Home Energy Magazine's Blog (75)

My Fall Into The Smart Home, Lazy Life

Last year I moved into a house that needed some work. So far I’ve replaced the foundation, installed seismic upgrades, added central heat, repainted, and much more. (Anybody know a good fireplace guy?)

Along the way, I’ve been slowly upgrading to smart home technology. I ripped out my old, broken doorbell and added Ring, which detects when people are at my door and sends a video notification to my phone.…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 18, 2015 at 8:51am — 2 Comments

How to Get Started Working as a Full-Time Energy Auditor

It is not often clear the path a BPI-certified energy auditor should take, or where exactly the opportunities lie… to buffer existing business, as side work, to work as a full-time energy auditor, or to go out on your own, the opportunities are vast and diverse. Oftentimes we get our energy auditor certification as a kind of back-up plan or to aid a struggling business. Or maybe you attended BPI training as…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 18, 2015 at 8:50am — No Comments

Green Real Estate Agents Help "Power" Veterans Through Solar in Habitat for Humanity Homes

Andy Nelson is the CEO and president of San Diego-based Willis Allen Real Estate. Joining the firm in 1977 as the youngest team member, Nelson drew on his leadership experience and training as a former naval officer to implement his innovative ideas and became CEO four years later. Nelson continues to grow the business by researching new high-end…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 11, 2015 at 9:35am — No Comments

The Real Women of Home Performance: Mina Agarabi

Mina Agarabi is the Principal Mechanical Engineer at Agarabi Engineering PLLC, a consulting firm focused on operations and maintenance and energy efficiency. Prior to establishing her firm, she conducted light commercial and residential energy assessments and oversaw the installation of numerous energy-efficiency projects at Association for Energy Affordability and Steven Winter Associates. Agarabi has several…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 11, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

VW Isn't the Only One That Circumvents

The outrage against Volkswagen (VW) is justified, but let’s not forget that other manufacturers—a lot of manufacturers—have been circumventing energy and emissions tests for decades. Here are a few of my own experiences.

Cadillac was circumventing emissions test procedures 20 years before VW. Cadillac’s engineers faced the same dilemma: How do they comply with emissions control requirements without sacrificing performance? Not surprisingly, they solved…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 2, 2015 at 10:04am — 5 Comments

Stevens Institute of Technology Wins Solar Decathlon 2015

Stevens Institute of Technology won top honors overall at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 by designing, building, and operating the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive solar powered house.…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on October 21, 2015 at 10:29am — No Comments

Seaming with Industrial Tape: Q&A with Risa Edelstein

Recently we got the opportunity to speak with Risa Edelstein, an expert on barrier seaming with adhesive tape. Edelstein is one of the executives at ECHOtape, a worldwide provider of pressure sensitive industrial tape.

Tape works with insulation systems as a complement for energy efficiency. It is an accessory product…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on October 21, 2015 at 10:27am — No Comments

Twenty-First-Century Energy Efficiency—with Carbon on Our Minds

After the first oil embargo, in 1973, our nation recognized the need to save energy in a coordinated way. It made sense to designate energy utilities to coordinate energy-saving activities in buildings, because nobody had better access to the customer and to key information about the customer. This led to three decades of utility-managed energy conservation programs. Many succeeded. Some did not.

But times change. Today, there’s a new imperative:…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 2, 2015 at 3:23pm — 2 Comments

The Real Women of Home Performance

At the ACI National Conference this year, I was remiss that there was no official presence of Women in Home Performance. What I found encouraging was that people noticed and asked for more. So, with the gracious assistance of long time supporter Macie Melendez of Home Energy magazine, we’re back! Macie and I will be interviewing women in the industry in a blog series, The Real Women of…

Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 14, 2015 at 1:57pm — 6 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.…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 29, 2015 at 11:06am — 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…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 23, 2015 at 10:58am — 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…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 4, 2015 at 9:37am — 7 Comments

At Home with the Internet of Annoying Things

The Internet of Things has already improved my everyday life. Devices that communicate with each other deliver new services and features that I appreciate. However, as the Internet of Things expands from a few linked devices to a pervasive network, I fear that aggravation will soon replace appreciation. Are we moving toward the Internet of Annoying Things?

We become aware of the Internet of…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on March 2, 2015 at 8:53am — 4 Comments

What's Reasonable Versus What's Heroic

Ann Edminster, M.Arch, LEED AP (pictured left, observing work done in her attic) is a recognized international expert on green-home design and a principal developer of the LEED for Homes rating system. She travels widely and consults with builders, homeowners, developers, design firms, utilities, investors, and public agencies. We recently discussed what’s at the heart of the…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 7, 2015 at 1:52pm — 4 Comments

The Fast-Changing World of Saving Energy

In reviewing the content of Home Energy's January/February issue, I was struck by how rapidly the energy-saving business is changing. In the issue, we cover the come-from-nowhere explosion in LEDs. Another article about energy-efficient homes in Germany describes the rapid shift to near zero energy homes. That article also reminds us why it is getting risky to ignore activities on what used to be the…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 6, 2015 at 12:16pm — 2 Comments

The Wired Home: Which Technologies Actually Work?

With today's sky-high energy costs, homeowners and energy industry professionals alike are constantly looking for ways to increase energy efficiency and save money. Fortunately, advancements in home automation technology have made this easier than ever.

From smart thermostats to air quality monitors to Wi-Fi enabled…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on December 17, 2014 at 4:32pm — No Comments

Lighting Services for Aliens

You have probably seen those amazing images of the world at night as observed from space—hundreds of times. Below is one photo, but many others show expanded views of smaller areas. I still marvel at how those necklaces of light show the shapes of our cities. The lights tell stories, too. For example, the Korean peninsula appears surgically sliced at the Demilitarized Zone,…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 12, 2014 at 1:31pm — 2 Comments

A Day in the Life of Learning

We now know that people learn effectively when they construct their own learning, rather than being told about it. The instructor moves off the stage and becomes the Guide on the Side.…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 25, 2014 at 3:30pm — 7 Comments

From Energy Audits to Home Performance - 30 Years with Home Energy Magazine

Home Energy magazine (HEM) has been publishing articles about residential energy efficiency for 30 years. Our articles, editorials, letters, and advertisements provide a kind of window into the evolution of energy conservation technologies, policies, and organizations. Initially, the focus was on audits and simple retrofits, such as weather-stripping and insulation. In those…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 24, 2014 at 12:13pm — 1 Comment

Home Energy Magazine Features 30 Home Performance Leaders Under 30 to Celebrate 30th Year in Print

The September/October 2014 issue of Home Energy marks the magazine’s 30th year in print. To celebrate that milestone, an industry-wide call for nominations found noteworthy professionals in home performance who were 30 years of age or younger. The feature article introduces the young people who the industry can count on to lead the home performance industry for the next 30 years. 

Home Energy’s associate editor, Macie Melendez, compiled the nominations and…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 4, 2014 at 2:56pm — 1 Comment

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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.

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