Energy savings

What is your idea of an energy efficient home or building

What do we have to live in to be green ?

What does a house have to look like to be energy efficient , healthy, comfortable , and Green we ask.  Well here are my thoughts on this.  I think that any home can be all of those things and the way that we get there is using the KISS theory.  I know that you have heard of it before  ( Keep it simple stupid) . I think that we are trying to make so many of these options more complicated than they have to be or need to be. My thoughts are if we build the main shell or as they say in the energy efficient industry the Envelope as well insulated as we can afford in the beginning the better off we will be in the future .  It is not that complicated If you know what you are doing and where what goes and when to put it there. Basically what that means is that you should be working with someone that has taken the initiative to get training in how the house works as a system. Be cause if we do these procedure without doing them properly we will , again We Will have problems and more of them than we have today in the building of home to code. Here are some thoughts for you to think before you build a new home or remodel another one
  • Look at passive solar when possible on new homes or additions
  • Build the house shell as energy efficient as possible. You can not go back and do this a a latter time.
  • Look at the placement of your windows, It is best if possible to minimize the size and number of windows on your east and west sides.
  • A closed crawlspace may just right for you. It will make your floors warmer,heating system work less (if it is in the crawlspace), help to reduce moisture issues,keep animals out of your crawlspace.
  • Try to get heating and cooling systems inside the heated space (inside the envelope)
  • Try to get the hot water heater inside the heated space too.
  • Look at framing the home or addition using 2x6's (you can use 2x6's on 24" on center for close to the same cost of 2x4's 16" on center.
  • Adding a layer of  rigid insulation on the exterior will help with a thermal break  and moisture barrier at the same time.
This is just a few of the options to think about while building a new home or adding on. Good luck and if there are any question let me know.

Power bills on the rise

Well I did here what I thought I did correctly.  Duke Power is asking for a residential increase of somewhere between 17 to 20%. What I have read is that this  is the largest increase in the last twenty years. I have been saying that we are like the frog in the frying pan.  I remember when I was a kid seeing an experiment  that showed a frog in a frying pan and when they  turned up the heat on the pan quickly the frog would jump out of the pan but if you turned up the heat slowly the frog would not notice the heat as quickly and would stay in the pan for a longer period obviously with a better chance of   getting burned. Just to make note, we have had two energy increase in the past couple of years of  12% and 6% totaling 18%, already and then the 18% that they are asking for now, being a total of 36% increase. I am sure that the utility companies are due there increases, due to energy cost increases for them, upgrades improvements, and demand on there systems. I am thinking that instead of gripping and complaining about the increases which I am sure we will. We need to look at what we are using at our homes and business  and  figure out how we can use less power. I have read that we have increased or use of power in our homes over the past fifteen years by a huge amount. The interesting thing is that it is not from our appliances (which if you have bought newer energy star rated appliances in the past five years that part of the puzzle dropped in energy use)  No it is the flat screen televisions,electronics  that has a vampire loads, larger homes increased lighting needs, and all of the gadgets that we have found that we can not live without. I am not saying that am any better for sure. I have just been seeing the writing on the wall for some time. and it is hard to decide what things I can do with out more. but I am trying. I hope that my experience in looking at the whole home as a system  that I can give people some valuable advice on where to start cutting back and what gives you the biggest bang for the buck. Good luck with figuring out where you can cut back on energy needs and I hope that YOU don't sit in the pan to long and get burned.      

What does the future hold for us in the south?

Well the other morning I had just gotten my first cup of coffee and turned on the television to see what was going on in the world and then I heard it.  I could not believe my ears. So I had to look it up and make sure that I heard what I thought I did .

Duke Energy CEO warns governors of costlier energy

Duke Energy CEO warns governors of costlier energy
by Associated Press WHAS11.com

Posted on August 21, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Updated Sunday, Aug 21 at 9:24 AM

  ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- The head of Duke Energy is telling southern governors that the days of cheap, plentiful energy will soon be behind them because power companies are upgrading plants and competition is heating up for increasingly scarce fuel. Duke chairman James E. Rogers said Saturday that consumers can expect to see energy prices rise by 30 percent or more over the next decade. The sharp increase may be a shock following several decades of relatively stable prices. Rogers spoke during the Southern Governors' Association meeting in Asheville. Rogers says Duke Energy customers now spend an average of 1.9 percent of disposable income on electricity, a figure that is likely to jump. He says consumers will need to become better managers of their energy use if they hope to get costs back under control. He says better conservation techniques and fuel efficiency technologies will be key to keeping energy affordable. The Charlotte-based firm is one of the largest power companies in the United States.   That is correct I did hear what I thought I had heard early in the morning. Now my question to all of those consumers that I have spoken to in the past about doing energy retrofits  is this.    How much does our monthly utility bills need to go up to before you can justify spending a few thousand dollars to make your home  use less killow watts (energy) before you want to do something about it. I see it all of the time more in the past than right now just because people are not spending the money like they used to. When I talk to customers about  doing energy improvements the first thing that they ask is how long will it take to get my money back.  But when we are discussing a kitchen remodel or a new master suite that is not the issue and with the energy improvements you do see a payback at today's energy cost, just think what the payback will be in another ten years.  Wow Also a lot o people do not even realize that we have had two increases in the past year and a half totaling 18%. So lets see if you add 18% and 30 plus % wow that is around a whopping 50% wait till you get that A C power bill if we can even afford to cool our houses then. It is  a lot to think about that is for sure.

Money, Money, Money

Read All About It

City of Greensboro is giving away five million dollars to ramp up energy efficiency in buildings and homes

Yes that is right, the stimulus money is finally getting to main street America.  The only requirement is that you live inside the Greensboro city limits.  The first step is to have an energy analysis of the structure, rather it is commercial or residential.  The next step is to complete energy upgrades that improve the structures energy efficiency by atleast 15%.  After completing the listed steps the city will pay you back 20% of the energy upgrades to the structure, there is a cap of $4000.00 for residential upgrades. The commercial projects are handled a little differently.  They are paid on a per square foot price and have different circumstances according to the size of building.  You can go to Greensboro Going Green to find out more information on this program.  This program is just starting  up, so there will more than likely be some changes down the road.