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Letters: July/August 2012

July/August 2012
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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In Memoriam

Bion Howard had been the Home Energy “Software Guru” and wrote regular columns about the use of software in home performance and renewable energy for close to ten years (see, for example, “Solar-Design Tools for Green Building” Solar and Efficiency Special Issue ’07, p. 36). News of Bion’s passing saddened us but also gives us a chance to celebrate his contributions to the home performance community. Here are some tributes from some of the many people he touched:

“I worked with Bion in 1997 on a project for the Alliance to Save Energy to build what was likely the first online home energy audit. Bion was the engineer and developed a complex spreadsheet to estimate energy usage and savings from simple homeowner inputs. We then took these and put together a web application called Home Energy Checkup. To my great delight and a testament to the value of what Bion created, the application is still online (http://livingefficiently.org/resources/home-energy-checkup-tool).

Personally, the experience of working with Bion shaped my career in energy efficiency. The tools and techniques we used to collaboratively transform an engineering analysis into a tool accessible to a homeowner are ones I use to this day. The Home Energy Checkup project led me down a road to do similar work with clients such as the World Resources Institute, The Nature Conservancy, and Al Gore and informs my work at Performance Systems Development."

Eric Woods
Chief Architect
Performance Systems Development

“Bion stayed on the cutting edge. I would get somewhere and there would be Bion. He was supporting the early development of energy ratings. He was supporting the early development of the Energy Star new homes program. He was supporting the early development of green building standards. He brought to these endeavors a rigor that was important at these early stages when the vocabulary we use today was still mostly undefined. His influence was very broad by being at so many of these beginnings. And I was happy to get to see an old friend again and again.”

Greg Thomas
CEO
Performance Systems Development

“Bion joined the ACI Board in the early days. He has done so many more things since I was close to him. He was very, very intelligent and has had a wide-ranging set of accomplishments.”

Helen Perrine
Former Executive Director
ACI

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