Invest now, save later: Energy Efficient Mortgage

Chris Birk discusses the benefits of an energy-efficient mortgage, the financial tools available to help customers and existing programs that offer the mortgage.

Main benefits:

  • savvy resale strategy
  • finance improvements that will optimize equipment and reduce usage
  • typically only approved when measure will result in net cost savings

It is important to note that an “energy-efficient mortgage isn’t the right fit for every person and every property. Run the numbers in detail, and compare them with other financing options such as a home equity line of credit or even a low-or no-interest credit card.” (Chris Birk)

Read more at: MyMoney

“Build tight”…but don’t forget “Ventilate Right”

“Build tight”…but don’t forget “Ventilate Right”

“Traditionally, buildings have been designed to be what most people characterize as ‘acceptable to 80 percent of the occupants of the building,'” he said. “It’s historically based on perceptions of people in buildings rather than the reality.”

The article asks, “Should tougher regulations apply?”  but I think what should be asked is why doesn’t Canada encourage building science education for architects and engineers, promotion of standards such as those published by ASHRAE and create certifications for hvac and architects to increase awareness of the holistic approach to optimizing building’s performance


Energy efficiency measures in homes may lead to higher risk of lung cancer

The title of this article should be changed to: …may lead to poor indoor air quality.

Everyone in the energy efficiency world is familiar with the phrase “build tight, ventilate right”.  BPI and home performance programs emphasize testing for radon and if necessary installing a radon vent fan as well as makeup ventilation system for tightly sealed homes.

The other interesting part of this article is that it is based on a model and some statistical info from England. No reference of actual cases or scientific studies in the USA.

Another thing they mention is installing better insulation. However, that only addresses conductive heat loss. The convective heat loss from unsealed air gaps in your home causes drafts and results in comfort complaints.  In taller buildings air sealing saves a great deal of money.

This is a misleading article using a scare tactic.

The first step for successful energy efficiency program implementation

“Most program managers articulate program goals as part of the planning process. What often is missing from these efforts is a fully articulated logic model. This is unfortunate because in addition to helping avoid program design flaws, the logic model provides guidance for program implementation and lays the foundation for a meaningful program evaluation. “

Logic Model

  • As a program planning tool
  • As a communication tool
  • As a program management tool
  • As a program evaluation tool


For Better or for Worse? Empirical Evidence of Moral Licensing in a Behavioral Energy Conservation Campaign

” The results show that residents who received weekly feedback on their water consumption lowered their water use (6.0% on average), but at the same time increased their electricity consumption by 5.6% compared with control subjects. Income effects can be excluded. While follow-up research is needed on the precise mechanism of the psychological process at work, the findings are consistent with the concept of moral licensing, which can more than offset the benefits of focused energy efficiency campaigns, at least in the short-term.”

By Verena Tiefenbeck, Thorsten Staake, Kurt Roth, and Olga Sachs 

App that satisfies comfort and energy savings

With Comfy app for buildings, creature comforts save energy

“According to Krioukov, research from the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment shows that less than 40 percent of office workers are satisfied with their comfort in workplace. “And at the same time, we have a huge energy spend and energy waste in office buildings. So if the building were more attuned to the people, then you could eliminate the discomfort and save a huge amount of energy.”  —Elaine Hsieh

New Analysis Finds Energy-Efficiency Standards Correct Market Failures, Save Consumers and Businesses MoneyPolicy

Energy Efficiency Performance Standards: The Cornerstone of Consumer-Friendly Energy Policy

” Energy performance standards address many of the most important market barriers and imperfections. They tend to level the playing field, reduce risk and uncertainty by creating a market for energy saving technologies, lower technology costs by stimulating investment in and experience with new technologies, reduce the need for information and the effect of split incentives, all of which help to overcome the inertia of routine and habit.”