2015 April Newsletter

HEADERLOGO4A message from David A. Wilson, executive director:

U.S. Senate to Boost Energy Efficiency

On March 13, 2015, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) renewed their push for a national energy efficiency strategy by introducing an updated version of the Portman-Shaheen Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC). The legislation has received widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans as well as industry leaders, energy-efficiency advocates and environmental stakeholders because it reduces pollution, saves consumers money and creates jobs.
The legislation addresses:

  • Building Efficiency
  • Industrial Efficiency
  • Federal Agency Efficiency

Under Building Efficiency the bill includes provisions for:

  • Building Energy Codes
  • Worker Training and Capacity Building
  • Energy Efficiency of School Buildings
  • Energy Efficiency of Federal Buildings
  • Energy Information for Commercial Buildings

Section 433 of the bill covers the recognition of the energy performance of homes in mortgage financing. This provision was included in the SAVE Act that was introduced in the last session of Congress. The section recognizes certified RESNET HERS Raters in calculating the energy savings to be considered in the mortgage loan. The section states, “in accordance with the Residential Energy Service Network’s Home Energy Rating System commonly known as ‘HERS’ by an individual certified by the Residential Energy Service Network.”

The legislation can be downloaded at Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act
“This bill has garnered such widespread support because of a simple fact – it is good for the economy and good for the environment,” Senator Portman said. “By establishing a national energy strategy, we can create jobs, save taxpayers billions, make manufacturers more competitive, and protect the environment. Our bill is the equivalent of taking 37 million homes off the grid, and I look forward to renewing our efforts to promote this commonsense legislation.”

“Energy efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way to address our energy challenges,” Shaheen said. “Our bipartisan bill will create jobs, save consumers billions, and drastically reduce pollution in a smart, effective and affordable way – that’s why it enjoys broad bipartisan support. A vote to pass our legislation is long overdue and I hope the overwhelming support behind this bill will help carry it through the Senate.”

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Al Franken (D-MN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

This information originated from RESNET, March 31, 2015


USGBC Utah Chapter Announces 2015 Green Homes Tour

The Utah Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council is excited to announce that Saturday, August 22, 2015 has been set for the 2015 Green Homes Tour. LIVE TEAM Leader Amir Haskic recently said “The tour will highlight sustainable practices in new construction and rehabilitation projects of multi-family and single homes throughout the greater Wasatch Front and Summit County.  Haskic went on further to say “I am excited with this being our 4th Green Homes Tour and we will expand to the north and south if we get enough homes and volunteers.”  At this time the LIVE team of volunteers planning the event are seeking homes for the tour. The Green Homes Tour application is available now as a pdf with the link above or online here: HOME APPLICATION.

Chapter Leadership
As a thriving 501(c)3 non profit organization and official Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, the Utah Chapter operates locally under the guidance of an all volunteer board of directors. The members of the board follow a charter that calls for annual Board Member elections. During the March Board meeting Board Chair Whitney Ward said “It’s election time now! I hope lots of individuals interested in serving on the board of directors will apply to serve and get their name on the ballot”.

Ward also expressed her appreciation for the outstanding support of hundreds of volunteer hours of business professionals and environmental enthusiasts that contribute thousands of hours each year to ensure that the chapter continues to thrive.  The Chapter’s Challenge Teams are: Live, Learn, Labor/Work, and Worship. Click here to learn more about the Challenge Teams.


Spring is Here!  Are You Ready?

6 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

With snowstorms battering the east coast and unrelenting cold weather across many parts of the country, spring seems a long way off. But it isn’t. Before you know it, the weather will be getting warmer, flowers will begin to bloom and the sound of birdsong will fill the air. And along with that comes the task of taking a look at how badly winter has ravaged your home, and what you can do about it.

1. Gutters
Check for loose or leaky gutters. Leaky gutters can lead to water accumulation in the basement, which could cause serious damage. Also make sure downspouts drain away from your home to prevent damage to your home’s foundation.

2. Windows, Doors and Decks
Winter weather can inflict major damage on wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Examine these areas around your home to see what might need repairing.

3. Roof
The roof is one area of your home that can experience a lot of wear and tear over the winter months. Check flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys, and inspect roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged.

4. Chimney
If your home has a chimney, examine the exterior for any potential damage. Also have the flue cleaned and inspected.

5. Exterior Water Taps
Severe temperatures can lead to outdoor water tap freeze damage. Check the taps by placing your thumb or finger over the opening; if the water flow stops completely, chances are that the pipe inside your home is damaged and may need to be replaced.

6. HVAC System
Winter can be tough on your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, which is why spring is a good time to have it cleaned and serviced. Many homes also have window-installed air conditioning units that will need to be serviced once spring comes around.

Contact your local certified RESNET Home Energy Professional before undertaking any major repairs or renovations to your home. As trained energy efficiency specialists, they can help you achieve energy efficient repairs in the most cost-effective way.
This content was originally published by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) here. This content has been republished with the permission of RESNET. RESNET is the independent, national nonprofit organization that homeowners trust to improve home energy efficiency and realize substantial savings on their utility bills. RESNET’s industry-leading standards are recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

  BPI 2

BPI Introduces New BPI.org for Consumers

Malta, NY, March 12, 2015 – The Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) is proud to introduce www.bpi.org for consumers, a new interactive website designed to educate homeowners on the value of home performance energy upgrades and the quality of contractors who have earned the BPI GoldStar credential.

“As a national non-profit organization, BPI has long worked behind the scenes, developing technical standards and professional credentials for the home performance and weatherization workforce,” said Larry Zarker, BPI CEO. “Many stakeholders in our network have called for us to be more visible to American homeowners and the public. Today BPI took another major step toward that goal, aiming for widespread consumer recognition of the BPI brand.”

The website builds upon BPI’s existing national consumer campaign that includes Google Adwords text and image ads to drive consumers to www.bpi.org. Last year’s average monthly page views of BPI’s homeowner page increased more than 150 percent over 2013 page views, and average visitors to our contractor zip code locator tool grew more than 90 percent during the same period. Additional consumer outreach includes partnerships with Hanley Wood media, AARP, Porch.com and other organizations, and a BPI presence at last year’s national STEM festival.

To go directly to BPI’s existing industry pro website, go to www.bpi.org/pros.aspx. You can also toggle easily between both websites by clicking on the yellow sunburst in the upper right hand corner.

The website www.bpi.org provides viewers with a bevy of resources to help them better understand the benefits of home performance upgrades:

  • An interactive home energy quiz tool. Viewers enter their street address and within one minute get an estimate of their own home’s energy saving potential
  • A zip code contractor locator tool, where viewers enter their zip code to find BPI GoldStar Contractors near them
  • An in-depth video showcasing homeowner perspectives on home performance upgrades
  • Case studies illustrating home performance success stories from around the country
  • Links to state-by-state resources on discounts, rebates and other incentives to help homeowners pay for energy upgrades
  • Educational articles and other multimedia from industry experts



About the Building Performance Institute
BPI is the nation’s premier building performance credentialing, quality assurance and standards setting organization. BPI develops technical standards using an open, transparent, consensus-based process built on sound building science. From these standards, we develop professional certifications for individuals, companywide credentials for BPI GoldStar Contractors, home energy rating systems and quality assurance services that help raise the bar in home performance contracting. BPI is approved by the American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) as an accredited developer of American National Standards and as a certifying body for personnel credentials.

For more information on BPI, visit www.bpi.org.

Building Performance Institute, Inc.
107 Hermes Road, Suite 210
Malta, NY 12020
Phone: (877) 274-1274
Fax: (866) 777-1274


Upcoming TEC Webinars:

Single Family Residential Air Leakage Testing

Date: April 15, 2015
Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Central time (2 p.m. Eastern time)

This session will cover the basics of air leakage testing on a single family home as well as issues that affect the accuracy and repeatability of the test. Participants will be eligible for BPI CEU’s. (TEC does not offer RESNET CEU’s at this time.)

 RESNET Energy Smart Builder

Are You an Energy Smart Builder?

RESNET Designates New Energy Smart Builders

An increasing number of builders are taking advantage of the marketing power of the RESNET HERS Index Score. Recently builders from South Carolina to Colorado have entered into Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with RESNET to commit to having their homes energy rated by a certified RESNET HERS Rater and marketing the HERS Index Score of their homes.
Congratulations to Utah’s current New Energy Smart Builders:

  • Daybreak Community/ Kennecott Land_Rio Tinto
  • Garbett Homes
  • High Performance Homes of Utah
  • SunRiver St. George

These and other RESNET Energy Smart Builders are committed to increasing the energy performance of the homes they build. HERS energy efficient homes are more affordable to maintain, more comfortable and have a higher value compared to regular homes. The efforts of these leading builders benefit consumers, the environment, the local economy and our national security.
In making the commitment these builders have been designated by RESNET as RESNET Energy Smart Builders. RESNET Energy Smart Builders are leading the transformation of the housing market towards high energy performance homes. These leading builders are committed to having all of their homes energy rated following RESNETs stringent standards and marketing the HERS Index of their homes.
The RESNET HERS Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The HERS or Home Energy Rating System was developed by RESNET and is the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance. Certified RESNET Home Energy Raters conduct inspections to verify a home’s energy performance and determine what improvements can be made to increase it. The use of the HERS Index differentiates homes built by RESNET EnergySmart Builders from other homes for sale in the market. Over 1.5 million homes have been rated on the HERS Index since 1995.
Benefits of Becoming a RESNET EnergySmart Builder?

  • Representation on the RESNET Board of Directors (RESNET Energy Smart Builders have three representatives on the RESNET Board. The representatives are elected by the RESNET Energy Smart Builder members.)
  • Representation at the national level to Congress on issues such as energy efficient home tax credits and code jurisdictions incorporating a HERS Index Score option in the building energy code.
  • Posting on the RESNET web site and the RESNET Home Energy Rating Index Score web sites. The RESNET web site has over 37,000 visitors a month.
  • Authorization of the RESNET Energy Smart Builder logo on its web site and other marketing material.

How to Become a RESNET Energy Smart Builder
To be designated by RESNET as an Energy Smart Builder, a builder enters into a Memorandum of Understanding with RESNET to have all of their homes energy rated and to market the homes’ HERS Index Score. There is a $200.00 processing fee to be designated as a RESNET Energy Smart Builder.
RESNET is interested in entering into similar agreements with other Utah builders.  Click on the online RESNET Energy Smart Builder Memorandum of Understanding to apply to be designated as a RESNET Energy Smart Builder.

Copyright © 2015 Utah Energy Conservation Coalition, All rights reserved.