Jim Gunshinan

Jim Gunshinan is Home Energy's editor.

Articles By Author
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Tucson Blooms with Less Water

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May 01, 2004

        Water is an increasingly precious resource that needs to be used more wisely, and there are energy penalties associated with heating and distributing water inefficiently (see “Are You ... [continue reading]

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The Lowdown on Structural Insulated Panels

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January 01, 2002

More builders are recognizing the benefits of building with structural insulated panels, yet unless the panels are properly installed, moisture buildup can create major problems. [continue reading]

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Growing Up Together

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January 01, 2007

Affordable Comfort, Incorporated (now ACI) began its life when very few of us knew what a blower door was. Today ACI plays a pivotal role in promoting the home performance profession. [continue reading]

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Caveat Emptor

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January 01, 2007

Recent cases reveal that the efficiency of a product is sometimes less than meets the eye. In 2006, Consumer Reports tested the LG Energy Star bottom freezer refrigerator, the LG LRFC25750, and discovered that it won&... [continue reading]

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Editorial: In Praise of Weatherization

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September 01, 2005

Home Energy receives dozens of e-mails each month from people who find out about us through our Web site, maybe read an article or two from our archives, and write us about problems they are ... [continue reading]

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Energy Star Changes Approach to Programmable Thermostats

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March 10, 2007

Energy Star has promoted programmable thermostats since 1995, estimating that consumers will save 10%–30% on their heating and cooling energy bills. With sales of programmable thermostats doubling in the last ten years, and with more than 25 ... [continue reading]

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Cold Water Works

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July 01, 2007

Business-minded people eagerly await the latest issue of Fortune magazine, and the more literary among us look forward to reading the latest fiction in the New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly. Here at Home Energy, some ... [continue reading]

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The Shipping News

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January 27, 2008

The West Coast Green conference was held September 19–22 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Home Energy is a media sponsor for the event, and our staff handed out well over 1,000 magazines; ... [continue reading]

Blogs By Author
Dispatches from Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona

Dispatches from Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona

Jim Gunshinan

It took me about six hours to travel from my bed in Walnut Creek to the Phoenix Convention Center, the location of this year’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, and then about an hour more to make my way to the Home Energy booth in the Exposition Hall. Big event; big venue. There are more than 1,000 companies and organizations here, representing every facet of green ... [continue reading]

"Cash for Caulkers" a Pretty Good Idea

Jim Gunshinan

In a recent blog post, I wrote about what it takes to become certified as a Building Analyst through the Building Performance Institute (BPI) (“Am I certifiable?”). A BPI certification or becoming a certified HERS (home energy rating system) rater through the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) are the most recognized ways to enter the home performance marketplace. [continue reading]

Dispatches from Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona, Part 2

Dispatches from Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona, Part 2

Jim Gunshinan

Years ago I discussed with Jan Kozny of Oak Ridge National Laboratory his research at the lab into phase change materials for use in walls. At the time it seemed like the mature technology might just be around the corner. Lots of promising technology remains just around the corner forever, but phase change material is making a comeback. [continue reading]

When the Sun Don't Shine and the Wind Don't Blow

When the Sun Don't Shine and the Wind Don't Blow

Jim Gunshinan

In a world energy landscape dominated by coal, gas, oil, and nuclear, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar don’t stand a chance if we can’t find a way to store energy when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. In my last blog entry, I wrote about storing electric energy in a battery made of paper and nanotech ink (see The Paper Battery ... [continue reading]

What Went Wrong in Haiti?

What Went Wrong in Haiti?

Jim Gunshinan

Like a lot of people, I’ve been thinking about the devastation from the earthquake in Haiti, seeing images of collapsed buildings and dead people on the news and in the newspapers. I wonder why less than a hundred people in the Bay Area died in the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, and perhaps as many as 200,000 have died from the earthquake last month in Haiti. The Transamerica Building in downtown San Francisco swayed about ... [continue reading]

Sqeezing More Energy From the Sun

Sqeezing More Energy From the Sun

Jim Gunshinan

Scientists are figuring out how to squeeze more electricity out of photovoltaic (PV) panels. PV panels take the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. The sun’s energy is abundant, but in order for solar electricity to compete with cheaper forms of electricity, such as that produced from highly polluting coal-fired power plants, PV panels have to be more efficient. And they need to be cheaper. Higher efficiency gets you more ... [continue reading]

Is the Hydrogen Highway a Good Idea Again?

Is the Hydrogen Highway a Good Idea Again?

Jim Gunshinan

Remember the Hydrogen Highway that would run the length of California and provide the infrastructure for the Hydrogen Economy? California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger talked up the idea in his 2004 State of the State Address: [continue reading]

Slowing Down PACE

Slowing Down PACE

Jim Gunshinan

Berkeley pioneered a way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy installations on buildings in 2008. Since then, 22 states have introduced similar programs. But the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE) is being blocked for the time being by, of all things, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, holders of about half of the home mortgages in the country and a major player in the financial crisis that we are still recovering from. PACE adds jobs and ... [continue reading]

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