Behavior change is a big topic at this week’s AESP Spring Conference. Everyone knows it is important, but no one has a magic bullet. At the conference people are sharing what they know, so we can all learn and move the industry forward.
In March of 2012 the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) released a set of comprehensive changes to the existing Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) Program. Following the 60-day open comment period, the DOE compiled over 650 comments that ranged from general observations to detailed recommendations for design improvements.
Back in July, the University of California, Berkeley, with the University of California, Los Angeles, released a report entitled “The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market.” In it, the two primary researchers, Nils Kok of Cal Berkeley and Matthew E. Kahn of UCLA, set out to show that new homes given some sort of “green” label (indicating a higher degree of energy efficiency and / or sustainability than average) sell at a premium to homes that do not receive a similar label. Their analysis proved their hypothesis; the results show that green homes do actually sell at a premium of around 9% on average, which - in California, with an average home price of around $400,000 - saw a premium of over $34,000.
I am going to come out and state the obvious: the weather in Portland had been really hot the last few weeks. With highs of 100 and lows that are, well, not much lower, I am sure you are looking for ways to keep you and your home cool without causing your energy bills to skyrocket. I know I am!
Utilities have had success running energy efficiency retail programs that provide “mid-market” incentives to retailers and/or manufacturers. But it is difficult to quantify and account for what portion of incentivized products are purchased by customers who live outside of the utility’s service territory. This has become a big enough issue that there’s actually a standard industry term for it – called leakage.
If you are in any way associated with the energy efficiency industry, you've probably heard about the Green Button initiative. In fact, if you work in EE, it would be surprising if you haven't heard of the Green Button initiative.
Fostering building science research and helping to drive energy efficiency innovations into our programs is part of my job at PECI, and it affords me the opportunity to work with many talented teams on several residential programs. Utah Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, which wound down operations at the end of April, is one example of so many innovative things coming together to deliver results that we like to think of it as a paradigm for successful home performa