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Recent Blogs
The Paper Battery Chase

The Paper Battery Chase

Jim Gunshinan

by Jim Gunshinan • December 11th, 2009 37.424106, -122.1660756 A carbon nanotube. Image courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. [continue reading]

"Cash for Caulkers" a Pretty Good Idea

Jim Gunshinan

In a recent blog post, I wrote about what it takes to become certified as a Building Analyst through the Building Performance Institute (BPI) (“Am I certifiable?”). A BPI certification or becoming a certified HERS (home energy rating system) rater through the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) are the most recognized ways to enter the home performance marketplace. [continue reading]

Dispatches from Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona, Part 2

Dispatches from Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona, Part 2

Jim Gunshinan

Years ago I discussed with Jan Kozny of Oak Ridge National Laboratory his research at the lab into phase change materials for use in walls. At the time it seemed like the mature technology might just be around the corner. Lots of promising technology remains just around the corner forever, but phase change material is making a comeback. [continue reading]

Dispatches from Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona

Dispatches from Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona

Jim Gunshinan

It took me about six hours to travel from my bed in Walnut Creek to the Phoenix Convention Center, the location of this year’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, and then about an hour more to make my way to the Home Energy booth in the Exposition Hall. Big event; big venue. There are more than 1,000 companies and organizations here, representing every facet of green ... [continue reading]

Dirt's Illuminati

Dirt's Illuminati

Leslie Jackson

The 2009 Natural Building Colloquium was last month in Southern Oregon. We shared tricks-of-the-trade such as lime and earthen plastering techniques, the latest in like straw bale and cob, housing the poor, emergency relief housing, teaching, etc. [continue reading]

November/December 2009 Editorial: Mandatory Retrofits Prior to Sale… Nationwide

November/December 2009 Editorial: Mandatory Retrofits Prior to Sale… Nationwide

Alan Meier

If we accept the national—and local—goals of large reductions in energy use in order to mitigate climate change, how will these be accomplished?  One approach is to include the costs of climate change in the price of energy and let the market do the heavy lifting.  In the long run, I think this strategy is essential because there’s nothing like a high price of energy to promote ... [continue reading]

California Sets Biggest Energy Efficiency Plan in the Nation

California Sets Biggest Energy Efficiency Plan in the Nation

Leslie Jackson, associate editor

In September, 2009, the CPUC authorized California's four investor-owned utilities to spend $3.1B on energy efficiency measures (from ratepayer taxes) over the next three years. Those utilities are Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and Southern California Gas Company. [continue reading]

September/October 2009 Editorial: <em>Home Energy</em>’s New Compilation of Articles

September/October 2009 Editorial: Home Energy’s New Compilation of Articles

Alan Meier

I am pleased to announce the availability of a compilation of Home Energy articles from 2000–2008. It’s available as a CD and costs only $75. These articles capture the state of the art in home energy conservation, from retrofit techniques to business strategies. [continue reading]

Davis-Bacon and Award Winners at National Weatherization Training Conference

Davis-Bacon and Award Winners at National Weatherization Training Conference

Jim Gunshinan

At the awards lunch today, Gil Sperling, Weatherization Program Manager for the Dept of Energy (DOE), mentioned that the Dept. of Labor (DOL) is making good progress in discussions with local weatherization agencies to determine the prevailing wage for a new classification of worker, the weatherization worker. The Davis-Bacon legislation from a decade ago (?) requires that organizations receiving federal government project money must hire people at the prevailing wage for similar work in the area. ... [continue reading]

Van Jones Inspires Wx Workers

Van Jones Inspires Wx Workers

Jim Gunshinan

Van Jones, White House green jobs czar, spoke to weatherization workers at the National Weatherization Training Conference, "You are the quiet heroes. Your job is to take the inhalers out of little girls' pockets; little boys pockets." [continue reading]

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