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Recent Blogs
The Passive House Revolution

The Passive House Revolution

Charlie Hoxie

In the U.S., green building can mean a lot of things — recycled greywater, roof gardens, solar panels and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification all come to mind. But in Europe, many green builders focus laser-like on the amount of energy a building consumes, half of which typically comes from heating and cooling. Twenty years ago, German physicists erected a home that ... [continue reading]

U.S. Beats Expectations Saving Energy

U.S. Beats Expectations Saving Energy

Elisa Wood

Americans tend to beat themselves up over their imperfections. We eat too much, watch too much TV, and owe China too much money. Despite all of our sloth, we can feel good about one area: our progress saving energy. [continue reading]

Insulating Closed Roof Cavities

Insulating Closed Roof Cavities

John Krigger

Many homes with cathedral ceilings or flat roofs have little or no insulation. The IRC 2009 building code requires a ventilated space of at least one inch above the roof insulation. Building scientists sometimes ask how useful the ventilation is and how much ventilation could actually flow in the one-inch space. [continue reading]

Home Energy: Live On The Air

Home Energy: Live On The Air

Macie Melendez

Last week, Home Energy editor Jim Gunshinan joined architect Paula Baker-Laporte of EcoNest Co. and Bill Haney, president and co-founder of Blu Homes on KPFA 94.1’s green radio show, Terra Verde. They discussed a range of eco- and budget-friendly retrofitting tips, as well as the options for buying new, energy efficient homes. [continue reading]

Q&A with John Brooks Smith, P.E.

Q&A with John Brooks Smith, P.E.

Macie Melendez

John Brooks Smith, P.E. is the Global Platform Leader of Environmental Construction for Johns Manville—and he’s been in the insulation industry for 38 years. He’s also a member of the Board of Directors for the nonprofit corporation that publishes Home Energy magazine. Unfortunately, at the end of this month, we’ll be saying goodbye to John as a Director, as he will soon be retiring. [continue reading]

Calling All Inventors, Entrepreneuers, and Venture Capitalists!

Calling All Inventors, Entrepreneuers, and Venture Capitalists!

Jim Gunshinan

One morning I realized that I could cut down my showering time by at least one minute if I could combine my shampooing and conditioning into one step. Inspired, I went to a high-end grocery store that I will call, “Whole Paycheck” looking for what has been an illusive item for me—a combination shampoo and conditioner that really works; someone stacking items in the hair-care section told me that no such ... [continue reading]

New Energy-Saving Bulbs Are Coming -- Here's How You Find the Right Ones for Your Home

New Energy-Saving Bulbs Are Coming -- Here's How You Find the Right Ones for Your Home

Noah Horowitz

Come January 1st, a new light bulb standard goes into effect that gradually phase out the 125-year-old inefficient incandescent bulbs. The old 100W bulb as we used to know it will go away in 2012 and be replaced by more efficient incandescent bulbs as well as other energy saving bulbs such as CFLs and LEDs. The old 75W incandescents will be phased out in 2013 and the 60 and 40W bulbs in 2014.   Back in 2007, these standards were ... [continue reading]

Better Buildings, Better Business, Better Neighbors

Better Buildings, Better Business, Better Neighbors

Macie Melendez

The Energy Center of Wisconsin has been putting on the Better Buildings: Better Business Conference in Wisconsin for nearly a decade. In 2012, they will be adding to their annual tradition in the neighboring state of Illinois. [continue reading]

Know True Costs; Save Real Energy

Know True Costs; Save Real Energy

Kara Saul Rinaldi

More than half of the states in the nation have created programs to increase the energy efficiency of homes through a comprehensive approach that looks at all opportunities to save energy, from insulation to upgrading heating and cooling systems. When taxpayer and ratepayer dollars are used, it is essential that these programs are reviewed with a cost-effectiveness test that provides policymakers with adequate knowledge about the programs’ effectiveness. Unfortunately, in many states, the testing ... [continue reading]

Window Tint: Cost-Effective and Energy Efficient

Window Tint: Cost-Effective and Energy Efficient

Michael M. Dickson

On a recent vacation to Southern Florida I spent time in a sun-baked lanai fixing my father’s cable television. As I melted, I couldn’t help but wonder how hard the air conditioner had to run to keep the indoor temperatures tolerable. It was so warm inside it led me to do some research on methods to increase his home’s energy efficiency without spending too much money. What I found ... [continue reading]

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