Issue # 7: Energy Efficiency
ISSN 1703-5597
 February 12, 2003

Issue #7 Energy Efficiency

  1. Energy Efficiency Terms, Library, Advice & Myths
  2. Helping You Decide Which Options Are Best
  3. Doing Energy Audits On Existing Homes
  4. Energy Efficiency Programs In BC & Canada
  5. Products, Reports & Construction Details
  6. Different Industry Sectors Involved In Energy Efficiency
  7. Energy Efficiency Associations, Training, Mags & Events

1. Energy Efficiency Terms, Library, Advice & Myths

Glossary Of Energy Efficiency Terms
This site from Natural Resources Canada explains various words, terms, and acronyms used in the energy efficiency industry.

BC Hydro’s Free Online Energy Library
This site from Power Smart has lots of energy saving information. There are questions and answers on common topics as well as more detailed information on building components, energy consuming equipment and controls.

BC Gas Expert Advice Site
Do you need more information on natural gas usage, heating or energy savings? Here you can view FAQs, ask-an- expert, or download their free Hot Tips information booklet.

Myths About Energy & Energy Savings
Do you think it costs more to leave equipment running, or to turn it on and off? This and other common myths about energy and energy savings are answered here.

2. Helping You Decide Which Options Are Best

For The Beginners: First Things First
The Rocky Mountain Institute from the US offers up this good list of things you can do to save energy. Choose things that are free, inexpensive, more serious, or major.

For The Experienced: Energy Efficient Upgrades
CMHC has some detailed information (with drawings) of steps for upgrading mechanical systems, building envelope and insulation as well as water saving tips.

For The Advanced: Software Programs & Tools
This US Department of Energy site describes over 330 energy-related software tools for designing buildings and/or selecting equipment and components. Some are free.

For Appliances: Calculating Energy Costs
Power Smart offers this easy-to-use online calculator to help you figure out how much it costs to operate different appliances in your home.

3. Resources For Doing Energy Audits On Existing Homes

Do It Online
The Power Smart Analyze My Home allows you to do your own audit online for free. Enter specific details of your house and you get a breakdown of your annual energy use along with personalized advice on energy saving opportunities.

Do Your Own Walk-Through Audit
The US Department of Energy offers this free Home Energy Checklist that you can print off and use as you walk around a house to perform your own energy audit.

Have An Expert Do It For You
The Canadian Energuide for Houses program provides energy efficiency ratings for houses. Advisors perform a detailed audit and use a computer program to make upgrade recommendations based on treating the house as a system.

4. Energy Efficiency Programs In BC & Canada

Power Smart Connects Home Buyers With Builders
The Power Smart New Home Program provides consumers with information on builders and projects that use Power Smart features. For some of you builders this might provide additional promotional opportunities.

R2000 Program Serves Niche Market
Canada’s R2000 New Home Program has been around for years. Although it has never made it into the mainstream there are still a good number of builders and customers who know it serves some very specific needs. This CHBA website has a summary of information and links to more resources.

Other Canadian Energy Efficiency Programs
This site from Natural Resources Canada has links to information on the various federal programs available for home, work, vehicles, various types of buildings, and more…

5. Products, Reports & Construction Details

Overview Of Energy Efficient Products For BC
This interactive website from Power Smart provides an easy way to link to basic information on some key energy saving products for a new or existing home.

Technical Articles & Reports From NAHB
There are a lot of free (and some not free) articles and reports on this NAHB technical website. You can find info on many new products and technologies relating to energy efficiency.

Construction Details From Building Science Corp
Good ‘ol Dr. Joe Lstiburek has one of the best sites for energy efficient construction details. Click on your region (Mixed Humid, Cold, or Severe Cold) to see his recommendations, complete with great diagrams.

6. Different Industry Sectors Involved In Energy Efficiency

Existing Homes: The Building Performance Contractor
Retrofitting existing homes is not as simple as it seems. This US trade association site describes various competencies to become a certified building performance contractor.

New Homes: Largest US Builders Now Into Energy Efficiency
In the US some of the largest production builders in the nation are starting to add energy efficient technologies to their homes, without adding to their costs. This Building America site gives an overview of some of the technologies being used and the process for ensuring these items fit within budgets

Commercial Buildings Resources: GVRD
The Buildsmart website from GVRD and partners provides sources of information programs and to assist building/facility owners and managers in completing energy and resource efficient retrofits.

US Mortgage Industry Offers Financing Options
Although this info is not relevant here in Canada (yet) it is worth taking a look at how creative financing packages can help drive the market, rather than using grants and rebates.

7. Other Resources: Associations, Training, Mags & Events

Energy Efficient Building Association In The US
EEBA is the leading association in the US for those involved in energy efficient new home construction. There is good info here on this industries events, courses and resources.

Energy Education, Training & Career Resources
Are you interested in energy efficiency as a career? This US site has a broad range of links to resources for general learning, training & careers, higher education and more.

Home Energy Magazine
Since 1984 this US magazine of home performance has been a great source of information. It has in-depth articles on residential energy efficiency, comfort and safety.

Biggest Conference For Energy Retrofit Industry
Affordable Comfort is well recognized as the best conference for those who making homes more efficient. It is targeted to builders, renovators, and retrofit companies.

Dittie For Today:
A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.

 © Copyright 2003               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved