It’s amazing how many energy efficiency conferences and workshops have surfaced recently. Sometimes it seems like the dissemination and sharing of EE information has become a standalone industry. These events are often are often sponsored by large corporate donors and may have hundreds of attendees. Frequently they are week-long events with multiple “tracks” of…Continue
Added by Efficiency First California on September 10, 2018 at 11:25am — No Comments
Sean Armstrong is the Managing Principal of Redwood Energy, one of the nation’s leading ZNE design firms and an Efficiency First California board member. His argument for electrification is based on his extensive experience in multifamily housing.
The conventional wisdom is that when it comes to home heating, gas is cheap. So why is the trend toward building all-electric homes accelerating?
It turns out…Continue
Added by Efficiency First California on August 10, 2018 at 1:50am — No Comments
In all the discussions about how to best save energy and power the future, people sometimes forget that the clean energy system of tomorrow will be built not on spreadsheets or by some fancy computer modeling tool, but by hardworking crews in the field. These folks often don’t get enough credit for what they do. But as those of us who’ve run businesses dedicated to…Continue
Added by Efficiency First California on June 5, 2018 at 11:34am — No Comments
When it comes to energy, society is at a crossroads. Our existing supplies are heavily based on fossil fuels, a limited and dirty solution. There is no question that we must transition to a cleaner and more sustainable future. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the current system, but we need to be realistic about…Continue
Added by Efficiency First California on May 1, 2018 at 3:59pm — No Comments
It’s a common practice to try to encourage or change behavior with incentives. Parents do it all the time. Have you ever agreed to do something for the reward that was promised upon completion? Finished your dinner so you could have ice cream? Or as Pink Floyd famously sang “how can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”
We’re taking a departure from the goings on at the state capital and will instead focus on some events that are occurring across the state of California.
The landscape for energy efficiency incentive programs in California is changing. Late last year, a program in Southern California announced a funding cap for the year 2018. The program implementers…Continue
Added by Efficiency First California on March 18, 2018 at 9:30pm — No Comments
There is some debate among scholars over when humans first learned to control fire. A large body of evidence suggests people have been using it for around 600,000 years, but recent discoveries have pushed the date back to as far as 1 million years ago. Regardless of when exactly it started, there is no question that controlling fire has changed the course of human…Continue
Having a good way to measure efficiency is valuable to the home performance industry for many reasons. Easy to obtain, low cost, accurate savings data can be used to better educate consumers, close sales and help crews use their time more effectively when installing upgrades. Accurate data enables rebate programs to maximize every dollar spent on incentives. Good data…Continue
Added by Efficiency First California on January 29, 2018 at 1:03am — No Comments
In a previous blog, The Latest Trend in Home Performance: Why You Should Be Concerned, I expressed some concerns about a recent trend in home performance of contractors focusing on the health benefits of retrofits as the primary selling point for an…Continue
Recently I wrote a blog about the October 2017 firestorms in Northern California. I live and work in the city of Sonoma and was directly affected by the fires. My family and I evacuated our home and waited out the fires on safer grounds until the danger passed. We are OK, life has resumed, but the impact on the region will last for several years.
In my last post, I wrote about how air quality was impacted in the area, and how people responded by using N95 face masks…Continue
Northern California’s wine country lies about 45 miles North of San Francisco. There are two prominent valleys, lauded for their beauty and serenity, with rich soils and the perfect climate for growing grapes. The region produces some of the finest wines in the world.
I live and work in the town of Sonoma, located at the southernmost part of the Sonoma Valley.…Continue
Added by Efficiency First California on December 12, 2017 at 3:41pm — No Comments
For the past couple of years there has been a lot of conversation in the industry about indoor air quality and the health benefits of home performance upgrades. Even the certification folks have jumped on the bandwagon, offering special certifications for home inspections that focus on health and indoor air quality. There is no question that energy upgrades can…Continue
There is a lot of conversation these days about making buildings Zero Net Energy (ZNE). The basic idea is that a ZNE house or building produces as much energy as it uses in a year. Early adopters have been interested in ZNE building for years, but its only recently that technology has gotten to the point where it’s possible to make ZNE…
Added by Efficiency First California on August 8, 2017 at 10:19pm — No Comments
At some point in time man gained control over fire. Fire was very useful: it could be used to cook food, provide light, and its heat allowed us to survive in hostile environments.
Thousands of years later, some things haven’t changed much. Whether we have a natural gas or propane furnace or (in some parts of the country) an oil fired boiler, most of us still…Continue
You don’t need to spend a great of time deal in the policy world before you hear a conversation about workforce development. In fact, the Energy Upgrade California incentive program was originally created as a workforce development solution. Flashback to 2008, the Great Recession: contractors were out of work and the economy was in a downward spiral. The incoming Obama administration designed a program to stimulate the economy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment…Continue
Added by Efficiency First California on April 25, 2017 at 4:29pm — No Comments