Featured Blog Posts (557)

Embodied Energy: Minimizing Waste with Off-Site Construction

Matthew Wadlund is adding infill housing stock to the Oceanview neighborhood of Berkeley, California, where he is replacing a single-family house with four single-family, three-story detached houses. The wall panels in Matthew's Oceanview Orchard homes are constructed off-site and craned into place, resulting in maximum material efficiency and near-zero waste. Tom White, Home Energy's publisher, spoke with Matthew about his decision to prefabricate wall panels…

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Added by Tom White on June 23, 2015 at 2:01pm — No 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

Revisiting Heat Pump Water Heaters

Most of the recent trade press seems focused on tankless water heaters.  Whether used in whole-home or point-of-use configurations, tankless water heaters solve some of the efficiency problems associated with storage tank heaters.  While these systems are worthy of discussion,…

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Added by Charlie Hewitt on June 10, 2015 at 8:58am — 1 Comment

Participate in a study on Healthy, Efficient new homes

Healthy Efficient New California Homes – Pilot Study
Study participants wanted. Receive up to $560.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory seeks volunteers who will make their home available for a three-week research study. The pilot study will occur in July…

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Added by Wanyu Rengie Chan on June 4, 2015 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Energy bills up? There may be humans in your building

Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/

As you read this blog post, what room are you in? How’s the lighting? How’s the temperature? Do you control their levels — or is someone else, somewhere else, running the show? 



About 40% of energy use in the U.S. is consumed in…

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Added by Lester Shen on June 3, 2015 at 7:04am — 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

Storytelling Our Way to a Better Life



The poet Muriel Rukeyser once said something like this: The Universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of stories. I think that conferences are made of stories too, like the one I’m at this week, the National Energy and Utility…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on June 23, 2015 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Unexpected Blessing

When I received an email from Larry Zarker of BPI, informing me that I had been inducted into the BPI Building Performance Hall of Fame, I thought it must be a big mistake. Then I looked at the list of previous inductees and was sure it was a mistake! I haven’t even done a blower door test all by…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 27, 2015 at 1:30pm — 6 Comments

Survey - Healthy Efficient New California Homes Study

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is conducting a research study on new homes in California. We invite you to participate in this survey if you live in a: 

  • House or townhouse or duplex,
  • AND if your home was built in 2002 or…
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Added by Wanyu Rengie Chan on May 28, 2015 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Why Don't Homeowners Spend Money on Energy Saving Upgrades??? Blame "Cognitive Biases"

A great transcript from a recent NPR "Morning Edition" broadcast about a recent California survey on water conservation efforts. The results are exactly what we find with energy conservation... When homeowners were asked what actions will save water, most said "taking shorter showers" (turning down the heat), or "keeping water off while brushing" (wearing a sweater) which of course is a complete mismatch of real saving efforts, like installing low-flow toilets (installing insulation).- which…

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Added by Jose Macho on May 18, 2015 at 1:30pm — 5 Comments

TV Sets, Homes, and QCI

I have had the pleasure of talking to a lot of wonderful people about the challenges of the BPI QCI Certific ation, and I am getting some unique insight.  I started out working on my book – Residential QCI Handbook on a quest to help candidates who are preparing to take the exam. …

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Added by Paul Raymer on May 18, 2015 at 5:17am — 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

Shades of Gray in Residential Construction Morality

I was called in to perform a last minute duct test for a modular home builder.  He was all in a dither to have a duct test and a blower door test done on a Friday so that he could get his Certificate of Occupancy (CO) so the homeowner could move in the following Monday.  He said that he’d just found out that he needed these tests.  The building inspector asked for them at the last minute!

I was glad to do it partially because it’s good to have builders aware of what is going on…

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Added by Paul Raymer on April 27, 2015 at 5:24am — 22 Comments

Residential Electric Load Disaggregation

“What gets measured gets managed” is a quote often attributed to the venerable management expert Peter Drucker.  The simple but powerful idea behind the statement is that without quantitative measurement, it is impossible to benchmark the current state and manage progress toward a desired state.  Variations of the quote abound but it is difficult to trace the quote to a specific book, paper, or speech.  As it turns out, an earlier incarnation of this idea predates Drucker.

Renowned…

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Added by Charlie Hewitt on April 26, 2015 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Working with Roofing Professionals

GAF has introduced training called the Home Energy Saver Certificate - Building Science for the Roofing Professional.  It's online, ondemand training narrated by Shane Monday of HUB Energy Group.  The professional roofing contractor sees a much larger number of existing homes than many other types of contractors. We're working to connect them with Home Energy Professionals.

You can check out the training we developed and register for free at:…

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Added by Martin Grohman on April 8, 2015 at 7:19am — No Comments

Programming in-floor electric radiant heat, is it worth it?

Does a programmable thermostat for an in-floor electric radiant heat system add efficiency, or is it faux efficiency?

My electrician installed in-floor electric heat in a second floor bathroom remodel I recently completed, and he used a non-programmable therm. I asked him to change it, and he pushed back that there is little efficiency gain because the thermal mass of the mud bed and tile create a long cycle time to raise the temperature. Better to leave the temperature set, and have…

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Added by Sean McLoughlin on April 2, 2015 at 6:08am — 4 Comments

Which version of CAZ testing is used for BPI/QCI testing?

Combustion Safety Testing is one of the most important components of the HEP QCI exam.  Because it is linked to the safety of the occupants, it has been a fundamental element of BPI exams since the inception of the organization.  As we make homes tighter and more energy efficient, we cut back on the…

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Added by Paul Raymer on April 20, 2015 at 4:13am — No Comments

What does it take to be a certified Home Energy Professional Quality Control Inspector (HEP QCI)?

A quality control program requires knowing a lot about a lot of different subjects.  A HEP (BPI Home Energy Professional) Quality Control Inspector is qualified to compare a project outcome to the project requirements or work scope so that the final result is satisfactory to both the program and the homeowner.  It requires both technical knowledge as well as “soft skills” which are…

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Added by Paul Raymer on April 14, 2015 at 4:03am — No Comments

150 Years to 10

Houses should last a very long time.  The Knap of Howar was built approximately fifty-five hundred years ago.  Pueblos in New Mexico were built over a thousand years ago.  Saltford Manor House, in Somerset, England was built sometime in the twelfth century and is still occupied!  These houses are built of extremely durable materials like stone or adobe.  But even the wooden houses…

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Added by Paul Raymer on April 6, 2015 at 4:26am — No Comments

Illinois, the ERI, IECACA & RESNET - The final push

Monday April 6th (10 AM to noon) will decide whether the ERI aka as the HERS option will be part of Illinois new Energy Code or dropped till the next code cycle. While many local rating companies joined forces to help get it brought back up for discussion after it was…

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Added by Sean Lintow Sr on March 30, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Bijou Lulla posted a blog post

ENERGY EFFICIENCY RETROFITS.....IN NUMBERS WE TRUST

There has been much ado about the recent paper published by E2e; Do Energy Efficiency Investments…See More
2 hours ago
Mariusz Chorazy posted a blog post

Here are a few tips to keep your air conditioning bill low

TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR AIR CONDITIONER – Like any major appliance, your AC requires regular…See More
yesterday
Dale Pickard replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does altitude affect AFUE? or just the input/output BTUs?
"Morgan, I got this below from the Knight installation manual. I note a few things, -These…"
yesterday
Dale Pickard replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does altitude affect AFUE? or just the input/output BTUs?
"Hans, The car manufacturer's are doing it with mass flow sensors and oxygen sensors…"
yesterday
Dale Pickard replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does altitude affect AFUE? or just the input/output BTUs?
"I was trying to avoid naming manufacturers, but I was going by the published information for the…"
yesterday
Eric Kjelshus replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does altitude affect AFUE? or just the input/output BTUs?
"I look at this not about AFUE,  but flue gas dewpoint.  If your burn rate is rotting the…"
Saturday
Bob Blanchette replied to Kirsten Richnavsky's discussion Crawl spaces and attics: OSHA to implement new rule on confined spaces
"Keeping HVAC equipment out of attics should be part of the new code. "
Saturday
Linda Wigington replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Weigh in - Honorable Mention? 2nd Base? Half-Way There? 50% Better? On the Path? in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"Nickie -  Good points. I think it is easy enough to flag or designate projects that achieve…"
Friday

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