It (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) is superior to the larger book in two important ways. First, it is somewhat cheaper than the Encyclopedia Galactica. Second, it has the words “DON’T PANIC” inscribed in large, friendly letters on its cover.
—“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Douglas AdamsContinue
Every year EPA and DOE recognize members of the home performance industry with the Century Club Award. The award goes to companies that improved the energy efficiency of more than 100 homes in a single year through the Home Performance with Energy Star program.
As we know, behind every successful efficiency program, there is a team of hard-working contractors. This year, we got a chance to speak to some of the contractors that participated in local programs to achieve these…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 25, 2012 at 3:26pm — No Comments
An industry's health is sometimes measured by the enthusiasm of its trade shows. Arguably, ACI is not a trade show, but it certainly is a bellwether for the home performance industry. And it rocked. By all measures, ACI was larger, broader, and more exciting than past conferences.
ACI continues to be a magnet for audiences ranging from contractors just starting out and receiving blower door training to engineers and building scientists. In this way, it serves as the premier…Continue
The Energy Out West conference is held every other year and began in 1996 when a group of people doing weatherization work in the Northwest thought they could help each other do it better. The current president of Energy Out West (EOW) is Mimi Burbage, who should be familiar to readers of Home Energy and anyone in weatherization. Mimi brings that independent, Alaska, straight talk style to whatever she does, from heading the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to her work for EOW.…Continue
Energy auditors and retrofitters know that it’s hard to sell the benefits of energy efficiency to homeowners. But the truth is that energy efficient upgrades save homeowners money, help sell homes quicker, and yield a higher profit when on the real estate market.
Because it’s not always easy to explain industry ratings and scores to homeowners, auditors need to be armed with statistics to help convey their message. I’ve compiled six statistics that show the importance of energy…Continue
You’ve almost certainly seen them: a yellow Post-it on the thermostat or a brief note scribbled near the water heater controls, or perhaps a dog-eared card taped to the clothes washer. These are reminders to ourselves (or visitors) about how to operate the device. We call them “folk labels” so as to distinguish them from “official labels,” such as the EnergyGuide, UL, Energy Star, or other information provided by the manufacturer.…Continue
Perhaps the greatest challenge to promoting energy efficiency is that you can’t see it. People understand electricity produced from a PV collector on the roof, and a kWh meter can easily report precisely how much energy was generated. But with more-efficient products, savings cannot be directly measured; instead, one must reckon the difference between a real and a hypothetical situation. This complexity creates a lingering uncertainty whether the promised savings did or did not actually…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 5, 2012 at 9:36am — No Comments
Working at Home Energy would seem to have prepared me for having an energy efficiency retrofit done on my own home, at least to ask all the right questions. But Murphy’s Law intruded nevertheless, and you may learn from my experience. We live in the SF Bay Area in a 970-sq ft wood-framed stucco single-family home on one floor over a basement and garage, no air conditioning, with central heat. Our goal for the audit was to improve comfort, as hot days were hotter inside the house,…Continue
Yes, you read the title right. Not only is Home Energy magazine providing bimonthly content in the form of a magazine, but we have now officially entered into the wild world of rap. Our very own editor, Jim Gunshinan presented the following Home Energy rap at the 2011 National Association for State Community Services Program (NASCSP) Training Conference that took place in Seattle last week. If nothing else, it will make you smile.…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 26, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments
Andrew Rudin's article in the latest issue of Home Energy describes his experiences with a PV and a solar thermal system. The results are not encouraging because the energy savings were modest at best and financial benefits possibly non-existent. The real-world performance described by Rudin is a depressing reminder that good intentions alone can't wring energy savings from an expensive, imperfect…Continue
By Alan Meier
It’s easy to lose the longer perspective when we are involved in day-to-day efforts to save energy. That’s why I want to focus on a single home—Danny Parker’s house in Florida—to illustrate the bumpy road to zero energy use. The figure on the right shows 21 years of electricity use, along with many of the major events in Danny’s household. (Follow the green…Continue
Few countries have been dealt such a tragic combination of natural and manmade disasters as Japan. The part of the disaster that I understand is the shortage of electricity. I wrote a book, Saving Electricity in a Hurry, in 2005 while working at the International Energy Agency.1 In the book, I explained the measures that a government must take in order to quickly reduce electricity demand while protecting…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 1, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments
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As we make homes tighter, we need to provide ventilation, which costs energy. One way to reduce the energy impact of that ventilation is to use an air-to-air heat recovery system. A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) recovers sensible heat by exchanging heat between incoming and outgoing airstreams. An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is similar to an HRV but also allows moisture to be exchanged.…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 1, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments
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Home Energy Monitors, that is, devices that display a home’s energy consumption have been touted as Silicon Valley’s contribution to the national energy conservation effort. A Home Energy Monitor (or HEM) constantly informs the occupants of their home’s electricity and gas consumption, along with conversions to monthly costs and comparisons with previous periods. Some models can (or will) communicate with heating and air conditioning systems. These devices will…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on March 1, 2010 at 2:00pm — No Comments