residential energy efficiency

The November issue of National Geographic magazine is totally devoted to Climate Change. Please read the whole thing, but here is as small taste.

How Do We Fix It?

Germany Could Be a Model for How We’ll Get Power in the Future

The European nation’s energy revolution has made it a leader in replacing nukes and fossil fuels with wind and solar technology.

By Robert Kunzig
Photographs by Luca Locatelli
Published October 15, 2015

Hamburg knew the bombs were coming, and so the prisoners of war and forced laborers had just half a year to build the giant flak bunker. By July 1943 it was finished. A windowless cube of reinforced concrete, with seven-foot-thick walls and an even thicker roof, it towered like a medieval castle above a park near the Elbe River. The guns protruding from its four turrets would sweep Allied bombers from the sky, the Nazis promised, while tens of thousands of citizens sheltered safely behind its impenetrable walls.

Coming in at night from the North Sea just weeks after the bunker was finished, British bombers steered for the spire of St. Nikolai in the center of the city. They dropped clouds of metallic foil strips to throw off German radar and flak gunners. Targeting crowded residential neighborhoods, the bombers ignited an unquenchable firestorm that destroyed half of Hamburg and killed more than 34,000 people. Towering walls of fire created winds so strong that people were blown into the flames. Church bells clanged furiously.

The spire of St. Nikolai, which somehow survived, stands today as a mahnmal—a memorial reminding Germany of the hell brought by the Nazis. The flak bunker is another mahnmal. But now it has a new meaning: An urban development agency (IBA Hamburg) and the municipal utility (Hamburg Energie) have transformed it from a powerful reminder of Germany’s shameful past into a hopeful vision for the future.


Go there and read 1000 pages. More next week.


A self revelation here. I started this because I was bored. Well, I am ending it because I am bored. From here on I am going to blog about what is topical and interesting TO ME. I have done this blog for 8 years and I deserve this freedom. But first, Wisconsin.


The Wisconsin Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources provides services to Wisconsin qualified residential households with energy assistance and weatherization needs.  For more information call 1- 866-HEATWIS (432-8947).

The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) administers the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Public Benefits Energy Assistance Program. LIHEAP and its related services help approximately 230,000 Wisconsin households annually. In addition to regular heating and electric assistance, specialized services include:

  • Emergency fuel assistance,
  • Counseling for energy conservation and energy budgets,
  • Pro-active co payment plans,
  • Targeted outreach services,
  • Emergency furnace repair and replacement.

Services are provided locally through:

  • County social services offices,
  • Tribal governments,
  • Private non-profit or other government agencies.

For more information on WHEAP, call 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947).

To log in to the WHEAP System click here

To log in to the Home Energy Plus System click here


The Wisconsin Weatherization Assistance Program (WisWAP) uses
energy conservation techniques to reduce the cost of home energy.
Correcting health and safety hazards and potentially life-
threatening conditions is the first consideration in WAP activities.


To log in to the WisWAP System click here



Go there and read. More next week.


As I continue my mad cap romp over the internet search for “home energy services”, this website is the next one I like.

Power Your Home for Less!

Take control of your electricity bill. Go solar.

Direct Energy Solar

Your Sun. Your Power. Your Way.TM

People everywhere are discovering the quality of our custom system design, the ease of our premier process, the accuracy of our system performance, and the peace of mind of our worry-free guarantees.

Why are People Going Solar?

  • Financial Savings — your monthly bill will be less that your current bill.
  • Energy Independence — lock in your own electricity rates!
  • Home Value Increases — solar panels have been shown to increase value.
  • It’s Great for the Planet — reduce your carbon footprint!

Why choose Direct Energy Solar?

We’re Up On Your Roof First
Before we present you with a sales proposal, we come to your home, measure how much sunlight your roof receives and custom-design your system. We don’t guess by looking at your house online. Because we take accurate measurements before you meet with one of our solar consultants, you will know exactly what your system will produce, and we guarantee it. You will also receive accurate forecasts of your solar payback and ROI.

Our Installation Process is Worry-Free
We want to make the process of going solar easy for you. Our team of solar experts personally handles every detail throughout your entire experience to turn a complex process into one that’s smooth and carefree for you. Our professionals take care of everything, from precise measurements of your roof to post-installation paperwork for grants and rebates, and everything in between. Our installation process is fast and efficient, so you’ll be saving in no time.


Go there and read. More next week.


I know I made that up, but I have been wondering all over the place in terms of Topics for this Blog. So, I decided to just type in that phrase and let Yahoo and Google go to town. For the next couple of weeks at least I will publish the results. I like these folks disclaimer right up front.


Go there and fool around. More next week


Nico the Ninja told them to save energy and they do.

A Ninja’s Quest to Save Energy

Nico loves saving energy and natural resources and wants to share his knowledge with you! Join Nico and learn the best practices of saving energy.

dot dot dot Unfortunately the actual site is graphics heavy and I am no good at copying such things, but I am going to put up the Teacher Guide. I think you will get the idea. dot dot dot

The Kids’ Guide to Saving Energy is a useful resource to incorporate into your elementary classroom’s curriculum to help students understand the importance of saving energy. Have your students complete the guide during class or as an extra credit homework assignment. Discuss the guide in class and have your students present to the class ways they saved energy at home. Below are some suggestions on how to incorporate each page of the guide into your lesson plan:
Page 2:® created Nico as a fun way to teach students about energy. As your students connect with Nico, be sure to tell students to check out the other kids’ guides and continue to explore with Nico!
Page 3:
Ask students to volunteer to read aloud the reasons why conserving energy is important. Then, review the following discussion questions with your class.
1. Do you think saving energy is important?
1. What is energy conservation?
2. What is energy efficiency?
3. How do you think we can conserve energy in the classroom?
Page 4:
Have the students define renewable and nonrenewable energy. Then have the students place each renewable energy source under the proper category. If students are unfamiliar with certain energy sources, have them look up and define the words. Then, have your students brainstorm ways in which we can use renewable resources for energy and discuss the advantages of renewable energy.


I also love that Nico is half of Nicodemus. Go there and read. More next week.


Why is Elon Musk worshiped so? He blows a rocket landing and everyone says it “Was nicely played”. In the passed week or so, his companies have both launched a space capsule about a mile in the air and brought it back to the ground my parachute. This was done 50 years ago by NASA. And announce a new battery for the residential housing market which is anything but new. He is a carny shill if ever I saw one. I shall continue this rant over at myspace/dougnicodemus  if anyone is interested.

Will Tesla’s Battery for Homes Change the Energy Market?

Tesla did not reveal the price of its larger batteries for businesses and utilities, but it will sell residential models for $3,000—$3,500

May 4, 2015 |By Davide Castelvecchi and Nature magazine | Véalo en español

Tesla Motors, the electric-car maker based in Palo Alto, California, has announced that it will sell versions of its battery packs directly to consumers to help to power their homes, as well as to businesses that run larger facilities, and utility companies.

At a press conference in Los Angeles on April 30, the company’s charismatic founder Elon Musk said that the firm’s lithium-ion batteries would enable economies to move to low-carbon energy sources. Solar energy sources are erratic—but by storing their energy and then releasing it when required, batteries could solve that problem, he said.

Many other companies also sell stationary battery storage for buildings and for power grids—but analysts say that the technology is still too expensive for widespread use. Here, Nature explores whether Tesla’s announcement might change the game.


Please go there and read. More next week.


I saw this article on a couple of weeks ago and tried to post it. When I went back to Digg to get the article and I could not find it, so I put up an older example. But then I put into Google “recent energy efficiency in the residential market” and there it was. So here it is.


‘Water-house’ Slashes Energy Needs



As UN climate negotiators gather in Geneva this week, one Japan-inspired Hungarian inventor believes he has found a revolutionary and inexpensive way to construct buildings that could slash humanity’s energy needs.

And the magic ingredient for Matyas Gutai’s invention is simple: water. It was launched after a long process of testing and patenting and a decade of research and development at a Japanese university.

“Imagine a building without insulation, yet with a perfect indoor thermal balance, thanks to the properties of water,” the 34-year-old told AFP.


Public Art Generates Renewable Energy, Beautifully

Play Video
While fossil fuel energy represents the most common class of power generation, solar power just made a big leap forward, hitting 46 percent efficiency.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Go there and read. More next week.


We Americans created sprawl and with it a massive amount of energy consumption. Could this be one of the answers?

New York City’s first ‘micro apartments’ are coming this spring — here’s what they’ll look like

In 2013, a project called My Micro NY won a design competition for the New York’s first “micro apartments” sponsored by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Intended to create affordable housing for singles in New York City, those promised prefabricated affordable units are finally being assembled in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will be unveiled this spring in Manhattan’s Kips Bay, according to The New York Times.

The city’s first “micro” building will have 55 rental apartments, all ranging from 260- to 360-square-feet with big windows, ample storage space, and Juliet balconies.

Because the architects believed amenities are important to micro-unit dwellers, the building will also have a public meeting space, café, and common rooftop garden for residents, as well as a laundry room, residential storage space, a bike room, and fitness space.


Go there and read a little (chuckle). More next week.


This is the course I have set for the next few weeks, so bear with me,

The top five energy-saving tips for the bathroom!

Electric razors or toothbrushes, a long soak in a bubble bath and an on-demand water heater can all affect energy consumption in the bathroom. Read our energy-saving tips for the bathroom to find out how you can save energy without having to do without modern technology.

Energy-saving tips for the bathroom – tip #1: Save water

A dripping tap is not only a nuisance, – it also increases your water consumption. Up to 20 litres can disappear down the plughole unused over the course of a day. Getting it repaired promptly will pay off. You can save more water with this first one of our energy-saving tips for the bathroom: use only as much as water as you really need. Don’t leave the tap running while you are brushing your teeth and use the toilet’s low flush button.

Energy-saving tips for the bathroom – tip #2: Avoid battery-powered devices

From hairdryers and razors to electric toothbrushes, we consume power even in the bathroom. Avoid using battery-powered devices because they use up more electricity than mains-operated appliances. If you cannot do without battery-powered devices, make sure that you charge them properly. Remove the plug after charging, allow the battery to run down completely every now and again and dispose of it properly.

Energy-saving tips for the bathroom – tip #3: Ventilate and heat correctly

It does no harm to turn up the heating in your bathroom every now and again, as a warm bathroom reduces the risk of mold and mildew. When you shower, steam is created, which then forms condensation on walls and windows. If it is too cold in your bathroom, the moisture cannot evaporate and it soaks into the plaster and wallpaper, thus creating the ideal breeding ground for mould and mildew. Make sure when you ventilate your bathroom that the doors to less heated rooms are closed – otherwise the steam from your bathroom will condense on the walls of those rooms and bring their temperature down even further. Open all the windows and doors in your bathroom and turn the heating down. During winter months it is sufficient to ventilate intensively for three to four minutes. This is more efficient than leaving a window half open all day long.

Note: As with so many of these “Ways to save” topics there is so much on the web that you should probably do your own search. There are literally 1000s of articles laying around. This is just a place to get started if you need a reminder.


Go there read. More next week.


To be followed by the living room, the dining room and what the bedroom? I can think of many ways to save energy there.


August 5, 2012

There are a variety of ways to improve the energy efficiency of your kitchen, starting with the way you use your appliances to home sealing and replacing your light fixtures.

Floor Vents/Radiators

  • Ensure vent connections and registers are well sealed at floors, walls and ceilings, which are all common areas for disconnected ducts and leakage.
  • Make sure all floor vents and air registers are clear of furniture, allowing air to flow freely.
  • Install heat resistant reflectors between radiators and walls to reflect heat back into the room instead of onto walls.


  • Use the right sized pots with stove burners; for example, a 6? pot on an 8? burner wastes over 40% of the heat generated.
  • Cover pots and pans when cooking to keep heat in.
  • Learn more:
    • Save up to $36 annually on electric ranges or $18 on gas by simply using the right sized pots on burners.
    • Cook more efficiently and keep your kitchen cooler by covering pots and pans.
    • Keep gas range burners clean to ensure maximum efficiency.

Range Hood

  • Install ENERGY STAR certified range hoods to control moisture and remove cooking odors.
  • Learn more:
    • On average, ENERGY STAR certified ventilation fans use 60% less energy than standard models.
    • Save more than $60 in electricity costs over the life of a fan by replacing it with an ENERGY STAR certified one.
    • By using high performance motors and improved blade design, ENERGY STAR certified fans are quieter, perform better and are longer lasting than standard models.
    • Look for ENERGY STAR certified range hoods at home improvement and hardware stores, or ask for them from your HVAC or electrical contractor.



Go there and read a blast from the past. More next week.


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