Home Energy Pros to close down effective October 1

After a very productive 7 years of growing the Home Energy Pros network, our long-standing financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy for this activity has come to an end. We’ve garnered 5,500 members, who have collectively generated thousands of pages of crowd-sourced content and discussion (more on that here). Over 3 million non-members have viewed the information.  Unfortunately, networks like this don't run themselves: resources are required to moderate posts in a timely fashion, process new member applications, field and troubleshoot user issues, keep the supporting Facebook and Twitter feeds going, and cover administrative and IT costs. We have been searching high and low for new ways to continue providing this free service to the marketplace, so far without success.

So, we need to put the network into “sleep mode” until further notice. This will take effect this coming October 1st. Our plan is to close the network to new members and posting/commenting, but keep the legacy content “live” on the web so that members and visitors have continued access to all the existing material. You may want to save copies your own content for additional safe-keeping. All URLs should continue working. If a new sponsor emerges, we will reopen the network at that time.

It never would have been possible for Home Energy Pros to grow into such a vast and vibrant network without the good-spirited, creative, and smart day-to-day moderation by Diane Chojnowski together with the engagement and excellent content provided by Tom White, Macie Melendez, and others from Home Energy team. Lawrence Berkeley Labs' design and tech support people have also come to the rescue on more than one occasion, and a number of my colleagues here at LBNL have contributed thoughtful commentary over the years as well. DOE has been generous in their long-standing financial support. Above all, thanks to our members, who made Home Energy Pros what it is.

* * *

It would be useful for posterity to have your feedback on how the network has served you in the past.  Feel free to post your thoughts and comments below. We also welcome ideas on how we might keep this going. Strategies such as charging member fees or selling advertising have been considered but are not practical or allowable within our institutional context.

 

Best Regards,

Evan Mills
Home Energy Pros Founder

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Comment by Don Fitchett on September 6, 2017 at 2:20pm

Thank you so much for all that you have accomplish thus far. Chin up, maybe our next President will not cut energy saving initiative and be a green minded President and budget more so DOE can support such great initiative like this this site.

Comment by Radhika Lalit on September 6, 2017 at 2:15pm

I have created a Linkedin group for those of you who would like to continue the conversations even after this amazing platform stops. 

Please feel free to join:

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12065250

Comment by Jan Green on September 6, 2017 at 10:36am

Wow!  Such sad news to think that a positive, educational site like this won't be around.  I've connected some of the best in the business on this site and received countless words of wisdom.  I hope that the site can be resurrected in the future and will be waiting for that to happen.  As an instructor in real estate on energy efficiency, I knew I could count on the pros here to answer any and all questions thoroughly.  

Comment by Hannah Finch on September 6, 2017 at 9:22am

So sad to hear this is closing down for now.   It's been a wonderful resource and community.  Thanks for all of the hard work you all have put into it.  

Comment by Robert Zockoff on September 6, 2017 at 9:04am

Thank you to all the hosts and contributors, and the prior Dept. of Energy senior administration for providing the financial support needed to help us expand our knowledge and gain from others' experiences.

If we are going to compete with the rest of the worlds nations, we need the support previously provided here. Hopefully it'll come back soon and we can all benefit once agin on new topics that will surely be important as time progresses. 

Comment by Mickey Souza on September 6, 2017 at 8:08am

Thank you for the work all of you have done! I have benefitted greatly from the information gathered here, and the insight given. I hope that these dark days are over, and energy efficiency and renewables will be given their chance to save the world again!

Peace!

Comment by Jill Cliburn on September 6, 2017 at 8:04am

I was an early user on this site-- 7 years sounds about right. Always interested in a way to sort through the latest on building energy efficiency and green building for my work with utility-based programs (often a staff deficit when it comes to building expertise), I ran trainings for electric co-ops/munis on thermal imaging, and found this site a lifeline. (Utilities that already use cameras for spotting dist. system problems can also help their customers with imaging...) Also evaluating what to recommend for the ubiquitous audit... and a big project on water heating... still ongoing. Then I became interested in the vexing issues around crawlspace insulation. This was for clients, but I became a living testimonial, working w contractor on my own house. Other topics: lighting efficiency and solar's role with building efficiency-- And all these are timely, so I will miss you! I think a lot of folks like me used your site to gather info to then disseminate much further. Take your membership times hundreds, and then hundreds again, to estimate the impact you've had!  Let us know if you need further input to attract sponsors or (what a concept!) to obtain more public funding.

Comment by Julie Saporito on September 6, 2017 at 6:56am

Very sorry to hear this news! As a local government professional working in the residential sector, this site has been invaluable for learning and making connections to discuss a variety of topics as it relates to residential energy. I would very much be open to a subscription if that could somehow sustain the site. Have you had the chance to break out what a monthly or annual subscription needs to be for members in order to keep the site up and running?

 

Ads tend to bog down sites though I don't know enough about this possibility to understand the pros versus cons.

 

In addition to an annual membership, could you also consider sponsorships to cover the site costs? I'm not sure if a big player like a utility would be interested but could be a way to help cover costs while somehow meeting goals of that entity.

 

Thank you for making this site possible and for bringing so many professionals together. I hope there is a possibility to keep this going if a sustainable model is established. Keep us posted!

Comment by Building Performance Institute on September 6, 2017 at 6:39am

Thank you Evan, Diane, Tom, Macie, and the Home Energy Pros team, including those at LBNL, and the contributors and to DOE for its past sponsorship. We very much appreciated the network and the discussions. - Hannah C. Wood, BPI Marketing and Communications Director

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