[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. …Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 14, 2014 at 2:11pm — No Comments
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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 2, 2014 at 2:54pm — No Comments
The January/February 2014 issue of Home Energy magazine officially kicks off our 30th year in print. In commemoration of our 30 years we will be reprinting some of our earliest articles. We hope that these articles are both entertaining and informative.
“Weatherization Drives New Technology and the Home Performance Industry,” hosted by NASCSP, brought a full house of movers and shakers to the White House to demonstrate WAP’s technical innovations, leadership in the home performance industry, and role as a go-to partner for utility and other partnership projects. Brad Penney, on behalf of NASCSP, opened the event and thanked the…Continue
While preparing for Home Energy’s 30th anniversary, we leafed through some of the earliest issues. Today’s issues are slick compared to those early years. It was amateur hour then because an untrained staff researched and wrote articles, prepared artwork, edited, typeset, proofed, and much more. Still, the topics have not changed much and—sadly—some of the editorials from the 1980s…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 5, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments
An article in the September/October issue of Home Energy, "Boosting Multifamily Energy Savings Through Lighting Control Settings" (page 38), has implications beyond dramatic savings in stairwells in apartment buildings. Ostensibly the article is about proper settings for motion sensors and the…Continue
All of us have elderly relatives or friends, but have you ever considered their energy consumption patterns? On the surface, those patterns may look little different from your own, but in fact the aging population brings new needs across the whole spectrum of health, transportation, recreation, housing, and safety. And since the over-65 cohort is a growing…Continue
It has come to my attention that there may be a building science-based conflict in the language of the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) and 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
The 2012 IECC sets the mandatory blower door tested and certified air infiltration rate at 5 ACH50 in CZ1 & 2 and an even tighter 3 ACH50 in CZ 3 and above. The problem lies in the fact that the new…Continue
As energy auditors and raters went about their business of testing homes, performing energy audits and HVAC system inspections, they discovered and reported certain “problems” to the homeowners of Texas. For example, they reported that HVAC systems were oversized, or suffering from massive duct leakage! In late 2011, The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which oversees the HVAC industry,…Continue
Most of us will agree that it’s technically feasible to build homes that consume dramatically less energy than today’s typical home. And in most locations we can build a home that draws net zero energy from the utility. But it’s economics that makes us hesitate. Specifically, it’s the value of those energy savings. Can the additional investment be offset by anticipated reductions in energy costs? It’s the same thing for retrofits of existing homes: Do the lower energy bills justify the…Continue
The Appraisal Institute’s An Introduction to Green Homes is yet another valuable tool from the Institute, paving the way for appraisers to handle green home assignments. The book, authored by long-time appraiser, REALTOR, and educator Alan Simmons in 2010 helps appraisers new to this work “know what they don’t know.” The book equips appraisers to identify green building certifications, techniques,…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 9, 2013 at 10:11am — No Comments
We all have stories about losing power in our home for several hours—or days—and many people suspect that power interruptions are becoming more frequent. They may be right; unfortunately, the utility data are so sketchy that nobody can say for certain. But declining investment in maintenance on the part of utilities, plus the increased frequency of extreme weather caused by climate change, are almost certain to keep the blackouts coming.
One response is to buy a home generator. That’s…Continue
The insurance industry, the world's largest business with $4.6 trillion in revenues, is making larger efforts to manage climate change-related risks, according to a new study published today in the journal Science.
"Weather- and climate-related insurance losses today average $50 billion a year. These losses have more than doubled each decade since the 1980s, adjusted for inflation," says the study's author Evan Mills, a scientist in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on December 18, 2012 at 12:58pm — No Comments
The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
The median installed price of residential and commercial PV systems completed in 2011 fell by roughly 11% to 14% from the year before, depending on system…Continue
What do you call a former construction worker that knows how to dance the tango? Chris Dorsi. Okay, so maybe it’s not the best punch line, but it is certainly interesting. And that’s not the only thing we learned about Dorsi in the following interview.
Currently gearing up for regional conferences to be hosted by his newly founded company Habitat X in Portland and San Francisco, Dorsi is focused on combining professional training with…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 28, 2012 at 10:18am — No Comments
The book focuses on tangible information, which can guide communities, regions, and individuals into a stable future.
Pahl first focuses on the myriad problems that we face today. With rising energy costs come increased food costs, increased cost of living, and the ultimate breakdown…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 19, 2012 at 1:29pm — No Comments
This is personal. When I heard reports about rampant waste and abuse in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that turned out to be false, I thought of all the people I know who worked tirelessly to meet one goal of ARRA—to weatherize 600,000 homes before March, 2012—and it made me very angry. The men and women of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) met and exceeded that goal, with minimum fraud, abuse, and waste. In fact, they reached 1-million homes weatherized…Continue
As I write this editorial in early October, the outcome of the election remains uncertain. That’s just fine, because it allows me to offer early advice to whichever candidate wins. Here are some recommendations based on my years with Home Energy.
The government plays an important role in lowering energy demand. If Americans expect the government to establish policies to regulate natural-gas fracking and power plant emissions, then it should also address energy efficiency. The…Continue
Maureen Mahle is the vice president and director of Sustainable Housing Services for Steven Winter Associates, Inc. She’s also new to the Home Energy Board of Directors. As a welcome to the board, and as an introduction to our readers, we decided to get to know Maureen a little better. Below is our conversation.