Guest Blogs

The Minergy House

Posted on February 20, 2017 by user-4489887

The late 1970s were a vibrant time in solar-driven, energy-efficient housing, full of passion and innovation. The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEANorth East Sustainable Energy Association. A regional membership organization promoting sustainable energy solutions. NESEA is committed to advancing three core elements: sustainable solutions, proven results and cutting-edge development in the field. States included in this region stretch from Maine to Maryland. was founded in 1974, and members were in the thick of this experimentation.

Paving the Way for an Efficient Light Bulb in Every Socket

Posted on February 16, 2017 by NoahHorowitz

The U.S. Department of Energy has just updated and expanded its definition of what constitutes an everyday light bulb in our homes and businesses, paving the way for the Trump administration to implement the second phase of a bipartisan law signed by President George W. Bush to cut the energy waste of bulbs. Energy efficiency standards were sorely needed because the incandescent light bulb had not been significantly updated since the days of Thomas Edison, more than 125 years earlier.

The State of Our Union

Posted on February 14, 2017 by ElizabethDiSalvo

I started to write this as a commentary regarding Martin Holladay’s review of Jacob Rascusin’s new book, Essential Building Science. But in doing so I realized that the direction of Martin’s critique opens the door to issues that I think our community really needs to discuss. So, I worked a little harder at putting my thoughts into some sort of logical and comprehensive order. Of course these are only my opinion.

The bottom line of this realization is that, as a group, we may want to consider two goals:

Airport House: Energy Efficiency and Garage Space for an Airplane

Posted on February 9, 2017 by rbaldwin

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of guest blogs by Reid Baldwin about the construction of his house in Linden, Michigan.

How Renewable Energy Advocates Are Hurting the Climate Cause

Posted on February 7, 2017 by pmmcdivitt

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, the proliferation of misinformation on social media is finally getting the attention it deserves. Or so I thought.

Toronto Passive: Walls, Roof, and an Elevator

Posted on February 6, 2017 by Hove

Editor's Note: Lyndon Than is a professional engineer and Certified Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. Consultant who took a year off from work to design and build a home with his wife Phi in North York, a district of Toronto, Ontario. A list of Lyndon's previous blogs at appears below. For more, you can follow his blog, Passive House Toronto.

Canadian First Nation Gets Active About Passive Housing

Posted on February 2, 2017 by KatieHyslop

Editor's note: Yale First Nation is a community in British Columbia, Canada, of some 160 members. This post originally appeared at The Tyee.

The 2018 Building Energy Code Holds the Line for Efficiency

Posted on February 1, 2017 by Anonymous


The newest building energy code, which will govern how much energy and money is saved by new home and commercial building owners, was recently approved by code officials — and by and large, they voted to uphold the great efficiency gains made in past code cycles.

New York Proposes New Rates for Distributed Energy

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Anonymous


How to Make Hydropower More Environmentally Friendly

Posted on January 23, 2017 by Anonymous


Humanity got its first large-scale electricity thanks to hydropower. On August 26, 1895, water flowing over Niagara Falls was diverted to spin two generators, producing electricity to manufacture aluminum and carborundum. Since then, millions of dams have been built worldwide, transforming the energy of moving water into the energy of moving electrons. When we need it, the water spins magnets past a coil of copper wire to give us heat, light, and entertainment.

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