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Recent Blogs
Contractor Engagement Is Key to Oregon Energy Efficiency Program's Success

Contractor Engagement Is Key to Oregon Energy Efficiency Program's Success

Danielle Sass Byrnett

Early in its development, Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO) knew that actively engaging contractors was critical to the program’s success. CEWO started its program by holding regular contractor meetings, but they were in the evenings; didn’t always have agendas; and the people needed to make decisions weren’t always in attendance. Staff revised their approach to meet with a rotating group of contractors every two weeks and at a time ... [continue reading]

How Solar Energy Systems Can Work with Home Performance

How Solar Energy Systems Can Work with Home Performance

Jonathan Cohen

Before they even think about adding solar, customers need to understand that there’s more to energy efficiency than using renewable energy resources. It's important to explain to your customers who are interested in solar that their homes are the most energy efficient when they have a tight building envelope. Keep in mind, however, that a lot of customers who know about solar won’t know what that means, so you have to ... [continue reading]

Concoctions, Elixirs, and Potions, Oh My!

Concoctions, Elixirs, and Potions, Oh My!

Kevin Beck

When I first got into home performance contracting back in 2003 in the San Francisco Bay Area, we were one of two companies trained and certified on home performance diagnostics and remediation. We were out there trying to convince our clients that we had the tools, technology, and knowledge to help them make their homes more energy efficient, more comfortable, and safer to live in. It was as much a tough sell back then as it ... [continue reading]

Weatherizing Homes to Uniform Standard Can Achieve $33 Billion in Annual Energy Savings

Weatherizing Homes to Uniform Standard Can Achieve $33 Billion in Annual Energy Savings

Julie Chao

With winter around the corner some homeowners may be thinking about plugging all the leaks in their home to make them less drafty. Imagine if every homeowner in the country did that—how much energy could be saved? Using physics-based modeling of the U.S. housing stock, researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found in a new study that upgrading airtightness to a uniform level could achieve as much as $33 billion in ... [continue reading]

BPI Announces National Rollout of Advanced HEP Certifications

BPI Announces National Rollout of Advanced HEP Certifications

Leslie McDowell

The Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) recently announced the national rollout of its advanced Home Energy Professional (HEP) certifications. The four HEP certifications—Energy Auditor, Retrofit Installer Technician, Crew Leader, and Quality Control Inspector—demonstrate advanced competency through work experience prerequisites, as well as rigorous written and field exams. These are the only home performance certifications that are both supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and accredited by the American ... [continue reading]

Energy Awareness is a Powerful Tool

Energy Awareness is a Powerful Tool

Macie Melendez

Home performance pros hear it all the time: “I had no idea I was using that much energy!” Homeowners are often unaware of just how much energy their appliances, electronics, and systems are using. This is the reason behind many marketing campaigns from utilities that urge homeowners and renters to be more aware of what’s going on in their homes. If occupants save energy, they’ll save money, and sometimes ... [continue reading]

Leading from Within

Leading from Within

Jim Gunshinan

When I was still active as a minister in the Catholic Church, I did not enjoy very much presiding at weddings. I had an inkling of the reason at the time, but now I can admit clearly that I was jealous. I didn’t want to bless someone else’s sacramental union as much as I wanted to be in a sacramental union. [continue reading]

Housing Innovation Awards Showcase Benefits of Energy Efficiency at Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO

Housing Innovation Awards Showcase Benefits of Energy Efficiency at Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO

Perry Luksin

The first-ever Housing Innovation Awards were presented in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO on October 4 in Irvine, California, and focused on four building categories: DOE Challenge Home Builders,  Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Participating Contractors, Excellence in Building Science Educator of the Year, and Building America Top Innovations. The Housing Innovation Awards recognize a diverse group of industry leaders who are helping communities across the country save ... [continue reading]

"Cool Smart" Awards Presented to New England Contractors

Lisa Rinkus

Thirteen New England contracting companies were honored for exceptional work promoting energy efficiency services by the Massachusetts/Rhode Island COOL SMART program. The awards were presented during the New England Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) annual golf tournament held recently in Stow, Mass. Specializing in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), the businesses were honored for significant contributions to the COOL SMART program through quality installation of energy efficient systems this year.  &... [continue reading]

This is the Future

This is the Future

Macie Melendez

Today the opening ceremony kicked off the Solar Decathlon in sunny Irvine, California. While the crowd listened to the major sponsors of the event welcome us, we heard excitement and anticipation in their voices. After all, this has been an event two years in the making. [continue reading]

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