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November 6, 2013

This spring I attended an interesting seminar about range hoods. It was chock-full of useful information and very well presented (often a hit-or-miss proposition at many conferences).

November 6, 2013

When people learn that I am a green building consultant, almost without exception, they ask me if I do a lot of work with solar power, which I don’t.  I don’t install many solar power systems, either photovoltaic (the kind that creates electricity) or rhermal (the kind that creates hot water).  I have been accused of being anti-solar because I often discourage people from focusing on PV on their homes, at least until they have done everything else to save energy, which they rarely bother to do. 

November 6, 2013

When most people think about energy efficiency, once they stop talking about solar panels, they usually get to windows.  “My windows are so old,” or “They’re only single pane glass,” or “I need to replace them,” and so on, much if it fueled by the replacement window industry selling the energy savings. Unfortunately, in most cases, those savings just aren’t there, at least not at the level at which they sell them.

November 6, 2013

I barely know who Paula Deen is, although from what I can tell, she seems to be quite the marketer of traditional southern cooking as well as herself. (I may be a little jealous of her self-promotion skills). Her latest big news is that after years of eating and promoting heavy, butter-laden food, she has gone public with her Type-2 diabetes, a condition she has had for three years. She only went public with her illness after she signed an endorsement deal with Novo Nordisk, a diabetes drug.

November 6, 2013

I’ve been involved, if somewhat peripherally, with the Home Performance industry for quite a while. I was one of the original group working on Home Performance with Energy Star in Atlanta quite a few years ago. As I learned more about this evolving field, I felt that it was both important and necessary, and thought that it had potential to be a profitable business model.

November 6, 2013
Winter's coming. It's already heating season. So how do you save money on heating costs? You've got to own your heat. Simple as that. You've paid for all that warm air already, so it doesn't make much sense to waste it now.
November 6, 2013
One of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home (besides, most likely, your thermal envelope, which lets expensive conditioned air escape through air leaks and poorly insulated walls) is the refrigerator. Upgrading it, believe it or not, can save you a bundle of money in the long run, as long as you don't simply put your old fridge down in the basement and plug it back in.
November 6, 2013
On cold winter days, a ray of sun streaming into your house can be most welcome - a free source of heat. But what about in the summer, when those rays of sun and other, less-evident solar heat, seep into our already too-hot houses and become a costly nuisance? Well, what happens is that you lose money.
November 6, 2013

Pending in the Senate is a bill called the Home Star Retrofit Act of 2010, or simply Home Star for short. Sometimes referred to as Cash for Caulkers in street slang, the bill would provide a series of financial incentives for homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their homes through substantive, effective improvements to their homes that save homeowners money, reduce our country’s carbon emissions, help to mitigate climate change, and put tens of thousands of Americans back to work.

November 6, 2013

Looking through the April issue of Remodeling Magazine (after reading my own column in the issue), I ran across an article about John Tabor, a remodeler who used an addition to his own home to learn about green building and train his crews on technologies that they had not yet used.

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