December 29, 2017

States Take the Lead in Climate Action

State governments are stepping into the policy void created by the U.S. government’s denial of science and reversal of environmental rules. The latest move comes from the State of Oregon with a sweeping new initiative to promote clean energy for buildings and vehicles.
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November 13, 2017

Don’t Repair, Replace! Bring Zero Energy Homes to Those Who Need them Most

At some point, homes can become too broken to fix. Instead of pumping public funds into lost causes, combine existing funding sources to provide new homes that are safe, healthy and dignified for a longer-term, smarter solution.
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November 13, 2017

Solving Energy Poverty: Energy Efficient Homes for Those Who Need Them Most

Efforts to address energy poverty in low-income families by helping to reduce their energy burden have been inadequate. It’s time to make these efforts more comprehensive and more effective.
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November 6, 2017

Builder Blends Zero Energy with Montana Style

Organic farming is his first love, but he also has a talent for energy-efficient home design and construction. When clients hire Bud Barta and his sons to build a top-quality home, they get advanced energy efficiency, too.
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October 19, 2017

Use Your Consumer Power to Lift the Zero Energy Homes Market

Builders say they will build what people want. Real estate professionals say they help people find the house that’s right for them. Overwhelmingly, home buyers say they want high-efficiency, healthy homes. So why is the market share of these homes so low? The obvious disconnect between the demand and the supply can only be corrected if consumers use their influence to move the market. Here’s how...
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October 18, 2017

The Case for Local Action on Climate Change

Some local community leaders claim that they have no power to address climate change. While it’s certainly a big topic to tackle, it’s clear that local efforts are essential to achieving global goals. In fact, many cities and counties are showing the way.
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September 27, 2017

From Disaster to Opportunity: Rebuild for the 21st Century

Natural disasters like the recent hurricanes of 2017 challenge us all. While natural disasters are intrinsically bad, they do present an opportunity to upgrade homes and buildings to a higher standard of performance – one that benefits the occupants, the community, and the planet as whole.
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September 24, 2017

Driving Electrification

A post-fossil fuel world means transforming all our energy uses to electricity. Is this even possible? Yes, and here are the first steps to making this a reality.
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September 23, 2017

National Association of Realtors Sustainability Survey Reveals Opportunities and Challenges

Consumers want complete information to make informed choices. A survey of real estate professionals from around the U.S. identifies key information that could help boost sales of zero energy homes.
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September 20, 2017

Wall Sensor Measures Moisture in a Double-stud Wall

Thick walls hold lots of insulation, but there’s a nagging question about condensation in these cavities. I actually measured the moisture in a 10-inch, double-stud wall in my home in Central Oregon. Here’s what I found.
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