Letters: July/August 2011
The editors did not give complete contact information for the authors of “Air Conditioning Best Practices” in the May/June 2011 issue (p. 38).
If you have comments and/or questions about the article, please contact Jim Bergmann at Jim2@trutechtools.com, or visit www.trutechtools.com. Also, look for an updated version of the article on the Home Energy web site, coming soon.
Retrofit Insulation for Concrete Slab
What products or materials do you recommend to put on top of an on-grade concrete floor before laying flooring, and so on, to turn a basement into real living space? Decent thermal insulation would make the space much more comfortable, as would a good moisture barrier. It might reduce any radon infiltration as well. However, it’s about 30 years too late to put foam insulation under the slab!
Energy Chair, Long Island Sierra Club,
Long Island, New York
Turn the Water Heater Down
In the article, “Combustion Appliance Testing: Why, How, When?” (Nov/Dec ’10, p. 38) it says, “Turn the water heater down and the furnace off if conditions allow; mark settings.” Why do you do this during the CAZ test?
Project Manager, Multifamily Apartment Buildings
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
New York, New York
Spillover Is Good
I recently read the article by Shaun Hassel, Ben Hannas, and Michael Blasnik “Energy-Efficient Homes: Predictions, Performance, and Real-World Results” (Jan/Feb ’11, p. 28).
I applaud Home Energy for including an article on evaluation! I would like to see more types of articles like this where real-world results are provided (rather than relying on engineering estimates of energy savings).
However, I do have one concern. In their article, they state: “Spillover, then, can make a program appear to have less impact than it is actually having.”
At face value, this is correct. However, spillover is an important element of many energy efficiency programs, especially those programs that are focused on transforming the market for energy efficiency. If regulators and others accounted for the savings from spillover, these programs would be valued more highly than they currently are—and their savings (direct and spillover) would be greater than currently reported.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Blair Hamilton (1949–2011)
Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1991, Blair Hamilton passed away on April 8, 2011, at the age of 61. Best known for having founded the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) and Efficiency Vermont, Hamilton was a visionary who was dedicated to
Scott Johnstone, executive director of VEIC, said in a recent interview that Hamilton’s idea of starting a company in 1986 that would focus on lowering the cost of energy was unprecedented. “The fact was there just weren’t a whole lot of people who wanted to pay for that, or see that happen at the time,” he said. Now, 25 years later, VEIC is a private nonprofit with 200 employees, $38 million in annual revenues, and satellite offices in Ohio, Boston, and Washington, D.C. But Hamilton received much recognition in his lifetime. Among many other honors, he was named the Champion of Energy Efficiency in 2002 by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
Over the past 20-plus years, Hamilton also did a whole lot for the efficiency community. This included seeing to the installation of at least 30 million efficient light bulbs, according to his obituary, which was published on April 11 in the Burlington Free Press.
“Blair was a visionary, a friend, a genius, and a mentor to all of us,” Johnstone says. “He left an indelible mark on the world, and he’ll be greatly missed.”