‘Energy Business Opportunity’ Category
» posted on Friday, May 14th, 2010 at 4:45 pm by Woody Wilson viewed 169 times
Updated: Friday, 14 May 2010, 7:29 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 14 May 2010, 7:25 AM EDT
By: Chris Velardi
Seymour, Conn. (WTNH) – Saving money is one reason a lot of people are calling on the experts to check out the energy efficiency of their homes. A couple of Connecticut businessmen are trying to make identifying the problems in your home a little easier.
Tom Casey, a life-long ‘doer’, is becoming a ‘teacher’, leading a class about the ins-and-outs of home energy efficiency. “Fuel costs are rising, budgets are tight, economy’s tight, everyone’s looking for ways to conserve,” Casey said. “They’re spending more time at home so comfort and safety is even more important.”
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That’s why Casey calls this a “win-win.” He and Larry Janesky launched a business called Dr. Energy Saver . It’s based in Seymour, Connecticut, and they’re franchising it around the country. This is the first week-long training session for franchisees.
“What we do is we go out and do a complete, comprehensive home energy audit,” Janesky said. “We don’t just look at one or two things. We look at 10 different things at how a house is using, losing and wasting energy.”
The guys cleaned up an old machine shop and turned it into a real hands-on training center. The idea here is to give the students experience with every piece of equipment they may find in a home. They even built a home inside the warehouse.
The home audits — or ‘house visits’ by Dr. Energy Saver — are part of a program run by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and will cost you $75. The work to fix whatever’s wrong will cost you, too, but there are low-interest loans, rebates and other incentives available from both the state and federal governments to makes these kinds of upgrades.
Casey says it’s money you should consider an investment. “Everything we do pays for itself, plus it makes the house more valuable, increases the comfort of the house and lots of time even improves the safety of a house itself too,” he said.
You may have also heard about the Cash for Caulkers Home Star rebate program, which has passed the house. It’s a $6 billion bill offering rebates for making your house more energy-efficient.
» posted on Thursday, April 29th, 2010 at 8:59 pm by Woody Wilson viewed 314 times
Thursday, 29 April, 2010
|Ken Brock outside his photo-voltaic equipped home in Kesgrave. Picture Sarah Lucy Brown myphotos24 ref – slb 010 ken brock 4|
WHILE many people think the future of the global environment is in the hands of the younger generations, a new breed of “pensioner greens” are demonstrating that all ages can play a part – especially if it makes good financial sense.
Ken and May Brock are among those who are taking advantage of a new Government scheme which provides a long-term, guaranteed income for all the small-scale renewable energy they can generate – regardless of whether it is fed into the grid or used in their own home
The scheme is aimed at helping to achieve a target of the UK producing 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020.
It pays homeowners for each kilowatt–hour of electricity produced from renewable sources – about four times the market cost..
|Ken Brock with his home-generated power apparatus|
The new “feed-in” tariff became effective from April 1 and makes a great deal of economic sense for those willing and able to make the investment in technology such as solar panels, photo-voltaic cells or small wind turbines.
The Clean Energy Cash-back scheme is open householders, businesses, communities, farmers, schools and hospitals – anyone who want to generate “green” electricity from renewable installations up to five mega-watts in size (equivalent to two large commercial wind turbines) although the payments vary by technology and size
Pensioners on a fixed income but with savings are among those who are often in a position to introduce green technology – not only to save money but to play their part in reducing the national reliance on power stations which burn fossil fuels, producing global warming gases.
Mr and Mrs Brock, of Kesgrave, already had solar panels on their bungalow, producing hot water. Now they have had photovoltaic (PV) cells – to convert the sun’s energy into electricity – installed and the investment is expected to save about £900 a year on their electricity bill..
|The power is measured through a metering system|
The couple, who have three children and four grand-children, were rubbing their hands with glee during the spell of sunny weather earlier this month.
For they are earning up to 41.3p for every kilowatt hour of electricity the cells produce. And if they produce so much energy they feed some back into the grid they will receive a 3p a kilowatt hour bonus. All the income is tax-free.
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According to East Green Energy, Kelsale, the firm which installed the PVs for the Brocks, the cells should generate about 1,750 kilowatt hours a year.
|Ken Brock is a member of a new order of pensioner greens who are fitting renewable energy into their homes.He has installed photo voltaic cells to generate electricity. Picture Sarah Lucy Brown myphotos24 ref – slb 010 ken brock 1|
The firm estimates the system could generate a profit of more than £19,000 over the next 25 years if electricity prices continue to rise at five percent a year.
This figure may even prove an under-estimate, given the recent warnings from Ofgem, the industry regulator, of a looming energy crisis
Mr Brock, a retired building surveyor, said he hoped the PV cells would generate about half the electricity used in his home:
“The overall cost of the installation was £11,000 for which I received a £2,500 grant from the Government as well as an interest-free loan for £4,000 from Suffolk Costal District Council.”
Mr Brock, who was born in Ipswich, went to the town’s Civic College and worked for many years for Tolly Cobbold, said: “I thought it would be mostly young people taking advantage of this scheme but it seems to be mainly people in my age group – people who haven’t got a mortgage and have the opportunity to do things like this.
His interest in renewable technology goes back a long way. In the 1950s and 60s, while studying building construction, he learned about ground and air-sourced heat pumps. In the late 1960s he seriously thought about installing a heat pump for domestic use but never went ahead.
“When I first looked into installing PV panels, the maths didn’t add up. But now, with the technical improvements in renewable energy and the feed-in tariffs, it means mean we will recoup expenditure within ten years,” Mr Brock said.
He expects the PVs to generate about half of the electricity he and his wife use in their home.
Mr Brock would like to see renewable energy installations included in all new buildings – preventing the need for at least some new power stations.
Linda Grave, East Green Energy spokeswoman, said: “We are seeing a real increase in interest in renewable energy from the over 60s. On a fixed income it really makes sense.”
She added: “Going green is no longer just about the environment. This legislation means you can make money by becoming a mini generator. Rising oil prices means people are more concerned about their carbon footprint for the sake of their bank balance, rather than the environment.
“With bank interest rates at an all-time low, people can make a very healthy return of seven to ten percent by investing in a suitable form of renewable energy in their home.”
Friends of the Earth, which led the campaign for a micro-generation payment scheme, believes it will make small-scale green electricity technologies an attractive investment for home-owners, housing associations and some businesses, cutting energy bills and creating new jobs in the clean energy sector.
A YouGov survey for Friends of the Earth, the Renewable Energy Association and the Co-operative Group, published in January, revealed that 71 per cent of homeowners said they would consider installing green energy systems if the feed- in tariff scheme was generous enough.
Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director, Andy Atkins said: “This new scheme is a tremendous opportunity for people across the UK to play their part in the green energy revolution – and earn tax-free money too.
“The Clean Energy cash-back scheme will allow householders to earn tax-free cash by turning their homes into mini green power stations, cut fuel bills and play their part in tackling climate change.
“UK homes are responsible for over a fifth of UK emissions, but by slashing energy waste, and fitting renewable electricity systems such as solar panels on our roofs and wind turbines in our gardens, they can be part of the solution to climate change.
The scheme also covers other green technologies such as water turbines (in rivers or old water mills) and anaerobic digesters, which make electricity and heat from burning the gas produced by degrading organic waste.
Friends of the Earth is calling on which ever party wins the General Election to be more ambitious and increase the support to all small scale renewable electricity technologies and larger community owned schemes.
“The scheme launched today means small-scale renewable technologies are predicted to provide just two per cent of the UK’s electricity by 2020. While this is welcome, it is inadequate. Friends of the Earth has shown that a stronger scheme could see six per cent of UK electricity generated by these technologies by 2020 or two and half times the output of Sizewell B nuclear power station,” Mr Atkins added.
By April 2011 solar thermal and heat pumps will also be eligible for payment under another scheme announced by the Government.
Home owners must use an MCS (Micro generation certification scheme) accredited company to be eligible for “feed in” payments.
All Press Releases for April 26, 2010
American Home Inspectors Training Institute, the nation’s premier home inspection training school, is pleased to announce that AHIT is now offering a Home Energy Audit Certification Course.
Waukesha, WI (PRWEB) April 26, 2010 — American Home Inspectors Training Institute, the nation’s premier home inspection training school, is pleased to announce that AHIT is now offering a Home Energy Audit Certification Course.
American Home Inspectors Training Institute has been the leader in home inspection training for over 16 years. American Home Inspectors Training has now decided to take our proved teaching methods and incorporate them into an energy audit training course. AHIT has teamed up with the Building Performance Institute (BPI) to educate individuals on the fundamentals of energy auditing. Home energy auditors are becoming more and more important as energy efficiency audits are growing in popularity.
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There is increasing interest at the local, state, and national level to improve home energy efficiency as part of a broader national energy policy as well as creating jobs in the new “greener” economy. Here are a few current examples of why energy auditing is becoming more popular:
- $11 Billion was provided to state and local governments in the recent stimulus package to help reduce home energy use.
- It is estimated that an energy audit can improve a home’s energy consumption by 30% on average. Given that residential and commercial buildings make up 73% of electricity consumption in the US, there are huge savings.
- A Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies paper reports that more than half of the over 66 million single-family homes in the US were constructed before modern energy codes existed.
- The Department of Energy and the EPA have stated a goal of eventually improving 1 million homes per year through weatherization and home energy improvements.
- The city of Austin requires all homes over 10 years old to have an energy audit before being sold.
- North Carolina has passed a bill that makes home energy audits mandatory for home sellers.
- Oregon’s governor wants to require any owner selling or renting a home to obtain a certificate disclosing the property’s energy use.
- Ontario has passed an Act that requires an energy audit when selling a home unless the buyer waivers their right.
American Home Inspectors Training provides approved nationwide online and hands on classroom training. AHIT’s energy audit course is designed to prepare students for the Building Performance Institute’s Building Analyst online and field tests. Upon completion of these tests, students will be AHIT and BPI certified. Students will also have a clear understanding of how a house works as a system, why some homes fail, and how to use the latest building science technology to help resolve residential heating, cooling, and base load air leakage problems. By using a “whole house” performance-based approach, energy audit graduates will address a comprehensive range of interrelated building issues and be able to provide clients with a more comfortable, safe, durable, and energy efficient home.
Becoming an energy auditor comes along with great benefits including flexible hours, high earning income potential, rapidly growing industry, and is a great way to supplement an income. Becoming an AHIT certified home energy auditor garners even more benefits such as: ongoing business and technical support for students and graduates, real hands on training, personalized marketing services including business cards, brochures, and web sites, unlimited usage of the “AHIT Certified” logo displaying recognition of training, and AHIT is a one stop training and support partner. AHIT provides students with everything needed to run a successful business.
Call 1-888-280-2184 and speak with one of AHIT’s admissions representatives today to learn more about becoming a certified home energy auditor.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
By Carol Cole-Frowe
Trey Parsons wants to show, not just tell.
Parsons, of Oklahoma City’s Enersolve, along with his partners, decided to purchase a 1923 home in northwest Oklahoma City that usually would be considered an energy-efficiency disaster. Instead, they intend for it to be a teaching tool.
Parsons asserts that he can save 30 to 40 percent on energy on the older home just by using proven techniques along with some new technology.
First, they’ll take measurements so they will have benchmarks on just how energy inefficient the home is currently. Then they’ll seal up the crawl space, put in foam on the roof deck and isolate the attic, among other techniques.
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The windows are not original and are already double-paned, which saves energy and money.
To save that 30 to 40 percent in energy from its current situation, Parsons only expects to spend about $4,000.
“The foam is probably the majority of the cost,” he said.
But the cost could go higher, if money were no object.
“You can go out and spend $50,000 on heat and air, insulation and new windows,” he said. “But that’s a huge expense.”
Enersolve uses the house to prove a point and be able to show existing homeowners some of the possibilities that are out there.
Parsons, a certified RESNET (residential energy services network) inspector for new homes, said many of the techniques being used on new homes to achieve energy efficiency can be used to retrofit existing homes. Part of his job is to inspect new and existing homes working toward an Energy Star designation.
Every situation is different and every retrofit is different.
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“It all depends on the house, what the house is made out of, who lives in the house, the mechanical system and how that is functioning,” Parsons said.
For a retrofit on an existing home, Parsons does a three-hour diagnostic home energy audit on the home. He takes pictures to illustrate the problem and educates the homeowner. Then he gives them their options for upgrades and retrofits and helps them prioritize the items that will be the most effective for the least amount of money. Getting a complete report on an existing home costs about $300.
A less-expensive option is a visual home energy audit. For $75, Enersolve will provide a thorough property and mechanical system inspection.
For the homeowner, trying to coordinate the variety of contractors to make sure things are installed in the energy-efficient way is often the next challenge. When a homeowner doesn’t know where to turn, Enersolve can also help find qualified contractors and subcontractors.
“And if (homeowners) want us to help with that stuff,” Parsons said, “we’ll come in with our subcontractors.”
Oftentimes, homeowners trust a heat and air contractor to calculate the correct load. But just as often, they get too much or not enough of a system to efficiently heat and cool their home. Oversizing HVAC units can add moisture to their air and result in higher bills.
Parsons said homeowners should insist their contractor use the “Manual J” industry standard, calling it the only correct way to size a mechanical system for a home. It’s one of the biggest mistakes contractors or homeowners make.
“Heat and air guys learn how to do them in school, but then they don’t use them after they get out of school,” he said.
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The industry standard is 500-square-feet per ton, but that doesn’t take other items into account. Parsons said it’s not unusual for a home to get up to 1,300-square-feet per ton that has other efficiencies.
One house he inspected recently would have been overloaded with its heat and air system, but because it was sized properly, saved about $20,000 on the geothermal bill.
Oklahoma City hasn’t yet required that heat and air contractors use Manual J for each job or utilize all the tools that are out there for energy efficiency.
“We’re kind of in a gray area,” Parsons said about requirements for contractors to make homes the most energy-efficient. “San Francisco gets it. Austin gets it.”
Right now, the Energy Star program requires that its standards be 15 percent better than the 2006 International Energy Conservation Codes. It’s adjusted annually.
“They keep moving the bar up,” Parsons said.
And as there was the Cash for Clunkers incentive program, there are federal and state stimulus incentives to use more renewable energy.
He recommends checking the DSIREUSA.org database, a site where homeowners can check for a comprehensive list of state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Oklahoma legislators also passed PACE, or Property-Assessed Clean Energy, financing in 2009, which lets state counties create “County District Energy Authorities” that provide financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements.
“There’s all kinds of help that’s on its way,” Parsons said. —Carol Cole-Frowe
photo Trey Parsons and Jason Branson of Enersolve outside of the house they are renovating, 2208 N.W. 16th. photo/Marianne Pickens
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