April 2011 Blog Posts (25)

Energy efficiency and Weight Watchers

We’ve been hearing for years that the energy efficiency industry needs to find its equivalent to the cell phone. These days industry folks refer to it as the ‘killer app,” the revolutionary product or service that consumers can’t resist.

But lately, partly because I’m dieting, I’ve been thinking what energy efficiency really needs is something akin to a Weight Watchers dessert.

Let me explain…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 29, 2011 at 1:32pm — No Comments

When you absolutely, positively NEED to get efficient overnight!

Every once in a while, we have an experience that completely crumbles some long-standing preconceived notion, and this week I’m pleased to share my revelation with you. I’ve just returned from a week-long trip to Cuba with a group of twenty other energy professionals sponsored by Solar Energy International andGlobal Exchange. The purpose of the trip was to explore…
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Added by Paul Scheckel on April 28, 2011 at 3:28pm — 6 Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 14

John and Jane Doe's report is basically written. I have a template that I use that has been slowly built and improved over the past projects. It's a fine start but still requires a fair amount of custom writing, since each house has enough unique issues that need to be addressed.  There's report software out there such as Recurve's, EAI, or BizEE, but none have that personal touch that comes from a written report.  So here's some items from the report:





Target Infiltration: 0.25… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 26, 2011 at 11:30pm — 4 Comments

100 Homes and Counting...

On April 15, 2011, Homes for Our Troops, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2004 that's dedicated to helping veterans who have returned home from combat with serious disabilities and injuries since September 11, 2001, kicked off the build of its 101st home in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Homes for Our Troops is building this particular home (see photo) for U.S. Army Sergeant Jude Recendez who lost both of his… Continue

Added by Macie Melendez on April 26, 2011 at 3:56pm — No Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 10, part 2

OK, I'm back from getting the dimensions of Doe's house, enter all the information into EnergyPro, and do an initial calculation. It looks like the house as it is has a HERS of 147, which means that the model predicts that it will use about one and a half times as much energy as a 'reference home', which is this exact same home if it was built to today's energy code requirements and has by definition a HERS of 100. 147 is not too bad but way above what we want. Let's see if we can get it below… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 25, 2011 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 10

Well, it's taking a bit longer to get to John Doe's report than I'd expected and I've one molar less than a few days ago and a big hole in my jaw.  But, here we are.



I use EnergyPro because I learned it some years ago and I'm familiar with it. Plus, it's the one that's accepted by EUC (Energy Upgrade California), which I plan on applying for this project. Looking over the audit form, everything looks good. We should be able to easily improve Doe's house enough to get a couple of… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 24, 2011 at 11:30pm — No Comments

ACCA Existing Residential Building Improvement Standard: Some Thoughts

My company, Building Efficiency Resources  (www.TheBER.com) is--among other things--a HERS providership.  We see a tremendous opportunity now and into the future for Raters on the retrofit side, and we are devoting considerable effort to exploring and developing ways for our Raters to seize that opportunity.  We bring to that task a clear understanding that not all Certified Raters are highly knowledgeable about existing homes, and that the farther back we…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on April 24, 2011 at 12:14pm — 2 Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 7

Note: the following is not a comprehensive listing of all the details involved in a full audit.  It's meant to be a general description of the process so please don't think that you can read this and do one yourself.  Your and the homeowners' safety requires a full Building Performance training, at a minimum.

 



John and Jane are delightful. Pretty… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 23, 2011 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 6

The batteries are charged, camera's in the truck, and the blank forms are in the briefcase.  Two of us will arrive at John Doe's at 8:30 tomorrow - Wednesday - morning.  It should be a brisk and partly cloudy day, enough difference between inside and out to get good, clear IR camera pix.  First a short sit-down with the owner, then quick walk through with the camera, a Worst Case Combustion Zone test (let me know if you want more info on that; I'm may write a post about why it's vitally… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 22, 2011 at 11:30pm — No Comments

What's Denver doing on the EV-Ready list?

Guest Blog by Cara Miale

April 20, 2011

Looking at the list of the most EV-ready cities just released by Ford, it’s no surprise many of them are coastal. On the east and west coasts energy is pricey, so the pressure is on to achieve innovation that will control costs and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

But what’s up with Denver out there in the middle of the map, all by its…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 22, 2011 at 12:35pm — No Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 2

I caught up with John Doe while he was on the way to work this morning, apologized for not getting back to him last night, and checked in about Tuesday of next week, April 12th, for his test-in Audit.  The weather forecast is for a perfect day: cool and clear, which should allow distinctive IR photos of air infiltration pathways during the blower door test.



I stopped in at Harmony Farms, my favorite farm & garden store, on Hwy 116 this afternoon to talk to Ali Ghorbani, who is… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 21, 2011 at 11:46pm — No Comments

Why I Love My Job

We all go through transitions in our lives.  One of the biggest is choosing or changing a profession.  As I mentioned in previous entries, my background for the previous 9 years was doing class action and warranty inspections on residential building products.  This meant I became keenly…

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Added by Jon LaMonte on April 21, 2011 at 9:47am — 6 Comments

Fun with Watts: Getting down to the Facts!

Whatever We Think, The Odds Seem To Be . . .Nine to One Against (Until We do our Homework)

Check out my revised blog over on Remodeling Magazine.  It's an interesting story about learning from sloppy thinking . . .   my own!  Still, it turns out to be an interesting lesson.

 …

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Added by Ed Voytovich on April 20, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Willowside Rd.

I have an idea: I'm going to take the job that just came in today and blog it from beginning to end, Day 1 til Day X, every step of the way. Initial call, initial visit, second visit & audit, 3rd visit & report delivery, on through contract phase, our local PACE program called SCEIP - Sonoma County Energy Independence Program - approval, Energy Upgrade California approval, permitting, doing the work, final…
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Added by David Willson on April 20, 2011 at 12:30pm — No Comments

No More "Damn Architects!" - The Case for Integrated Design

In 1997, I helped my parents design and build their home. Early in the construction process, I had suggested that the house be built 25 feet back from where we originally had it planned, and that the fireplace be moved to the back side of the living room. We had already put the stakes in the ground and were ready to start digging for…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on April 19, 2011 at 9:19am — No Comments

Need information

Flipping With Ted a complete DIY home improvement and repair consultant. I would like keep up with the lates insulation,weatherproofing, and renewable energies

Added by Teddy Mitchell on April 16, 2011 at 10:26pm — No Comments

Energy efficiency, the Nerd

The renewable energy business has done a remarkable job at positioning itself in the public psyche as the ‘it girl’ of our era.  Just about everyone – politicians, celebrities, major industries – likes to be seen as pro-renewable.

But if renewable energy is the girl that everyone wants to be photographed near, energy efficiency is her nerdy tag-along little brother.  Ever notice how when politicians say they support…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 15, 2011 at 11:35am — 2 Comments

Defining Quality: The John Tooley Way

Although I was a first-timer at ACI a couple of weeks ago, there were so many more numbers that I found interesting. First off, attendees had 144 sessions to choose from in just 2.5 days, there was at least on person in attendance from all 50 states (and 7 Canadian provinces), there were 101 exhibitors (the largest to date), and ACI celebrated its 25th anniversary. For all of this, I have one word: Wow!

 

And as attendees heard in the opening general session, all of this… Continue

Added by Macie Melendez on April 14, 2011 at 2:58pm — 3 Comments

Beware of Power Factor Correction products!

This post was originally posted here.

 

 

Product developers know that as energy costs rise, consumer's budgets get tightened, and people start to care more about their environment (the trifecta of sustainable drivers), those consumers are going to want products that help them save energy.  But do all these products live up to their…

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Added by Chris Kaiser on April 12, 2011 at 4:21pm — 3 Comments

A Green Home - It's Just Good Design

What makes a Green Home green? Is it the bamboo floors? Maybe it’s the low-e windows or the extra insulation in the walls? What about a high efficiency heating and cooling system? Or maybe it's a plaque by your front door that says, “I'm Green!”?

How about all of the above and then…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on April 11, 2011 at 11:02am — No Comments

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