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Recent Blogs
2015 IECC Updates Help Homebuyers Make Informed Purchases

2015 IECC Updates Help Homebuyers Make Informed Purchases

Kim Tanner

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) constantly evolves to meet current energy efficiency needs. Over the years new requirements have been added to the IECC to make it stricter and increase overall energy efficiency of buildings. Some states are resistant to these changes, and some choose not to adopt an IECC at all. In fact, of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 10 either haven’t adopted an IECC, or are operating under a ... [continue reading]

The Real Women of Home Performance: Cindy Ojczyk

The Real Women of Home Performance: Cindy Ojczyk

Macie Melendez

Cindy Ojczyk (pronounced o-check) is the owner of Simply Green Design, where she helps clients navigate the process of creating beautiful as well as energy and resource efficient homes. She also started morethanabeautifulhome.com, a website that’s “on a mission to improve the environment by empowering homeowners to create greener homes.” [continue reading]

Clean Power Plan Marks Positive Shift for Energy Efficiency Industry

Clean Power Plan Marks Positive Shift for Energy Efficiency Industry

Stephanie Rex

Yesterday, President Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy releasedthe final Clean Power Plan, which establishes the first-ever national standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants. According to a White House press release, the final Clean Power Plan sets flexible standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32% from 2005 levelsby 2030, which is 9% more ambitious than the original proposal. The plan also allows states additional time to submit their final plans—... [continue reading]

The Convergence of Technology in the Home

The Convergence of Technology in the Home

Erik Norwood

Huge changes are happening across a variety of industries that will significantly change the way we live. These include the advent of the “smarthome” with the ability to remotely control devices, the rise in popularity of electric vehicles, and the evolution of the solar industry moving past parity with buying energy from the grid. Each of these changes will significantly change our lives as well as how we interact with energy and all ... [continue reading]

Hands-On Teaching with Tiny Houses in Austin

Hands-On Teaching with Tiny Houses in Austin

Mariel Wolfson

While working on my upcoming article about California's owner-builder movement and its connection to today's tiny homes, I reconnected with Peter Pfeiffer, founding principal at Barley Pfeiffer Architecture in Austin, Texas. Pfeiffer recently used a tiny house as the basis of an educational project for students in a construction class at Austin Community College. The goal of the project was to teach best practices in high performance building science, including energy-efficient residential construction, and building ... [continue reading]

How Does Geothermal Cooling Work?

How Does Geothermal Cooling Work?

Carl Taylor

Although the concept of geothermal energy is one that's been around since Ancient Romans were snap-whipping their buddies with towels while bathing in hot springs, it can still be unfamiliar to some people. That being said the idea of geothermal heating is not all too hard to comprehend – the Earth's core maintains a constant temperature year round and thus we can funnel that heat to warm our houses instead of a traditional furnace. [continue reading]

The Real Women of Home Performance: Maureen Mahle

The Real Women of Home Performance: Maureen Mahle

Macie Melendez

Maureen Mahle is an engineer and specialist in high performance homes. As the vice president and director of Steven Winter Associates’ Sustainable Housing Services, Mahle provides expert sustainable design, specification, and construction consulting for a variety of project types including community developments, private residences, mixed-use, and multifamily buildings. [continue reading]

Customer-Centric Load Reduction Programs

Customer-Centric Load Reduction Programs

Charlie Hewitt

As the summer heat sets in, residential air conditioning load delivers its annual punch to the power grid. Engaging customers in active energy management has long been an elusive goal of most utilities. Traditional utility messaging on conservation only goes so far in reducing peak load. Some consumers take these messages to heart, while others disregard them. [continue reading]

Tiny House Competition

Tiny House Competition

Suzette Bienvenue

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has created a first-of-its-kind energy-efficient housing competition for college and university students. The Tiny House Competition—developed by SMUD’s Energy & Technology Center and Community Solar program—includes twelve student teams from throughout California. The teams will design and build their own tiny houses and bring them to Sacramento State next fall for the competition. The winners will receive trophies and monetary awards. [continue reading]

In Memory of Rob deKieffer

In Memory of Rob deKieffer

Jim Gunshinan, on behalf of Courtney Moriarta

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou [continue reading]

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