Quick Review of the 2012 Affordable Comfort Conference

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ACI 2012 breeze buster building doctors

I returned home last night from the 2012 Affordable Comfort National Conference, exhausted and exhilirated after three days hanging out with 1700 of my closest friends in the home performance industry. Here's a quick review based on what I heard and gathered from the many people I talked with and the sessions I attended.

  • Energy modeling is getting a lot of attention form some very smart people. Michael Blasnik and Marcus Bianchi did a session on this the other day, which I was unfortunately unable to attend. (Martin Holladay wrote a long post about in his Green Building Advisor blog, too.)
  • There's a lot of jockeying for position among different groups within the industry, and a lot of pieces on the chess board of home performance are moving. Along with the work on energy modeling, there's a lot happening with labels (HERS, Energy Performance Score, Home Energy Score...) and programs.
  • More people than ever in our industry are using social media. We had probably 60 or 70 people in our session on internet marketing the other day, and there were at least a dozen people using Twitter to provide updates about the conference.
  • With ARRA coming to an end, there's both fear and excitement about where we're headed. Some companies depend heavily on incentives. Some don't.
  • I was talking with someone from Chapel Hill who's done design work on a lot of really big homes, and he told me about the largest range hood I've ever heard of: 8000 cfm!
  • David Lee of the Department of Energy gave some statistics about how much good the ARRA money has done in weatherizing homes. I don't have them handy but will try to find them for another post.
  • Dave Robinson won the Tony Woods Award from BPI for doing amazing work in buying foreclosed homes and flipping them, home performance style.
  • John Straube is still a walking quote machine. According to the Green Curmudgeon's tweet from his session, he said, "R-value is like IQ. If you're working in the single digits, you're an idiot."

This really was a fantastic conference, so if you didn't go, make your plans for Denver next year.


Mar 31 2012 - 11:50am

Was there any mention of Smartgrid integration?  
Smartgrids/Smartstats in combination with Variable Peak Pricing plans can be an excellent way for customers to save money on utility bills. The utility pays most if not all of the costs of installation, the customer saves by shifting their use to off peak times. The Smartstat automatically raises the temperature setting according to power rates.