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Recent Blogs
Van Jones Inspires Wx Workers

Van Jones Inspires Wx Workers

Jim Gunshinan

Van Jones, White House green jobs czar, spoke to weatherization workers at the National Weatherization Training Conference, "You are the quiet heroes. Your job is to take the inhalers out of little girls' pockets; little boys pockets." [continue reading]

National Weatherization Training Conference

National Weatherization Training Conference

Jim Gunshinan

There are 3,200 people here for the conference in Indianapolis! This is more than twice as many as the last time. Heard from Gil Sperling and others at opening plenary. Some buzz about Davis-Bacon prevailing wage legislation. Dept. of Labor created a new category "weatherization worker" and is polling organizations around the country to come up with prevailing wage numbers. Dept. of Labor staff are here to get feedback. [continue reading]

July/August 2009 Editorial: After Weatherization—Career Paths in Energy Efficiency

July/August 2009 Editorial: After Weatherization—Career Paths in Energy Efficiency

Alan Meier

The government’s breathtaking investments in energy efficiency—and notably in weatherization—are creating a boom in the industry. If all goes according to plan, hundreds of thousands of new people will soon join the home energy efficiency sector. Most of these new jobs will require little training and offer commensurately low pay (but hey, it’s a job). This level of government expenditure cannot be sustained, so now is the ... [continue reading]

A 25th Birthday Recognition

A 25th Birthday Recognition

Tom White, Publisher

I was honored to accept on behalf of Home Energy magazine an award given by Andrew Fisk, ACI VP, at the opening plenary of the recent ACI 2009 Home Performance Conference in Kansas City, MO. The ACI award recognizes "the outstanding contributions of Home Energy magazine.  Congratulations on 25 years of success in your mission to disseminate objective and practical information on residential energy efficiency, performance, comfort and affordability." I presented the ... [continue reading]

May/June 2009 Editorial: Saving Home Energy After the Stimulus

May/June 2009 Editorial: Saving Home Energy After the Stimulus

Alan Meier

The residential energy business is scurrying around trying to digest the billions of dollars thrown at us to weatherize and reduce the energy use of our country’s homes.  Few of us, even in our wildest dreams, could have imagined the scenario unfolding in 2009. In the midst of trying to spend this money wisely, we also need to consider what will happen to the efficiency industry after the stimulus? I don’t ... [continue reading]

Turning Lemons Into Efficient, Affordable Homes

Turning Lemons Into Efficient, Affordable Homes

Jim Gunshinan

I'm in Kansas City at the annual national meeting of Affordable Comfort, Incorporated, (ACI), an organization that helps train weatherization technicians, energy auditors, and other home performance contractors. It's an exciting time to be in the field. While new housing is stalled in the United States, there is lots of funding-in the billions of dollars-on the way for weatherization, residential energy efficiency, and renewable energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. [continue reading]

ACI Home Performance Media Forum: Where are the HP Heroes?

ACI Home Performance Media Forum: Where are the HP Heroes?

Tom White, Publisher

At the ACI National Home Performance conference media forum tonight, panelist Henry Gifford spoke about the need to create media savvy home performance heroes that the public can identify with, along the lines of a Babe Ruth, Rosie the Riveter or Bill Gates.  Someone who can change the media's perspective on energy efficiency and motivate the young generation of green collar workers (and homeowners).  [continue reading]

March/April 2009 Editorial: How Private Should Utility Bills Be?

March/April 2009 Editorial: How Private Should Utility Bills Be?

Alan Meier

The cover of this issue depicts extraordinarily useful information: the homes whose attics are inadequately insulated. British residents can go onto the Web and find their homes—or their neighbors’ homes—to determine their thermal efficiency. [continue reading]

January/February 2009 Editorial: Now We Know the Value of Energy Star

January/February 2009 Editorial: Now We Know the Value of Energy Star

Alan Meier

The elections overshadowed a press release by Energy Star announcing a settlement with LG, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of appliances and consumer electronics. That’s a pity because the settlement sends an important message to manufacturers. It also reveals how valuable LG thinks the Energy Star endorsement actually is. [continue reading]

November/December 2008 Editorial: Heat Pump Water Heaters—Another Prius in the Basement?

November/December 2008 Editorial: Heat Pump Water Heaters—Another Prius in the Basement?

Alan Meier

It was good news to learn that Energy Star has finally announced specifications for water heaters. The specification for heat pump water heaters is particularly welcome, since these products have an unusually large savings potential. A heat pump water heater can reduce water-heating energy by half, which translates into over 1,500 kWh per year in many homes. Nearly 40% of American homes use electric water heaters, so the market is huge. This market is unlikely to be ... [continue reading]

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