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Recent Blogs
How Energy Efficiency's Story is Changing

How Energy Efficiency's Story is Changing

Elisa Wood

Not so long ago, news about energy efficiency focused on what the US could or should do, but wasn’t to save energy. It was a tale of woe. [continue reading]

Prepaid Energy Leads to Significant Drops in Energy Consumption

Prepaid Energy Leads to Significant Drops in Energy Consumption

Cindy O'Dwyer

DEFG, a consulting firm specializing in energy and consumers, launched the Prepay Energy Working Group in 2010 to explore the many critical issues presented by prepay service. Arguably, the most compelling area of study is the effect of prepayment on energy conservation and usage. The Prepay Energy Working Group engaged economist Michael Ozog, Ph.D., to apply statistical techniques widely accepted in the evaluation of utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs, to measure the effect of prepayment on ... [continue reading]

Home Energy Saver Launches Online Forum for Homeowners

Home Energy Saver Launches Online Forum for Homeowners

Tom White

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab – www.lbl.gov), in partnership with the staff of Home Energy magazine (www.HomeEnergy.org), have launched the Home Energy Saver Community, an online forum for homeowners and remodelers.  [continue reading]

Solar Thermal Expands With Four New Affordable Housing Installations

Solar Thermal Expands With Four New Affordable Housing Installations

Melissa Miyara

Satellite Affordable Housing Associates based in Berkeley, California has embarked on its largest rehabilitation project to date, simultaneously recapitalizing five of their senior communities in Oakland and Berkeley. Totaling approximately 350 units of affordable senior housing, these five properties of Satellite Central, Park Boulevard Manor, Doh On Yuen, Glen Brook Terrace, and Stuart Pratt have provided affordable housing for extremely low-income seniors for over 40 years. Four of these buildings now have solar hot water systems installed ... [continue reading]

Heating and Cooling No Longer Majority of U.S. Home Energy Use

Heating and Cooling No Longer Majority of U.S. Home Energy Use

Chip Berry

For decades, space heating and cooling (space conditioning) accounted for more than half of all residential energy consumption. Estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) show that 48% of energy consumption in U.S. homes in 2009 was for heating and cooling, down from 58% in 1993. Factors underpinning this trend are increased adoption of more efficient equipment, better insulation, more efficient windows, and population shifts to warmer ... [continue reading]

New Construction in Arizona Proves to be a Sound Investment

New Construction in Arizona Proves to be a Sound Investment

Macie Melendez

Many homeowners still question whether energy investments are worth their time and money. While we can’t deny the fact that there are upfront costs, energy efficiency has proved time and time again to benefit homeowners in the short- and long-term. Case in point: Sterling at Silverleaf, a single-family new construction project in Scottsdale, Arizona, that received gold-level certification by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). [continue reading]

iPads in the Field

iPads in the Field

Macie Melendez

As energy efficiency becomes an ever more important factor in a home’s value, developers and homeowners alike need assurance that their energy investments actually produce the returns they expect. Enter Builders Energy Rater, a home energy rating company that has created a custom FileMaker solution (that run on iPads) to streamline the process of collecting and analyzing home performance data.  [continue reading]

Community Power Works Uses Housing Data to Make the Emerald City Even

Community Power Works Uses Housing Data to Make the Emerald City Even "Greener"

Macie Melendez

In Seattle, Washington, owners of oil-heated homes are ineligible for city-sponsored electric and gas utility rebates. But that didn't stop the city's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partner, Community Power Works, from using housing data to break through to this untapped market. Given the lower efficiency and high cost of heating oil, the program recognized the energy and cost savings potential for these Seattle homeowners and acted to engage them in undertaking home energy ... [continue reading]

Simergy Brings the Power of EnergyPlus to Designers and Architects

Simergy Brings the Power of EnergyPlus to Designers and Architects

Mark Wilson

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE’s) open-source EnergyPlus building energy simulation program has helped architects and engineers design more efficient buildings for more than a decade. However, it can take a great deal of effort to input information and analyze the output. As a result, many have avoided using the program, while others have turned to third-party graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to increase its effectiveness. As entities such as the California ... [continue reading]

Pennsylvania County Puts Contractors Back to Work

Pennsylvania County Puts Contractors Back to Work

Danielle Sass Byrnett

Fayette County, Pennsylvania, may have a high unemployment rate, but it is using this challenge as an opportunity to improve homes and the local economy with energy efficiency upgrades. As a Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partner, the Fayette County Better Buildings Initiative has two primary goals—complete more than 1,000 residential energy efficiency upgrades and transition under- and unemployed citizens to energy efficiency jobs. [continue reading]

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