Alan Meier

Alan Meier is senior executive editor of Home Energy.

Articles By Author
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An Instructive Breeze from Ceiling Fans

Author: Alan Meier
archive CONTENT
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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Editorial: The Bumpy Road to Net Zero Energy

Author: Alan Meier
free CONTENT
July 01, 2011

It’s easy to lose the longer perspective when we are involved in day-to-day efforts to save energy. That’s why I want to focus on a single home—Danny Parker’... [continue reading]

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Editorial: Celebrating Early Adopters of Energy Efficiency

Author: Alan Meier
free CONTENT
September 01, 2011

It's easy to dismiss the Energy Adopters' activities as unrealistic for broad application, but how often do we see those actions become commonplace a decade later? [continue reading]

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Editorial: Social Media in the Energy Efficiency Cashbox and Toolbox

Author: Alan Meier
free CONTENT
November 02, 2011

Isn't our cover cute? I hope you think so, but I also hope you realize that the mosaic tells a powerful story: electronic media, and social media in particular, are now a crucial part ... [continue reading]

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Editorial: Measuring Matters

Author: Alan Meier
free CONTENT
January 01, 2012

Perhaps the greatest challenge to promoting energy efficiency is that you can’t see it. People understand electricity produced from a PV collector on the roof, and a kWh meter can easily report precisely ... [continue reading]

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Editorial: Folk Labels and Home Energy

Author: Alan Meier
free CONTENT
February 29, 2012

You’ve almost certainly seen them: a yellow Post-it on the thermostat or a brief note scribbled near the water heater controls, or perhaps a dog-eared card taped to the clothes washer. These are ... [continue reading]

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Editorial: Reflections on ACI

Author: Alan Meier
free CONTENT
April 20, 2012

An industry's health is sometimes measured by the enthusiasm of its trade shows. Arguably, ACI is not a trade show, but it certainly is a bellwether for the home performance industry. And it rocked. By ... [continue reading]

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Editorial: Why Japan's Electricity Crisis Matters

Author: Alan Meier
free CONTENT
June 29, 2012

You may not read about it on the front page of the newspapers, but Japan is undergoing a second electricity crisis. The first took place last spring and summer after the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami, and ... [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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