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Recent Blogs
EPA Releases WaterSense New Home Specification

EPA Releases WaterSense New Home Specification

Glen Folland

Beginning this month, developers and home builders have a new opportunity to highlight green building achievements applied toward their projects. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the EPA WaterSense New Home Specification. This Specification establishes criteria for new homes and multifamily occupancies to be labeled under the WaterSense label, which is similar to existing EPA programs EnergyStar and Indoor AirPlus.   To earn the WaterSense label on residential occupancies, applicants will be required to ... [continue reading]

Why DOE's Cave on Furnace Standards Is Such a Big Deal

Why DOE's Cave on Furnace Standards Is Such a Big Deal

Andrew deLaski

In a dose of bad news yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposed to settle a lawsuit brought by the American Public Gas Association (APGA) that seeks to roll back gas furnace efficiency standards. As a result, the new standards, completed in 2011 and slated to take effect this May, would be eliminated in favor of yet another round of DOE hearings and studies. The losers: consumers and the environment. The bill: more than $10 ... [continue reading]

Sacred Work

Sacred Work

Jim Gunshinan

A building is not sacred. A church or a temple, no matter how old, or big, or beautiful, by itself is not sacred. It’s the attitude of the people and the things that people do in a building that make it sacred or not. I have met many people in the home performance field who quietly go about the work of making homes sacred places; places that serve a higher purpose than just ... [continue reading]

Micro Inverters – Are They Ready for Australia's Harsh Climate?

Micro Inverters – Are They Ready for Australia's Harsh Climate?

Faith Fernandez

As a home performance professional, you're probably always looking for new products and services to offer your clients. If you're working with solar, chances are that you've been hearing a lot about micro inverters. If you are located in Australia, however, you should know that micro inverters have many significant downsides that may make them unsuitable for harsh Australian climates. [continue reading]

Book Review: An Introduction to Green Homes

Book Review: An Introduction to Green Homes

Laura Reedy Stukel

The Appraisal Institute’s An Introduction to Green Homes is yet another valuable tool from the Institute, paving the way for appraisers to handle green home assignments. The book, authored by long-time appraiser, REALTOR, and educator Alan Simmons in 2010 helps appraisers new to this work “know what they don’t know.” The book equips appraisers to identify green building certifications, techniques, and products and guides them to great resources for more ... [continue reading]

Northwest Energy Star Super-Efficient Homes—#2: The House of the Immediate Future

Northwest Energy Star Super-Efficient Homes—#2: The House of the Immediate Future

Neil Grigsby

The House of the Immediate Future in Seattle, Washington, is one of six super energy-efficient homes being highlighted this year by Northwest Energy Star Homes—in collaboration with builders, utilities, and homeowners—to increase awareness and adoption of advanced building practices and products that can improve quality, comfort, and energy efficiency in new homes. [continue reading]

Home Performance with Energy Star Action Plan

Home Performance with Energy Star Action Plan

Ely Jacobsohn

As we ring in the New Year, the U.S. Department of Energy is pleased to announce the posting of its Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) Program Report. The report presents our action plan for evolving HPwES and is based on more than 650 stakeholder comments received during an open comment period in 2012. The proposed changes are collectively known as HPwES v2.0.  [continue reading]

ACI Run & Ride Challenge

ACI Run & Ride Challenge

Macie Melendez

Have you heard about ACI's recent Run & Ride Challenge? If not, here's the down-low: To help raise funds for the ACI's Memorial Scholarship Fund, Courtney Moriarta of SRA International has committed to running or riding (cycling, that is) the distance from ACI's headquarters in Pittsburgh to the ACI National Home Performance Conference site in Denver. And she plans on meeting that 1,399-mile goal by the date of the ... [continue reading]

How German Households Use Electricity

How German Households Use Electricity

Ted Shoemaker

Fully a quarter of the electricity used in the average German household now goes for information, communication, and entertainment electronics. That's the principal finding of a survey commissioned by several German energy agencies. Fifteen years ago it was only 7%. [continue reading]

How Do the Top Brands for Refrigerators Rank on Energy Efficiency?

How Do the Top Brands for Refrigerators Rank on Energy Efficiency?

Alex Katzman

Before jumping at the next sale on refrigerators, you should be aware that fridge 
energy costs range from $277 to as high as $2,898 over the lifetime of the product.
Yes, you read that right. You may find, based on energy costs, it is cheaper to buy 
a state of the art new fridge than keep your old one. Just as MPG (miles per gallon) 
measures the fuel efficiency of cars, the Enervee Score ranks the energy ... [continue reading]

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