The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

net zero energy home test facility nist photovoltaic module
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 20, 2013
When you think of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), do you think of atomic clocks and hunks of metal that serve as standards of mass and length? Or do you think of cutting edge research in net zero energy (NZE) homes? It turns out, they do indeed still deal with standards,...
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time value of money and the energy efficient mortgage
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 15, 2013
Let me ask you a question: Would you rather I gave you $100 one year from now or $100 right now? No brainer; it's easy to see that $100 right now is worth more than $100 in the future. Another way to say that is $100 in future value is worth less than $100 in present value. But what if I told you...
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insulation outlaw ban tea party april fool day
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 1, 2013
Hidden deep within the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, is a provision that outlaws insulation in all new buildings. Citing its potential as both a cause of pandemics and an all-hazard, the bill's authors...
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snail slow business advice tips home energy pro
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 24, 2013
Every business has slow periods. New businesses often have plenty of non-billable time, when the owner(s) and employees can work on things that help ensure success but that are often difficult to find time for once the jobs start rolling in. How you use those slow periods can make the difference...
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hvac oversized air conditioning system massive enormous condenser texas
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 18, 2013
Texas is a hot state, right? Certainly then, homes in my original home state use more energy for air conditioning than for heating. That's why they need such massive air conditioners, like the one you see here. Right? Not so fast. The real answer is yes, they do, but the other real answer is also...
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home energy rating hers index asset value label empty house
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 10, 2013
When I'm explaining home energy ratings and the HERS Index to people, I often get asked, "How accurate is a HERS rating? Will my energy bills really be close to what it says?" In the mind of the questioner, that's one question. To someone who understands what HERS ratings really measure, it's two...
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home energy efficiency conservation coal fired power plant pollution waste blog
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 12, 2012
When does saving one of anything ever result in actually saving three or four? When we're talking about electricity, of course. The reason is simple: Most of our electricity comes from the burning of fuels like coal and natural gas. That process results in a lot of waste heat. After converting the...
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aceee 2012 state energy efficiency scorecard map georgia
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 10, 2012
ACEEE's 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard came out last week, and if you haven't seen it yet, download it now and have a look. Massachusetts, which stole the top spot from California last year, held onto the title of the most energy efficient state in the country. The top 10 states are all the...
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Ceiling fans come with an efficacy rating
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 16, 2012
I was in one of the big box home improvement stores yesterday and thought I'd take a look at ceiling fans while I was there. Ten years ago when I was building a house and buying a bunch of ceiling fans, it wasn't so easy to figure out which fans were energy efficient and which weren't. That's not...
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hers home energy rating duct leakage test
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 7, 2012
ENERGY STAR. LEED for Homes. Builders Challenge. HERS. It's easy to fall into the wrong line of thinking about this. I did it myself when I was new to the HERS rating industry. It's even easier now that RESNET is out there pushing hard for builders to adopt the HERS Index as a marketing tool. I'm...
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