Meeting the Demands of the Grid

southfacingsolar

One of the toughest challenges in the energy business today is that of peak-hours electricity demand. We’ve all experienced or at least heard about the rolling blackouts, and the increased price of electricity used during peak hours (or “time-of-use” rates). On the surface, it’s a simple matter of not having enough power output to meet […]

ZNE Home With Guaranteed $0 Energy Bills — Built and Sold by EPB

11-jewel-ext-2-mls-2-2

  We have completed and sold our ZNE (Zero Net Energy) build in the Montclair Hills.  We are very excited about this build because it is the culmination of everything we have learned from decades of building and retrofitting homes.  We have put our heart and soul into it and made it the best performing, […]

Home Energy Efficiency – More room for improvement than cars?

energybillgraph

Which uses more energy, houses or cars? When people think pollution, and resource consumption, they usually think of cars first. As it turns out, total energy consumption in the US is about 30% more for homes than it is for cars. And the average home’s energy demands cause more than twice as much carbon dioxide […]

Cool Roofs Cost-Effectiveness and Environmental Impact

greenrooftokyo

Are cool roofs cost-effective? The short answer is maybe, in warmer climates. Cool roofs are ideal for large, single-story, low-slope or flat roof buildings in hot climates. Commercial buildings are generally the best candidate for this, but residential buildings can benefit too. To find out if a cool roof will be cost-effective for your home […]

Top 10 Contractor Mistakes

Unsealed leaky duct connection

What are the top 10 Contractor mistakes common in the Home Energy industry? Everyone knows the HVAC industry’s reputation. HVAC service people have been known to suggest a replacement for a part that is working fine. They’ve even been known to tell a homeowner they need a new part that doesn’t even exist! They are […]

When should I replace my air conditioner?

Over sized Air Conditioner with old R-22 Refrigerant

When should I replace my air conditioner? It really depends on how much you use it. If you only turn it on a few days out of a year, then it’s not going to be worth it. If you live in a hot area and use it at least a couple days a week in […]

Top 10 Summer Energy Saving Tips

Residential Energy Usage pie graph

Top 10 Summer Energy Saving Tips:  Questions to ask yourself                               1) How can I save energy in the summer? The temperature is rising and so are your energy bills. Seeing a spike in your electricity usage in the summer is […]

Loans for Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Geo Smart EGIA Energy Upgrade Loan Program

Loans for Energy Efficiency Upgrades   Geosmart Loan (Loan option #1) California has been hit hard by the mortgage and credit crisis, and energy prices are reaching record highs, making it difficult for homeowners to invest in energy efficiency upgrades. However, qualifying for a loan for energy efficiency upgrades is easy. EGIA (Electric & Gas […]

What is R-Value?

Jordan Shively R-Value Explained   Home Performance can be a overwhelming concept  for homeowners that are new to the green home movment. Green Home Builders and Energy Retrofit Specialists often throw around the term R-Value, but what does that mean to the average homeowner?   It’s actually a pretty simple. R Value measures resistance to […]

Bathroom Fan Exhaust Frustrations

attic-fan

Keith Common problems with bathroom fans: It is a frustrating job going into house after house only to find the same issues.  The main issues we find are excessive duct leakage (normally 30%), large building leakage, poorly installed insulation, undersized duct systems, oversized heating and cooling equipment, crawlspace moisture issues, and poorly installed ventilation equipment.  […]

Residential Smart Meters

David I took a class at PG&E’s Energy Performance Laboratory about a month ago and they had a short presentation on smart meters for homes. A smart meter for residential use shows you your energy usage on your energy bill for each day; a commercial version shows energy usage by hour. Since residential smart meters […]

Cost Effective Ways of Saving Energy

David Well this is my first blog entry so I think I should introduce myself and my background. My name is David Zapf. I graduated from USC with a Bachelors of Architecture degree in 2008. Upon graduating I worked for my father for a year repairing termite damage to apartments and putting in tenant improvements […]

Home Performance with Energy Star

Keith The Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) program was started by the EPA. It is set up to provide consumers with a way to distinguish those contractors that are qualified to perform home performance energy retrofits.  The contractors  consistently perform work that delivers energy efficiency, comfort, health, safety and durability. They have a deep […]