May 19, 2020

How to Buy Carbon Offsets 

With only a few years left to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must move rapidly toward a zero carbon society. Direct action is essential, but can’t happen fast enough. Carbon credits must play an important role in the transition.

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March 18, 2020

The Mystery of Misapplied Mini-Splits

If you’ve ever heard that a mini-split heat pump wasn’t fulfilling its potential there is no mystery — the problem was almost certainly errors in design or installation. Here’s everything that needs to happen for a proper installation and reliable performance.

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March 18, 2020

Production Builders, It’s Time to Sell Zero Energy Homes 

Zero energy homes are poised to go mainstream. Large builders have the scale necessary to launch the market into this new territory. Homebuyers save and builders profit.

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March 14, 2020

Make Hot Water the Modern Energy Efficient Way

Heat pump water heaters have been available for several years and are gradually gaining acceptance in new construction as well as in the replacement market. Here is guidance for the best application of this technology with an emphasis on colder climates.

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February 14, 2020

What Good is Zero if You Keep it a Secret?

Zero energy homes have many benefits, and builders need to get better about sharing them with potential homebuyers. How can we expect buyers to choose zero if they don’t have a good answer to the essential question: Why? Here are several ways to answer that question.

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January 22, 2020

Achieve Comfort and Reliable Performance with Cold-Climate Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are on track to replace heating systems that burn fossil fuels. Modern inverter-driven models can be extremely efficient, even at low outdoor temperatures, and they are capable of supplying all a home’s comfort needs. Here are three tips for builders and HVAC contractors to reach peak heat pump performance and keep customers happy.

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January 16, 2020

The Challenges and Opportunities of Exterior Air Sealing

Good news! You can choose from more methods than ever before to reach the high levels of air tightness needed for zero energy construction. Many builders find it less expensive to seal the exterior structural sheathing. Here are six effective methods to consider.

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November 18, 2019

2020: The Year to Go Zero

Time has run out. A climate crisis is upon us. Only immediate and dramatic action can blunt the catastrophic consequences of a “hot house earth” scenario. There are a variety of actions that almost that every citizen of Planet Earth can take. Together we can make a real difference!

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November 14, 2019

Planning Your Zero Energy Ready Home

Although the price of solar panels has plunged in recent years, they are still the most expensive element of a zero energy home. It’s okay to defer installing panels until the time is right. Here’s how to plan your zero energy ready home so it’s ready for solar when you are.

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October 17, 2019

Risky Choices When Buying a Home: It’s no Game

People don’t always make rational choices. Why would a home buyer purchase a conventional home that is actually more expensive overall than a high-performance home? It’s all about how people assess risk. Erase40 provides a tool to help homebuyers make better decisions.

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September 9, 2019

LEED v4.1 Goes Zero

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced an update to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the most widely used green building program in the world. What’s new with LEED version 4.1? Net zero certifications for carbon, energy, water and waste. With these certifications and and its upgraded recertification program, LEED is truly a leader in encouraging climate-friendly green buildings.

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July 14, 2019

Zero Energy: the Ultimate in Green Building

Energy efficiency is at the core of all green building certification programs. It’s time to ratchet up these modest improvements to make homes as green as they can be by operating them entirely with clean energy.

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