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Energy Data Gains Traction in Real Estate Listings

Posted by Ryan Meres, RESNET Program Director

Oct 13, 2017 10:51:42 AM

What impact will energy data for 110 million homes have on the energy efficiency industry?

For more than a decade studies have consistently shown that homebuyers want energy efficient features, but few are actually aware of the impact those features have on energy cost. The average U.S. homeowner spends more on energy than property taxes and insurance, but energy is the only one of those three common expenses not considered in the mortgage process. The recent announcement and report released by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) that real estate platforms have started including energy information in their listings is a significant step toward reducing the barrier to transparency of energy use in the home buying process. This transparency is also likely to spur energy efficiency improvements which is good news for utility efficiency programs, contractors and HERS Raters.

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Getting More out of Going Green

Posted by Darren Novak, Guest Columnist

Jul 26, 2017 4:21:07 PM

If you build an eco-friendly apartment complex, don’t miss any chance to enhance its green credentials.

AS A BUILDER OR LANDLORD, it is your decision whether you want your rental property to be more environmentally friendly. There is a lot of upside for property owners who decide to go green. You’re attracting more would-be homeowners and encouraging them to continue renting, or perhaps convincing some to go back to apartment living. You’re likely to draw renters of a higher quality. And you are contributing to global conservation efforts.

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The Beauty of Choice

Posted by Ron Jones

Jun 8, 2017 9:47:27 AM

"The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”

When he wrote those words in the mid-19th century, Henry David Thoreau was possibly suggesting that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. But perhaps he also meant that each of us is seeking what satisfies us the most, not necessarily what appeals to the greatest number of our neighbors.

It may be fair to say that for the most part humans are social creatures. Additionally, probably few other species are so specialized and as interdependent as people, which has a good deal to do with how we are able to avail ourselves of a seemingly endless set of options to choose from in our daily lives.

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Energy Efficiency: A Political Fatality?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

May 25, 2017 10:18:43 AM

Energy efficiency is considered by many to be one of the least expensive, most effective, and bipartisan ways to achieve our nation’s economic and environmental goals. But President Trump’s FY2018 budget proposes draconian cuts to energy efficiency programs, which would result in job losses, higher energy bills, and a marked decrease in our nation’s innovation and global competitiveness.

Experts—from both sides of the aisle—in the energy efficiency sector are petrified by President Trump’s recent budget proposal, which calls for a $3.1 billion decrease in funding for energy programs administered by the Department of Energy (DOE), including a dramatic 80% cut in residential energy efficiency programs.

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Building Codes: The Right Tool for Achieving our Climate Goals?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Dec 22, 2016 9:18:01 AM

In a recent webinar, Building Codes Assistant Project (BCAP) President Maureen Guttman questioned whether building codes are effective when it comes to successfully reaching our energy efficiency and climate goals.

Building codes are a unique and complex animal, and their development is driven by a diverse spectrum of vested interests.  The recent 2018 code hearings exemplified how motley agendas could at least temporarily align to craft a middle-ground solution for a tough issue (namely, building envelope performance tradeoffs for onsite power production), setting an important precedent for cooperation, but certainly not realizing the gains that many sustainability professionals were hoping for.

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Energy Tips

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 28, 2016 9:18:17 PM

There are plenty of ways to reduce energy use and, consequently, save money.

These simple steps from NV Energy don't cost a thing, but can potentially save you 10 to 25% on your monthly energy bill.

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Slideshow: How the U.S. "Wastes" Energy

Posted by Uma Campbell, Guest Contributor

Jan 25, 2016 10:50:40 AM

The biggest uses of energy, looked at through the lens of efficiency, is the power we waste through inferior technology, unoccupied rooms and lack of smart programming of heating and cooling.

EVERYWHERE WE LOOK, we’re using energy - whether it’s burning gasoline to power our cars, lighting our homes and workplaces, or powering the systems underlying the modern internet, our mastery of energy is the bedrock of society.

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The Five Best Green Building Ideas This Century (So Far)

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jan 20, 2016 9:30:00 AM

A lot of the really groundbreaking stuff going on in green building happens behind the walls, so of course you might never notice it.

The building industry is notoriously slow to change, but when the global recession hit a few years ago, smart builders carved a green niche to save their companies. Eco-friendly construction tends to continue, even when times are relatively bad, motivated by the idea of saving money on energy, water, and so on.

What's really changed in the past couple of decades? Here's my short list of some of the best and brightest ideas, and why they matter:

LED Lighting. Finally, we can stop cursing our compact fluorescent lamps. Unlike fluorescent lamps, which rarely live up to their promised of 10,000 hour lifespans, contain enough mercury to classify as hazardous waste and make your complexion look like undead zombie flesh, LED bulbs do it all. They' use a fraction of the energy of a CFL, come in dimmable versions that change color warmly, last up to 50,000 hours, and don't contain mercury. Win, win, win. Another new entry into this category are LED replacement lamps for fluorescent fixtures. This is a major upgrade in terms of both performance and sustainability. The common 4-ft. lamps in fluorescent lamps contain hazardous mercury, and we all know they don't last as long as they should. A comparable LED replacement lamp uses half the power, comes on instantly, and could last 50,000 hours, compared to about 8,000 hours for CFLs.

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Which Appliance Is the Energy Hog in Your Home?

Posted by RESNET

Dec 29, 2015 12:08:00 PM

High utility bills are a major concern for many American households today, and it should come as no surprise that appliances account for a major portion of those bills.

Which appliance is guilty of being your home’s energy hog? Hawaiian Electric was wondering the same thing, so they did a study (based on the annual energy usage for a family of four, and a cost per kWh of $0.34); here are the results:

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Vast Majority of U.S. Homes Do Not Have Enough Insulation

Posted by RESNET

Dec 15, 2015 8:27:46 AM

It’s hard to believe, but 90% of existing American homes are under insulated.

That means 90% of existing American homes are wasting money, energy and are not providing their owners with optimal comfort. In addition to this, they are also having a negative impact on the environment.

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Winter Problems That Impact Energy Efficiency – Infographic

Posted by RESNET

Dec 8, 2015 10:46:33 AM

Harsh weather can cause all sorts of home winter problems for your home. This infographic shows you some of the more common ones – and how you can avoid them.

This content was originally published by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) here. This content has been republished with the permission of RESNET. RESNET is the independent, national nonprofit organization that homeowners trust to improve home energy efficiency and realize substantial savings on their utility bills. RESNET’s industry-leading standards are recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

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Big Love for Big Energy Efficient Homes

Posted by RESNET

Nov 24, 2015 12:12:37 PM

Big homes are back but with one major difference: they’re more energy efficient than ever before.

Americans love big. Big cars, big houses… big is good… until all of a sudden it’s not. A combination of skyrocketing oil and energy prices, along with a downturn in the economy suddenly made the average American consumer think about downsizing everything from cars to homes. And so homes got smaller, about 5% smaller from 2007 to 2010, and less became more.

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Shedding Some Light on Energy Efficient Lighting

Posted by RESNET

Nov 3, 2015 9:22:24 AM

There was a time when no one knew or cared very much about energy efficient lighting, but that’s now a thing of the past.

All across America, households are switching out their traditional incandescent light bulbs for newer, more energy efficient alternatives that deliver the same amount of light at a fraction of the cost. So what are these energy efficient alternatives exactly?

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