March 2014 Blog Posts (16)

Microgrid for Neighborhoods: How Soon?

Microgrids may be the future of the North American electric grid, but when will that future arrive – especially for the homeowner? A team led by Ontario utility PowerStream is trying to find out with a new test project.

“A lot of the microgrid projects that you read about are typically large projects, hundreds of kilowatts, megawatts, running a whole university, a whole hospital, a whole military base,” said Mario Bottero, co-founder and president…


Added by Elisa Wood on March 29, 2014 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

Workforce Development

My skills are developed in many positive ways which are impacted and guided by 's  excellent Workforce Development. As I work through projects, I am completing them with much improved energy efficiency and quality for my customers. I have more knowledge and I understand more of what's around me. This makes me feel good. Thank you  .

Added by Mike Muras on March 28, 2014 at 9:38am — No Comments

We're Not Paying Enough Attention to Kitchen Ventilation

Exposure to kitchen pollutants is a significant and overlooked health hazard in homes. The home performance industry pays great attention to protecting against exposures to combustion pollutants from water heaters and furnaces, but very little attention to an unvented combustion device that is used nearly every day: the…


Added by Chris Stratton on March 27, 2014 at 7:00pm — 4 Comments

ARRA Keeps Working for You

Almost two years ago I posted a blog about the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA); ARRA, or the “Stimulus Bill”, has gotten pilloried in the media as a colossal failure and waste of taxpayer dollars. But if you would take the time to do a little research, you would see that most of the coverage has been far from the truth.

Because of ARRA’s support for DOE’s Weatherization…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 21, 2014 at 6:30pm — 13 Comments

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Releases Sponsor Guide and Reference Manual v1.5

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Sponsor Guide and Reference Manual (v1.5) (Sponsor Guide), a technical operations guide for the national Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program.

First conceptually introduced at the 2012 ACI National Home Performance conference in Baltimore, Md., the Sponsor Guide is the result of more than…


Added by Cortney Krauss on March 19, 2014 at 1:55pm — No Comments

Passive House Delivers 80% Energy Reduction in a 90-year-old House in Santa Cruz

After years of telling friends, "When we remodel our house to Passive House standards we will use 80% less energy than similar homes in the area," and crossing our fingers that the data proved out, we are delighted to share with you our first year's energy data for living in Midori Haus.  

What is Midori Haus?  The name simply means "green house" since Midori is the Japanese word for green and Haus is the German spelling for house.  The house was originally built in 1922, a…


Added by Chie Kawahara on March 18, 2014 at 3:07pm — 6 Comments

The Passive House Revolution

An email came from Faith Morgan with a link to a documentary film called “Passive House Revolution,” produced by the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It was a busy day, but I thought I could use a break from words, so I left the stack of unopened emails for a while and watched the film. I’m glad that I did.…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 14, 2014 at 7:02pm — 13 Comments

Solar Loans - what is the tipping point?

There is a lot of news flow on investor interest on raising funds for solar loans, but not much attention has been paid to - what constitutes an ‘attractive interest rate’ to make homeowners ‘jump’ to make that solar investment.

Supply Side First

Lets focus on the resource side; the benchmark for raising ‘low cost’ institutional funds lies will be SolarCity’s…


Added by Bijou Lulla on March 13, 2014 at 9:34pm — 6 Comments

More Proof that Weatherization Works—To Increase Kid's Health

Weatherization is about more than just energy efficiency. It has always been about the health and comfort of the weatherized home’s occupants as well. For a long time these benefits of weatherization have been called “non-energy benefits.” But the health effects of weatherization have now taken pride of place alongside energy benefits. Now there is new research showing increased health and well being among families whose homes have been weatherized. A recent Home Energy article—available…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 13, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Top 7 Worst Crawl Space Repairs

Many homeowners searching the internet for crawlspace repair information end up in home repair forums. While there is some good information out there, there are many examples of bad and outdated advice related to repairing crawlspaces. I have witnessed firsthand the results of unprofessional crawlspace repair and would like to set the record straight on what I consider to be the worst 5 crawlspace repairs I've seen.

1. Adding more foundation vents…


Added by Larry Ralph Jr on March 10, 2014 at 9:54pm — 20 Comments

¿Qué es una bomba de calor?

Una Bomba de calor es, a grandes rasgos, una máquina que se basa en un ciclo de refrigeración reversible. Este tipo de equipos tienen dos partes fundamentales, el foco caliente y el foco frío. Cuando se aplica energía eléctrica al sistema, uno de los focos aumenta su temperatura (desprende energía) mientras que el otro la disminuye (absorbe energía).

Added by Carlos on March 7, 2014 at 12:24pm — No Comments

Which Communicating Thermostats are Consumers Most Likely to Use?

With the Google buyout of NEST thermostats, attention has turned from the “smart meter” to the thermostat as a focal point of residential energy efficiency. (Read this recent editorial by Alan Meier.) But several years ago Energy Star decided…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 6, 2014 at 5:00pm — 15 Comments

How to Help Appraisers Fairly Value Home Energy Efficiency Improvements

In 2013, we published a blueprint with the National Home Performance Council that outlines a seven-step…


Added by Melissa Ulbricht on March 6, 2014 at 12:49pm — 10 Comments

New Boston Homes Generate More Energy Than They Consume

In 2013, Boston earned the title of the most energy-efficient city in the United States from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). So why is the city outranking all others?


For one, the city implemented its own Climate Change policy, which sets energy-savings goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020, for the municipal government and the community. In 2013,…


Added by Stephanie@SaveOnEnergy on March 5, 2014 at 4:12pm — 1 Comment

Standard Retrofit Packages—What Works?

If we want to make good, or great, home performance a reality for more people and families across North America, we must come to some agreement on standard retrofit packages that work. Not every house is the same, but we can agree on standards that can be widely, quickly, and efficiently applied to similar housing types. The home performance community has more than three decades of experience to bear on the question. Please add your voice to the discussion.

Join Scott Yee, PARR;…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 4, 2014 at 2:35pm — No Comments

RESNET Combustion Safety Testing by EnergyLogic, Inc.

RESNET Combustion Safety Testing…


Added by Dianna K Heustis on March 3, 2014 at 11:39am — No Comments

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Infrared camera recommendations for general contractor use

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A list of 7 important questions to ask potential Contractor's BEFORE hiring them!

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