Alan Meier

Alan Meier is senior executive editor of Home Energy.

Articles By Author
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MAINTENANCE DOESN'T NECESSARILY LOWER ENERGY USE

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January 01, 1993

Utility bill stuffers direct customers to clean their refrigerator coils in order to save the customers a few dollars and the utility companies a few power plants. [continue reading]

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Performance Versus Projections: Does Your Refrigerator Measure Up?

Author: Alan Meier
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January 01, 1993

Every new refrigerator is sold with a bright yellow "Energy Guide" label affixed to the door. The label lists the refrigerator's energy consumption (translated confusingly into dollars per year) and compares that unit to other, similar models. [continue reading]

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Dear Bill Clinton

Author: Alan Meier
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March 01, 1993

Now that you have moved into the White House, we would like you to take a careful look at your new home. Is it energy-efficient? We doubt it. [continue reading]

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Lessons from the Electrical Frontier

Author: Alan Meier
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May 01, 1993

More and more households are opting for photovoltaic (PV) electricity supply systems, and with them a change in household technology and lifestyle. In fact, a recent study estimates that at least 25,000 homes operate "off the grid," relying on PV to harvest electricity and on batteries to store it. [continue reading]

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Cheap Electricity

Author: Alan Meier
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July 01, 1993

A minor revolution is occurring in the electricity supply industry. A flood of cheap natural gas, combined with high-efficiency, low-cost combined-cycle gas turbine generation units, has made it possible to supply electricity at very low prices. [continue reading]

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What Stays On When You Go Out

Author: Alan Meier
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July 01, 1993

"We were away for a whole month and our utility bill barely dropped." This comment (or some variant) is heard at the end of the summer in millions of American households. [continue reading]

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It's the Duct's Turn for Retrofits

Author: Alan Meier
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September 01, 1993

Pity the poor neglected duct. Put end-to-end, there are enough of them in American homes to reach to the moon and back. [continue reading]

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Retrofitting the White House?

Author: Alan Meier
archive CONTENT
September 01, 1993

We would like to think that Bill and Hillary Clinton read the Home Energy editorial advising them to retrofit the White House (see "Dear Bill Clinton," Mar/Apr '93, p.2). [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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