Joliet couple first in county to get energy conservation home certification

The following post was written by Julie Johnson with Journatic News Service.  The original publishing of the story can be read here

(Office of Will County Executive Larry Walsh, Handout / July 5, 2012)

Georgene Jaback and Bob Woods, of Joliet, are the first homeowners in Will County to earn an Energy Star Silver Certificate for energy efficiency improvements to their homes.

Jaback and Woods were inspired to make the changes to their Frederick Street home after Jaback’s mother, Janet Jaback, of Elmwood Park, recently upgrade her home to make it more energy efficient. Janet Jaback was the first resident both in Cook County and the state to receive an Energy Star Silver Certificate. Georgene Jaback and Woods are the sixth homeowners in the state to receive the accreditation.

Will County Executive Larry Walsh and Mayor Tom Giarrante presented the couple with the certificate.

The Joliet couple improved their 50-year-old home with air sealing in the attic, basement and perimeter walls and insulation on the attic floor and in the conditioned basement. Their upgrades will reduce their air leakage rate by 35 percent, according to a press release issued by Will County.

“I noticed the difference in my home right away,” said Georgene Jaback in the press release. “The floors are warmer. I can walk around in my bare feet now, even when it is cold out. It is even warm in my basement, which has been cold since the day I purchased my place.”

To qualify for the Energy Star Silver Certificate, improvements must reduce energy use by 15 percent and must follow Illinois Home Performance guidelines. The program is handled by Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. Homeowners can start the process by completing an online energy profile at illinoishomeperformance.org.

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Tags: Energy, Home, retrofit

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Comment by Ryan Schuchler on July 23, 2012 at 9:58am

Andrew, thanks for your helpful response. It's great to see homeowners and home improvement companies working together, as America strives to become more energy efficient nationwide. Very solid information. Take care Andrew. 

Comment by Andrew Navolio on July 19, 2012 at 1:15pm

Ryan, thank you for your interest in Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. We agree that the 35% air leakage reduction achieved by Green Energy Improvement is impressive. This number was produced by comparing pre and post CFM50 numbers, followed by a test out QA. The contractor predicted that the Jabacks could see annual energy savings on the order of 17%. This number was modeled using HES Pro, developed by LBL. Thanks for the tip on RESFEN. Currently, IHP contractors can use a wide variety of software packages in producing energy savings estimates. For more information on IHPwES, please visit www.illinoishomeperformance.org/

Comment by Ryan Schuchler on July 19, 2012 at 10:35am

Andrew, thank you for posting this well-written article (and thank you to Julie for writing it in the first place). Congratulation to Ms. Jaback and Mr. Woods for receiving this great honor. It's good to see homeowners taking proactive measures to make their homes more energy efficient. When I read about the specific home improvements, however, I was surprised that energy efficient replacement windows were not part of the process. It's amazing that they were able to significantly reduce air leakage without installing Triple Pane windows. I was also curious as to where the rate of 35% reduced air leakage (attributed in the article to a press release from Will County) came from, and how they arrived at that exact number. The US Department of Energy supports a computer simulation called RESFEN, which currently provides the most accurate estimates available for home improvement energy savings. I wonder if that figure of 35% was derived from a RESFEN report or using a different resource. Thanks again for sharing this informative article, and again kudos to Ms. Jaback and Mr. Woods on their recent commendation! 

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