Alan Meier

Alan Meier is senior executive editor of Home Energy.

Articles By Author
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The State of Training

Author: Alan Meier
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January 01, 1999

It's been 25 years since the first oil embargo. The resulting surge of interest in energy conservation spawned new industries and professions devoted to raising the efficiency of homes. [continue reading]

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Energy Tax Credit Alert

Author: Alan Meier
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March 01, 1999

Tax credits for energy efficient homes may appear by the millennium. As "Energy Tax Credit May Materialize" on page 7 describes, at press time the discussions were still at a very early stage, and nothing had been settled. [continue reading]

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Reducing Leaking Electricity to a Trickle

Author: Alan Meier
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May 01, 1999

It isn't often that I have an opportunity to editorialize on my own research activities, but leaking electricity gives me an opening. I have been investigating standby power losses for several years. [continue reading]

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Leaking Electricity Overseas

Author: Alan Meier
archive CONTENT
May 01, 1999

Standby power in appliances (also known as leaking electricity) was the topic at a recent workshop sponsored by the International Energy Agency in Paris, France. [continue reading]

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Video Networks: A Surprising Energy Drain

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May 01, 1999

In order to estimate the energy consumption of TVs and other video appliances, one needs to know the power consumption of those appliances and the number of hours they are on. [continue reading]

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An Instructive Breeze from Ceiling Fans

Author: Alan Meier
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July 01, 1999

It may come as a surprise that there are more than 150 million ceiling fans in the United States. In Florida alone, the best estimate is 30 million. Nobody knows how much electricity ceiling fans use, but in warm climates (like Florida) a home's ceiling fan energy use may equal that of its refrigerator. [continue reading]

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Will Global Warming Rekindle HERS?

Author: Alan Meier
archive CONTENT
September 01, 1999

Home energy rating programs aren't booming, but they are slowly--very slowly--taking root in both North America and Europe. The birthing process has proven to be much longer and more painful than most people expected. Despite efforts in several countries, these programs have influenced only a tiny, if not insignificant, fraction of home sales. [continue reading]

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My Discouraging Visit to Costco

Author: Alan Meier
archive CONTENT
November 01, 1999

A new Costco recently opened near my home and I--with family in tow--had to inspect its huge aisles chock-a-block full of megasize detergent containers and diapers by the ton. While the kids were distracted by the toys and free food samples, my attention turned to the appliances. [continue reading]

Blogs By Author
January/February 2010: LEDs: Avoiding the CFL Debacle

January/February 2010: LEDs: Avoiding the CFL Debacle

Alan Meier

The lighting efficacies of LEDs have been rising steadily and are poised to overtake CFLs. Fluorescents and CFLs still outshine LEDs with respect to general applications and cost of light, but LEDs are already superior for some niche applications and offer many new exciting illumination opportunities. Now we need to ensure that the reputation of this new energysaving lighting source won’t be undermined by a tidal wave of shoddy products. Tests for quality, ... [continue reading]

March/April 2010 Editorial: Home Energy Monitors

March/April 2010 Editorial: Home Energy Monitors

Alan Meier

Home Energy Monitors, that is, devices that display a home’s energy consumption have been touted as Silicon Valley’s contribution to the national energy conservation effort. A Home Energy Monitor (or HEM) constantly informs the occupants of their home’s electricity and gas consumption, along with conversions to monthly costs and comparisons with previous periods. Some models can (or will) communicate with heating and air conditioning systems. These devices will enable ... [continue reading]

May/June 2010 Editorial: Targeting the High Users

May/June 2010 Editorial: Targeting the High Users

Alan Meier

Photo by Jovan Peric - Fotolia.com Homes with high energy consumption are likely to provide us more opportunities to save energy. If that’s true, then why don’t we see more programs and businesses geared toward the high users? [continue reading]

July/August 2010 Editorial: A Cottage Industry with High Electricity Use

July/August 2010 Editorial: A Cottage Industry with High Electricity Use

Alan Meier

Can growing marijuana change the way homes use electricity? In rural Humboldt County, in far-northern California, there’s no doubt that it can. Figure 1 tracks average monthly residential electricity use in Humboldt County and in California. Until the mid-1990s, these two values were almost identical. But after 1996, Humboldt County’s electricity use suddenly turned upward. What happened? In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, which legalized the medical use of marijuana. In practice, Proposition 215 ... [continue reading]

November/December 2010 Editorial: Restoring Credibility in the Efficiency Marketplace

November/December 2010 Editorial: Restoring Credibility in the Efficiency Marketplace

Alan Meier

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and nowhere is this adage truer than with the assurance of a manufacturer’s compliance with energy efficiency standards and endorsement programs. If any link is broken in this process, then it is impossible to “haul up” those energy savings for the consumer. The Department of Energy (DOE) the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are finally taking actions to repair some of the ... [continue reading]

March/April 2011 Editorial: The Making of an Industry at ACI

March/April 2011 Editorial: The Making of an Industry at ACI

Alan Meier

Sometimes it’s only possible to recognize progress by turning around and seeing how far you’ve traveled since the journey began. That’s certainly the case for the energy-conservation industry. Gradually an industry devoted to improving home performance is taking shape. The number of technologies, techniques, and tools dedicated to reducing energy use, improving comfort, and fixing building defects continues to grow. [continue reading]

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