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Recent Blogs
Report on Whole House Ratings in California

Report on Whole House Ratings in California

Michael E. Bachand

There is some discussion in certain stakeholder sectors regarding the relevance and volume of California Whole House Home Energy Ratings (WHRs) as a useful tool to employ in home energy retrofits. The data indicates both increasing usage and relevance to the market. [continue reading]

Transitioning HVAC Companies to Whole House Performance Contractors

Transitioning HVAC Companies to Whole House Performance Contractors

Stacy Hunt

Existing contractors are well suited to take on the tasks of whole house energy upgrades and to advance large-scale energy efficiency in the residential market. To showcase this opportunity and to help the industry understand the transition process, Building America undertook research with a focus on HVAC companies, based on their market position of typically having an existing and ongoing relationship with homeowners through service and maintenance contracts. [continue reading]

Training is an Investment, not a Commodity

Training is an Investment, not a Commodity

Kevin Beck

When I first caught the home performance “bug” in 2003 I had to train myself how to do all this stuff. Sure, I had an advantage, being a contractor and home builder for the 30 years but, for this new industry, there were no mentors to turn to so that I could learn the proper techniques on how to remediate homes to make them more livable and energy efficient. [continue reading]

Florida Energy Code Revision Highlights Cost-Effectiveness of Reflective Insulation for Masonry Walls

Florida Energy Code Revision Highlights Cost-Effectiveness of Reflective Insulation for Masonry Walls

Paul Nutcher

Buried in 2012 technical committee reports to the Florida Building Commission are new findings that show the cost per square foot is much less for energy code compliance in Florida with reflective insulation. Because of the technical studies and experts testimony, the 2013 Florida Building Code Energy Conservation sections will be rewritten with this new knowledge about the benefits of reflective insulation. [continue reading]

DOE Challenge Home Spotlight in Utah—Q&A with Bruce Hanson

DOE Challenge Home Spotlight in Utah—Q&A with Bruce Hanson

Macie Melendez

Another proud recipient of a DOE Challenge Home Builder Award is Salt Lake City, Utah-based Garbett Homes. Their first Challenge Home, which they built in Herriman, Utah, won in the Production Builders category. [continue reading]

Check out the latest edition of Housing and Home Environment News

Check out the latest edition of Housing and Home Environment News

Jim Gunshinan

Home Energy authors and Cornell College of Human Ecology professors Joe Laquatra and Mark Pierce and colleagues provide important information for anyone interested in energy efficient and healthy homes. In this issue they cover the presence of dangerous levels of radon in natural gas extracted through fracking, suprisingly poor complaince with energy codes in new homes in New York, and more. [continue reading]

DOE Challenge Home Spotlight in Illinois—Q&A with Brandon Weiss

DOE Challenge Home Spotlight in Illinois—Q&A with Brandon Weiss

Macie Melendez

While attending the Solar Decathlon in southern California last month, we also had the pleasure of attending DOE’s Housing Innovation Awards ceremony. Impressed by the various builders committed to home performance, we thought we’d take some time to chat with a few of the recent winners of DOE’s Challenge Home projects. [continue reading]

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]

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