Energy Matters

Still More Musings…Those Pinhole Leaks

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This week, I’m sharing a few observations, some technical, some not, from a deep energy retrofit of my own home in Burlington, VT. But, yes, I gotta get back to work, so just a couple more. Here’s Part 5 of the series

In yesterday’s post, I talked about spray foam. And I applied it against the sheathing on both roof and walls. What if moisture ...

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Musing from a Deep Energy Retrofit: The Spray Foam Standoff

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This week, I’m sharing a few observations, some technical, some not, from a deep energy retrofit of my own home in Burlington, VT. Part 4 of the series.

No, I’m not talking about the standoff in Reservoir Dogs.

Putting high R-value insulation in a cavity but allowing thermal bridging across the studs or rafters means you’re not getting that nominal r-value. Wood is about R-1 per inch. I’ll call SPF R-6 per inch. What to do, what to do.

Now, I ...

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Musings from a Deep Energy Retrofit: Dense Pack Cellulose Check

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This week, I’m sharing a few observations, some technical, some not, from a deep energy retrofit of my own home in Burlington, VT. Part 3 of the series

When I first bought this house six years ago, the walls weren’t insulated. While I intended all along to insulate on the exterior, I knew that wouldn’t be for several years.  (Sounds like a staged retrofit, to me.) I didn’t want to wait that long to start chipping away at ...

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Musings from a Deep Energy Retrofit: Ignoring Staged Retrofits is Nuts

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This week, I’m sharing a few observations, some technical, some not, from a deep energy retrofit of my own home in Burlington, VT. Part 2 of the series.

tax assessor street shotAs I tackle this deeper retrofit project, I’m reminded of an ongoing debate about staged retrofits. I touched on this last year in a post that generated some good discussion in several forums (see “Staged ...

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Musings from a Deep Energy Retrofit: XPS v Polyiso

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This week, I’m sharing a few observations, some technical, some not, from a deep energy retrofit of my own home in Burlington, VT. Part 1 of the series.

“Why aren’t you using polyiso?” So was the question from the foam guy, explaining that I could get almost R-7 per inch instead of only R-5 per inch with the XPS I was using to wrap my 1920s Colonial style home.

XPS intead ...</a></p><a class=Continue Reading →

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Why I’d like to work for Netflix

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This is to best people policy I’ve seen, with great points to ponder for companies big and small alike. Find great people, give them the environment they need to do great work, and pay them well so the stick around and keep doing it. Repeat.

There is some pretty powerful stuff in here.

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7 Home Performance Trends to Watch in 2015

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trendsLooking ahead to 2015, I see a lot more of the same from 2014 for contractors in the residential energy and efficiency arenas. What that says to me is that contractors who figure out how to run their businesses well will thrive. Those who are hoping for programs, mandates, and high energy prices to run their businesses for them won’t do as well.

Here are a few guesses at what we’ll ...

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7 Home Performance Trends to Watch in 2015

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trendsLooking ahead to 2015, I see a lot more of the same from 2014 for contractors in the residential energy and efficiency arena. What that says to me is that contractors who figure out how to run their businesses well will thrive. Those who are hoping for programs, mandates, and high energy prices to run their businesses for them won’t do as well.

Here’s a few guesses at what we’ll see ...

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Help the next generation of energy and sustainability professionals – Donate to the Kate Goldstein Memorial Fund

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BOD-Kate-Goldstein-e1403794028447Last week, I received a permit for a Grand Canyon hike next April. And with it came a sad reminder that Kate Goldstein won’t be joining me on that hike like we had discussed last spring.

Kate Goldstein was an MIT energy fellow, and one of a too-small group of smart, energetic, and generous young professionals in our industry. She had the drive, focus, and heart to make a difference. ...

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Do you let energy-efficiency programs run your business?

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Contractors who have complaints about energy-efficiency programs are often quite justified in their frustration.  Programs often do a lot of silly things that thwart their own goals and undermine contractors’ ability to deliver. So stipulated.

But contractors, you need to ask yourselves some questions as you search for the root causes of your woes.

Do efficiency programs generate all of your leads for you? Are those leads satisfactory? And will they be there next week or next year?

Do the programs ...

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