energy efficiency: How To Be a Smart Consumer in the Energy Efficiency Marketplace - 06/06/12 05:22 AM
  Home owners who are wanting a complete, accurate and unbiased report on the current performance of their home's systems ... and a comprehensive report on all of the opportunities available to them to improve the comfort, health and efficiency of their homes ... should ensure that the source of their information is reliable and unbiased.
Here is a list of services to avoid if you are looking for the best results with the greatest returns on any investment you make.
1. Say “no” to the energy audit when it is to be performed by someone representing the sale of a … (2 comments)

energy efficiency: Disputing a Property Appraisal or Rating for Energy Efficiency - 05/21/12 02:51 PM
 
I am a state and nationally certified energy professional who utilizes an established and government approved protocol to measure and to diagnose energy efficiency requirements for residential homes. 
 
If you are (or represent) a home owner who has been damaged by the errant work, recommendations or “ratings” of property appraisers or contractors, I can assist you with independent analysis in your correction or recovery efforts. 
(2 comments)

energy efficiency: Free On-Line Home Energy Rating - 05/13/12 09:30 PM
While a diagnostic home energy audit is necessary prior to making improvements or upgrades to a home to ensure that it remains comfortable and healthy --- as well as energy efficient, one can use free on-line sources to calculate and produce a report on how a home rates against others in the same area for energy efficiency.
Take a look at such a calculator and try it with your own home.  It takes all of two minutes to complete and can be done anonymously.
(0 comments)

energy efficiency: Recognition of Energy Costs and Energy Performance in Real Property Valuation - 05/09/12 10:21 AM
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Recently published (May 2012) "Recognition of Energy Costs and Energy Performance in Real Property Valuation".Get ready to see home buyers who will not qualify for the home loan based upon the home's projected energy costs.  Home energy efficiency is now being calculated into the formula determining the monthly payments he can afford to make on his loan. … (0 comments)

energy efficiency: Energy Efficiency and the Resale Value of a Home - 08/27/11 10:04 AM
I am often asked by my clients why their power companies are so actively involved in getting people to use less of their product.  Isn’t the money that they are spending toward the promotion of energy efficiency actually hurting their own bottom line?
An editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last winter equated the power company encouraging less energy use as being on the same plane as Anheuser-Busch encouraging people to drink less beer.
Here are a few facts that will help put this into perspective.
There are government incentives provided to power companies to encourage their promotion of energy efficiency … (2 comments)

energy efficiency: Caveat Emptor --- Don't Pay for an Energy Score or Rating - 08/26/11 04:49 PM
Home owners can perform simple energy assessments and receive “ratings” free by performing them on their own or by utilizing free on-line rating programs.  Most people who they would pay for such ratings or assessments are simply using a variation of this free on-line tool and charging for it.
There is nothing to be gained by having window salesmen, home inspectors or insulation salesmen tell you simple things about your home that you already know or can easily discover on your own.
If you prefer a third party to rate or assess a home, certified energy auditors can include them (at … (0 comments)

energy efficiency: Free Home Inspections? How Can That Be? - 08/20/11 12:23 PM
The following ancillary services are available ... FREE of charge ... when scheduled with a Diagnostic Home Energy Audit in Missouri:      1. Full Residential home inspectionsfor prospective buyers or sellers of home properties.       In addition to my certifications and experience as a certified Building Analyst and Energy Auditor, I am also an experienced and board certified home inspector and I will provide a complete inspection and report for home buyers and sellers describing the condition of the home and its systems (with photographs).       All inspections are conducted according to the industry standard of practice and all reports are available on-line within 24-hours of the inspection.      2. Licensed termite inspections for … (0 comments)

energy efficiency: Consumer Advice Regarding the Energy Efficiency Mortgage (EEM) - 08/14/11 03:13 PM
The idea behind the Energy Efficiency Mortgage (EEM) is to allow home buyers to borrow a certain amount of money to be applied toward upgrading the energy efficiency of their home and repay the loan, with reduced interest, from the cash savings anticipated from lower utility bills.
On the surface, it sounds like a great plan; however, prudent home buyers and home owners will look beyond the obvious and consider the practical matters concerning this concept.
Utility rates are not static.  In some areas of the United States they are regularly increasing by various (and, typically, considerably large) amounts.
In one … (0 comments)

energy efficiency: The Energy Audit - What's In It for Me? - 08/03/11 08:42 PM
A diagnostic home performance analysis that includes complete diagnostic testing (blower door, thermal imaging with infrared camera, combustion analysis) and computer modeling will be able to project what future energy use can be expected from the implementation of recommendations that are made as a result.
This means that the home owner will be able to target his efforts toward improving those deficiencies in his home’s present rate of energy use that will result in the greatest improvements, first.
Sometimes this is referred to as a “return on investment” or “ROI” and it is commonly accepted that an improvement that results in … (1 comments)

energy efficiency: Caution is Advised When Considering Energy Efficiency Home Improvement Incentives - 07/31/11 12:39 PM
There are a variety of incentive programs to assist and motivate consumers to become more energy efficient and they are available in many different forms through various sources.  Not all of them, however, will benefit the home owner using them under all conditions and caution is advised.
The “Free” Energy Audit is a marketing tool used by product manufacturers or service providers as a means of providing a sales presentation for their wares at no initial expense to the home owner.  One or two people will come to the home and perform an “energy audit” that will result in a predetermined … (0 comments)

energy efficiency: Utility Companies, Energy Efficiency and Your Home - 07/13/11 08:29 PM
 
I am often asked by my clients why their power companies are so actively involved in getting people to use less of their product.  Isn't the money that they are spending toward the promotion of energy efficiency actually hurting their own bottom line?
An editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last winter equated the power company encouraging less energy use as being on the same plane as Anhueser-Busch encouraging people to drink less beer.
Here are a few facts that will help put this into perspective.
There are government incentives provided to power companies to encourage their promotion of energy … (0 comments)

energy efficiency: Did Your New Furnace Just Make Your Water Heater More Dangerous? - 07/02/11 01:40 PM
Naturally drafting residential chimneys develop draft because the air inside the chimney is lighter than the air outside the chimney. The source of the heated air at the bottom of the chimney burns fuel and creates a column of gases that are lighter than the outside air. The taller the chimney and the hotter the contents – the greater the draft.
Today, with the installation of more efficient heating systems that vent their combustion gases through fan-assisted plastic vents, it is often left up to the fuel burning water heater to create enough heat by itself to make a sufficient draft … (1 comments)

energy efficiency: Information on the FHA Energy Efficiency Mortgage - 06/26/11 11:25 PM
You can take out an EEM loan as a 15- or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage or as an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) from an FHA-approved lender.
FHA requires that you make at least a 3.5 percent cash investment on the property, based on the sale price. The total amount of your mortgage is based on the value of your home plus the projected cost of energy-efficient improvements.
Because your home will be more energy efficient, you will save on utility costs and, therefore, be able to devote more income to the monthly mortgage payment.
Your final loan amount can exceed … (2 comments)

energy efficiency: Why Using Previous Occupant Utility Bills Is Not a Good Idea - 06/26/11 03:01 PM
 
     Often, potential home buyers will request copies of a home’s previous year of utility bills to use as a guide to determine the energy efficiency of the house they intend to buy.
     Utility bills are limited as analytical tools for home buyers and energy specialists because they are sensitive to changes and differences in occupant behavior – and occupant behavior can have a dramatic influence on how much energy a residential building will use.
     A home energy rating will provide a baseline of anticipated energy use based upon a variety of factors considered in the design … (4 comments)

energy efficiency: A Savvy Alternative to a Seller's Home Inspection - 06/02/11 01:06 PM
Sellers (and, sometimes, their agents) will balk at the idea of a pre-listing home inspection in fear of it revealing defects that cannot afford to be fixed and that might detract from the appeal or value of the home.
What if there was a way to have the home and its systems evaluated in a less "defect oriented" way that would enhance its appeal and possibly even increase its value?
A diagnostic home energy efficiency analysis (aka "energy audit") performed by a certified professional building analyst will do exactly that.
Sellers will be able to show potential buyers the energy efficient … (0 comments)

energy efficiency: Advising Your Client About Energy Audits - 05/09/11 10:40 AM
With so many different types of energy efficiency services available to the consumer, today, the term "energy audit" is being used in a variety of contexts that can be confusing to the average person.  Hopefully, this will clear up some of the confusion.
1.  What is an "energy audit"?
Depending upon who is performing it for you, it can be a variety of things.  Here are a few examples.
     a.  Diagnostic energy audits - Conducted by a Building Performance Institute trained and certified energy auditor that measures the existing conditions of the home with a variety of sophisticated tests (blower … (3 comments)

energy efficiency: Home Performance and What it Means to You - 05/04/11 11:11 PM
     You love your home ... but it is not performing for you as it should.  It is still in the same convenient location for school or work and its walls continue to echo with the laughter and familiar voices from all of the birthday parties, holiday celebrations and other gatherings of family and friends that have meant so much to you.  Still, there are things that are not working like you would like them to.
     After all of the money you have spent in upgrading your heating and cooling system to a more efficient system, you still have that cold room.  New insulation, new … (0 comments)

energy efficiency: Indoor Air Quality - Why We Care - 05/04/11 02:37 PM
Why I care about the indoor air quality of your home ... and why you should, too.
The following is quoted from an abstract on the subject of "Indoor Air Quality" published by the Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory:
"All occupied buildings have various sources of indoor air pollution.  Humans (and their household pets) generate carbon dioxide, odors and microbes simply through the normal living processes.  Other more important sources of indoor air pollution are combustion appliances (gas stoves, unvented space heaters), building materials (used in construction, furnishings and insulation), and soil under and around houses.  These sources release carbon monoxide (CO), … (2 comments)

energy efficiency: What is a Diagnostic Energy Audit? - 05/04/11 01:05 AM
A diagnostic energy audit is also referred to among professional auditors as a "Level 2" or a "Level 3" energy audit.  A useful and effective diagnostic energy audit, as those that are performed by me, will include the following important items, as a minimum, conducted in full compliance with the standards and protocol prescribed by the Building Performance Institute (BPI):
1.  Identification of the type, size, condition and rate of energy consumption for each major energy-using device.
2.  Recommendations for appropriate energy conservation, operation and maintenance procedures.
3.  A measurement of the amount of air leakage calculated through the administration of a blower … (2 comments)

energy efficiency: Air Leakage and the Blower Door Test - 05/02/11 02:33 PM
     Air leakage from the home accounts for anywhere between 5% and 40% of the costs associated with heating and cooling a residential building. Air is leaking from your home and, as it leaves, it pulls outside air into the home behind it.      
     Not only does the home owner want to keep his already heated or cooled air inside as long as he can for the obvious economical reasons ... but the moisture and pollutants that the unfiltered replacement air brings into the home can affect his comfort and health as well as his checkbook.
      A blower door test … (0 comments)