics of a home energy audit.  Thomas did a fine job

with the interview, condensing a lot of material into a cohesive,

informative 7-minute audio…


Added by Gary Kahanak on January 2, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

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