Two Years Energy Usage Data

Two Years Energy Usage Data

Our house used very close to the energy predicted by the models when we designed it.  The above chart shows the energy usage in terms of intuitive quantities… We used about the same amount of electricity as if we left 5 100W lightbulbs on constantly, and we produced as much with our PV panels as 7 of those bulbs would use.  In an average month, we consumed about 1 and […]

Peak Carbon Emissions !?!

Peak Carbon Emissions !?!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the work that the Global Carbon Project is doing to help us understand the problem of carbon dioxide emissions.  It’s a heavily nuanced problem, without direct causality that is relatable to everyone.  That’s why there’s such disagreement on this issue — many people need to see it with their own eyes to believe something.  And that’s impossible to do to everyone’s satisfaction with this issue. Great […]

Our Electric Vehicle Decision

Our Electric Vehicle Decision

With so many variables, it’s hard to decide on an EV.  Here’s what we grappled with in our decision to (Spoiler Alert) lease a 2016 Nissan Leaf: 1.       Range anxiety (at 110 miles per charge, is that enough for our family?) 2.       Understanding federal and state incentives 3.       Degradation in battery life over time – how real is this? 4.       Drive-ability 5.       Room for 5 people comfortably? 6.       Newer models […]

Official Recognition of our Green-ness

Official Recognition of our Green-ness

The Build it Green rating system helped guide our remodel project from start to finish.  During the design phase, we went through the GreenPoint Rated scoring criteria one by one, selecting which credits we wanted to build into our project.  The checklist pointed out some ideas we never would have thought of on our own, and helped us cut through the universe of possibilities and focus in on areas that […]

Is Red Hot the New Black?

Is Red Hot the New Black?

Last week I attended the Climate Change Forum hosted by Congressman Alan Lowenthal at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Inspiring speakers presented research on weather and ocean trends and shared their thoughts on how California can be resilient as our environment continues to evolve. Dr. Jerry Schubel, President/CEO of the Aquarium pointed out that California has a wider range of climates and environments than any other state. That gives us […]

Shading Windows & Passive Solar Design-UPDATED

Shading Windows & Passive Solar Design-UPDATED

  Whether you think of it as common sense shading, or if you treat it as a scientific approach to energy efficient passive solar design, every new and remodeled home project should carefully consider these principles: Orient the house to the Sun, if possible.  Allow for exposure to the southern sky to heat the house in Winter.  Minimize direct solar gain to the East and West through tree plantings and […]

Extra Footage from KTLA-5 News

We were honored to host Gayle Anderson and her Channel 5 News truck at our house in June.  Gayle is a dynamo, working without a Producer, without a script, and switching seamlessly from talking to people in front of her to briefing the anchors in the studio on what’s coming next.  Her pink iPhone is all she needs to coordinate her broadcasts, and she and her cameraman edit the footage […]

What is that Giant Sucking Sound?

What is that Giant Sucking Sound?

We set out on this energy-efficient remodel to prove that it didn’t have to cause a giant sucking sound in your wallet.  To do it right, though, all energy-efficient remodels should conduct a blower door test of air-tightness, we’ve decided, after discovering its diagnostic power this week.  This was a literal giant sucking sound in our house as we neared completion. The blower door test pulls air through the house […]

Kudos to Energy Upgrade California

Kudos to Energy Upgrade California

It was a privilege to meet with the Energy Upgrade California program directors to talk about energy efficient remodeling this week.  These sharp young people are clearly passionate about their mission, and are doing more to encourage homeowners to incorporate energy efficiency into their projects than just about anyone.  They carved out part of their busy meeting to hear our experiences working with the Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade program, what’s […]

Photo Update

We’re making progress toward our target move-in date in March!  In this post are photos of the completed roofing, sliding doors, insulation, solar panels, and exterior foam and lath stages of the project.  Drywall is next!