Guest Blogs

Bottom Lines Reaches the Summit

Posted on November 26, 2015 by john abrams

NESEA’s first BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines Business Summit is over. It will not be the last.

On a beautiful fall day in November, more than 110 members of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) gathered at Smith College to celebrate two years of BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines, to hone business skills, and to consider the future of this exciting endeavor.

Will the Supreme Court Kill the Smart Grid?

Posted on November 25, 2015 by Seth Blumsack

On April 30, Tesla’s Elon Musk took the stage in California to introduce the company’s Powerwall battery energy storage system, which he hopes will revolutionize the dormant market for household and utility-scale batteries.

A few days later, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a case during its fall term that could very well determine whether Tesla’s technology gamble succeeds or fails. Justices were to hear arguments on October 14 to address questions having to do with federal jurisdiction over the fast-changing electricity business.

An Interview With a Solar Guru

Posted on November 24, 2015 by Sonja Van Renssen

With his invention of the SolarLease for SolarCity, he revolutionized the US residential solar market. Now, David Arfin, CEO of First Energy Finance, wants to take his business model to other parts of the world, including Europe, and apply it to other technologies, like wind, energy efficiency and geothermal heat pumps. In an exclusive interview with Energy Post, he explains his approach and what future financial innovations he sees coming.

One Man’s Quest for Energy Independence

Posted on November 19, 2015 by Paul Kuenn

In 1987, my wife and I purchased a one-story, 1,200-square-foot ranch with a basement in Appleton, Wisconsin. It had been built in 1960. Its 2x4 walls were filled with 3 inches of fiberglass batting; the house had single-pane windows. The basement slab had been poured directly onto clay without a gravel drainage base. There was sectional tile drain around the exterior perimeter and one sump. The house had a large patio door facing west and a bay window facing east, and only two windows on the south side.

Solar Power Can Cut Consumers’ Bills and Still be Good for Utilities

Posted on November 17, 2015 by Richard Flarend

The cost of solar energy continues to fall, so it is no surprise that more people are adopting solar.

This rapid growth of rooftop solar, however, has ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. many electric utilities to try to apply the brakes. A number have lobbied to change the net-metering policies that credit consumers for the excess solar power they generate. Does this make sense?

A Low-Energy House for Northern Minnesota

Posted on November 16, 2015 by Elden Lindamood

I am an architect. I have spent the last five years thinking about, sketching, drafting, changing, overanalyzing, second guessing, and fretting about the house that my partner Catherine and I would someday build on our rural land in northern Minnesota. This is probably not unlike the experience of many non-architect dreamers, but the difference is that I am armed with AutoCAD and REMDesign energy modeling software to analyze every conceivable scenario.

The Four Keys to a High-Performance Home

Posted on November 12, 2015 by Michael Trolle

Editor's note: This is the fourth and last installment in a series of blogs by Michael Trolle about the construction of his Passivhaus home in Danbury, Connecticut. The first part was published as “Building My Own Passive House.”

Windows, Housewrap, and Roofing Underlayment

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Brian Post

Editor's note: This is the third in a series of blogs chronicling the design and construction of a house owned by Brian Post and Kyra Salancy. The first blog in the series was titled Building a Small House in the White Mountains.

With the framing and sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. completed, our shell contractor installed the windows in mid-October 2013. Fortunately, based on a tip from the crew, we also had drywall for the second story delivered through a large upstairs rough opening before the final window installation.

Will Tidal and Wave Energy Live Up to Their Potential?

Posted on November 5, 2015 by Sophia V. Schweitzer

Editor's note: This blog was originally posted at Yale Environment 360.

Building an Airtight Envelope

Posted on November 3, 2015 by Michael Trolle

Editor's note: This is the third installment in a series of blogs by Michael Trolle about the construction of his Passivhaus home in Danbury, Connecticut. The first part was published as “Building My Own Passive House.”

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