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Recent Blogs
ARRA Keeps Working for You

ARRA Keeps Working for You

Jim Gunshinan

Almost two years ago I posted a blog about the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA); ARRA, or the “Stimulus Bill”, has gotten pilloried in the media as a colossal failure and waste of taxpayer dollars. But if you would take the time to do a little research, you would see that most of the coverage has been far from the truth. [continue reading]

We're Not Paying Enough Attention to Kitchen Ventilation

We're Not Paying Enough Attention to Kitchen Ventilation

Chris Stratton

Exposure to kitchen pollutants is a significant and overlooked health hazard in homes. The home performance industry pays great attention to protecting against exposures to combustion pollutants from water heaters and furnaces, but very little attention to an unvented combustion device that is used nearly every day: the kitchen range. A recent LBNL study looked at the chronic health impacts of exposure to pollutants from cooking burners and determined that the risks are not trivial, ... [continue reading]

US - Canadian Home Efficiency Maximized through 2014 RESNET Cross Border Builder Challenge

US - Canadian Home Efficiency Maximized through 2014 RESNET Cross Border Builder Challenge

Walter Urban VP RenewABILITY Energy

The award winners of the 2014 RESNET Cross Border Home Builder Challenge, which helps promote the utilization of the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index have been announced by Steve Baden, Executive Director of RESNET, and John Godden, President of the Canadian counterpart CRESNET at the RESNET annual conference in Atlanta, GA.  [continue reading]

The Passive House Revolution

The Passive House Revolution

Jim Gunshinan

An email came from Faith Morgan with a link to a documentary film called “Passive House Revolution,” produced by the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It was a busy day, but I thought I could use a break from words, so I left the stack of unopened emails for a while and watched the film. I’m glad that I did. [continue reading]

More Proof that Weatherization Works—To Increase Kid's Health

More Proof that Weatherization Works—To Increase Kid's Health

Jim Gunshinan

Weatherization is about more than just energy efficiency. It has always been about the health and comfort of the weatherized home’s occupants as well. For a long time these benefits of weatherization have been called “non-energy benefits.” But the health effects of weatherization have now taken pride of place alongside energy benefits. Now there is new research showing increased health and well being among families whose homes have been weatherized. A ... [continue reading]

Value Chain and Core Competencies

Value Chain and Core Competencies

Shawna Henderson

Training in building science and energy efficiency is essential to moving the house building industry forward into Net Zero Energy, successfully. As BHE COO, Hal Richman has observed, many people in our industry do not see the entire value chain. It’s a complicated one – easy to see in this diagram how the home building industry is a hot, fragmented mess of experts and expertise, completely at odds with itself sometimes. [continue reading]

Window Film Could Save California Residents 4-Million Barrels Of Oil

Window Film Could Save California Residents 4-Million Barrels Of Oil

Darrell Smith

The International Window Film Association (IWFA) said California residents can save the equivalent of four million barrels of oil yearly, or about the annual output of three, 500-Megawatt power stations, if window film were installed on just 10 percent of the dwellings built before building energy codes were mandated.   California leads the way as the first state to add window film into its building code and the opportunity for achieving the state’s energy ... [continue reading]

Which Communicating Thermostats Are Customers Likely to Use?

Which Communicating Thermostats Are Customers Likely to Use?

Jim Gunshinan

With the Google buyout of NEST thermostats, attention has turned from the “smart meter” to the thermostat as a focal point of residential energy efficiency. (Read this recent editorial by Alan Meier.) But several years ago Energy Star decided to no longer certify programmable thermostats, since several studies showed that people at home did not take advantage of the thermostat’s programming possibilities. One reason why people didn’t program ... [continue reading]

Standard Retrofit Packages—What Works?

Standard Retrofit Packages—What Works?

Jim Gunshinan

If we want to make good, or great, home performance a reality for more people and families across North America, we must come to some agreement on standard retrofit packages that work. Not every house is the same, but we can agree on standards that can be widely, quickly, and efficiently applied to similar housing types. The home performance community has more than three decades of experience to bear on the question. Please add your ... [continue reading]

 What Is the X-Factor In Hiring In Home Performance?

What Is the X-Factor In Hiring In Home Performance?

David Byrnes

An article published in The New York Times titled "How To Get A Job At Google" got me thinking about one of the most innovative companies in the 21st century. Google, the people who want to "organize the world's information," was named one of the best places to work in 2012 and 2013 not only because of the free food 24/7, but also because of their culture and the Googlers who work there. [continue reading]

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