Home Energy Magazine's Blog (110)

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

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

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

The Real Women of Home Performance

At the ACI National Conference this year, I was remiss that there was no official presence of Women in Home Performance. What I found encouraging was that people noticed and asked for more. So, with the gracious assistance of long time supporter Macie Melendez of Home Energy magazine, we’re back! Macie and I will be interviewing women in the industry in a blog series, The Real Women of…
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Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 14, 2015 at 1:57pm — 6 Comments

Water Conservation

By now you are probably aware of California’s drought. But other states are experiencing droughts—and where there aren’t droughts, there are probably floods. Water and energy consumption are becoming more and more closely connected, and the situation is not likely to improve. Here are some of the ways our clients experience these connections in their homes.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 29, 2015 at 11:06am — No Comments

Book Review—Green Building Illustrated

For those not familiar with “Ching books”, they’re essentially the gold standard for visual architecture reference and aid in the design process. Architect Francis D.K. Ching’s series of textbook-size volumes go through conceptual to intimate detail of design and construction for both novice and professionals alike. They’re commonly noted as the best and easiest-to-understand references for design…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 23, 2015 at 10:58am — 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

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

What's Reasonable Versus What's Heroic

Ann Edminster, M.Arch, LEED AP (pictured left, observing work done in her attic) is a recognized international expert on green-home design and a principal developer of the LEED for Homes rating system. She travels widely and consults with builders, homeowners, developers, design firms, utilities, investors, and public agencies. We recently discussed what’s at the heart of the…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 7, 2015 at 1:52pm — 4 Comments

The Fast-Changing World of Saving Energy

In reviewing the content of Home Energy's January/February issue, I was struck by how rapidly the energy-saving business is changing. In the issue, we cover the come-from-nowhere explosion in LEDs. Another article about energy-efficient homes in Germany describes the rapid shift to near zero energy homes. That article also reminds us why it is getting risky to ignore activities on what used to be the…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 6, 2015 at 12:16pm — 2 Comments

The Wired Home: Which Technologies Actually Work?

With today's sky-high energy costs, homeowners and energy industry professionals alike are constantly looking for ways to increase energy efficiency and save money. Fortunately, advancements in home automation technology have made this easier than ever.

From smart thermostats to air quality monitors to Wi-Fi enabled…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on December 17, 2014 at 4:32pm — No Comments

Lighting Services for Aliens

You have probably seen those amazing images of the world at night as observed from space—hundreds of times. Below is one photo, but many others show expanded views of smaller areas. I still marvel at how those necklaces of light show the shapes of our cities. The lights tell stories, too. For example, the Korean peninsula appears surgically sliced at the Demilitarized Zone,…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 12, 2014 at 1:31pm — 2 Comments

A Day in the Life of Learning

We now know that people learn effectively when they construct their own learning, rather than being told about it. The instructor moves off the stage and becomes the Guide on the Side.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 25, 2014 at 3:30pm — 7 Comments

From Energy Audits to Home Performance - 30 Years with Home Energy Magazine

Home Energy magazine (HEM) has been publishing articles about residential energy efficiency for 30 years. Our articles, editorials, letters, and advertisements provide a kind of window into the evolution of energy conservation technologies, policies, and organizations. Initially, the focus was on audits and simple retrofits, such as weather-stripping and insulation. In those…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 24, 2014 at 12:13pm — 1 Comment

Home Energy Magazine Features 30 Home Performance Leaders Under 30 to Celebrate 30th Year in Print

The September/October 2014 issue of Home Energy marks the magazine’s 30th year in print. To celebrate that milestone, an industry-wide call for nominations found noteworthy professionals in home performance who were 30 years of age or younger. The feature article introduces the young people who the industry can count on to lead the home performance industry for the next 30 years. 

Home Energy’s associate editor, Macie Melendez, compiled the nominations and…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 4, 2014 at 2:56pm — 1 Comment

Learning Applied Building Science is Still Hard to Do

As part of Home Energy’s 30th birthday celebration, we are pleased to reprint a 1994 article by Michael Uniacke describing the way he taught building science in a community college (see the article here). Mastering the intricacies of the building science related to energy performance is no…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on August 6, 2014 at 8:40am — 4 Comments

Interview with Van Jones: Rebuilding the Dream in Detroit, Part 3

[This is the third in a three-part inteview with Van Jones, who delivered the keynote address in Detroit, Mich., on April 30, 2014, to attendees of the ACI National Home Performance Conference.  The full interview is posted in three consecutive blogs.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 15, 2014 at 2:48pm — No Comments

Interview with Van Jones: Rebuilding the Dream in Detroit, Part 2

[This is the second in a three-part inteview with Van Jones, who delivered the keynote address in Detroit, Mich., on April 30, 2014, to attendees of the ACI National Home Performance Conference.  The full interview is posted in three consecutive blogs. …

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 14, 2014 at 2:11pm — No Comments

Interview with Van Jones: Rebuilding the Dream in Detroit, Part 1

Van Jones delivered the opening plenary keynote speech for ACI's 2014 National Home Performance Conference in Detroit last week.  I've been aware of Van's work since he started the Green Collar Job Corps program at the Ella Baker Center in Oakland, Calif., back in 2007.  Van was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act that was signed into law by Pres. George W. Bush in that year. 

Under the Obama…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 13, 2014 at 2:46pm — 1 Comment

The House of Mystery

Sometimes we forget how complicated a house is. Building scientists know all about a house’s complexity because, even with help from supercomputers, they still can’t reliably simulate many of the processes taking place, let alone model the whole house. Perhaps the biggest challenge is that the darn thing can’t keep still. Cycles with different periods impose their wills on the structure and equipment in not entirely predictable ways. The seasons impose annual cycles for the sun and average…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 2, 2014 at 2:54pm — No Comments

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