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Recent Blogs
Do You Offer Weatherization Training?

Do You Offer Weatherization Training?

Leslie Jackson

The DOE recently released a this 4-minute video about the training offerings of The Weatherization Training Program at Pennsylvania College in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. [continue reading]

A Closer Look at Geothermal Heat Pumps

A Closer Look at Geothermal Heat Pumps

Jim Gunshinan

Henry Gifford is a man who designs mechanical systems for very energy efficient, comfortable, and affordable apartment buildings in New York City, along with his partner, architect Chris Benedict. In a recent article in Fine Homebuilding, Henry explained how geothermal heat pumps work in a way that I will always remember. I paraphrase: [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]

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]

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]

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]

2010 Home Energy Guide to Training Programs Online

2010 Home Energy Guide to Training Programs Online

Leslie Jackson

Home Energy magazine’s Annual Training Guide for Home Performance Professionals--published in past years in print and as a downloadable PDF on our Web site--is now perpetual. And searchable. Every two years, we have published a resource of training programs in the United States and Canada, connecting trainers to students. Last year, the Guide went from a list with a short description of each trainer organization and its offerings, to a grid, showing ... [continue reading]

Green Building: Surprising Lessons Learned

Green Building: Surprising Lessons Learned

Leslie Jackson

The nice thing about TED talks is that they are efficiently presented, compressing information into a few stimulating moments. [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]

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]

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