Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Recharge America: Home Energy Tune Up

Here is a video with several items you can complete around your home, all these will help reduce the amount of energy you use. This is part of the Recharge America Program. For more information go to rechargeamerica.com

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Story of Stuff...

Here is a very interesting story about how we purchase items we don't need and how "happy" the American consumer is. You may or may not agree with the statements in this video, but I think at the end of the day there are several true statements. I think this current economic condition has a lot of people thinking, do we really need all this extra stuff...where is my money going...

(It's about 20 minutes long, it takes a few minutes to load.)

Leave a comment, let everyone know what you think.

FREE Energy Savers Booklet

I found a great FREE booklet from the US Dept of Energy. This booklet has some really good information. Saving energy in our homes is really becoming a hot topic. We have been busy using our thermal imaging camera helping several home owners identify areas in their home that can be sealed and insulated. If your interested in an Energy Audit or Thermal Scan please call me on my cell phone (541) 993-2410.

Here is the link for Energy Savers Web Site:

Here is the link for Energy Savers FREE Booklet:

Here is a link for FREE "No Cost and Low Cost Tips to Save Energy This Winter"

Free is always a good price!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Green Classes Comming Up

Columbia Gorge Community College is offering some classes that may be of interest. These are at the new Hood River Campus. I encourage you to attend these classes to learn more about the options we have to conserve energy.

  • 2/2 Residential Sustainable Development, Introduction
  • 2/9 Passive Solar Home Design Principles
  • 2/16 Alternative Building Methods
  • 2/23 Intro to Renewable Energy: Photovoltaic, Wind & Micro Hydro
  • 3/2 Solar Hot Water, Introduction
  • 3/9 Rainwater Catchment & Greywater Systems
  • 3/16 Solar Energy Discussion
  • 3/23 Commercial Scale Renewable Energy

Here is the link for the Columbia Gorge Community College class schedule for Winter 2009.

See you there!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oregon's FREE E-Cycle Program

Have you heard about Oregon's New FREE E-Cycle Program...

As of January 1, 2009 the State of Oregon has started a program to recycle unwanted computers, monitors, and TV's. This does not include speakers, keyboards, printers, scanners, or other electrical devices.

The local drop off sites are at The Dalles Disposal and Hood River Disposal.

This sounds to be a great program!!!

Here is the official link to the program for more information:

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How To Recycle CFL's Light Bulbs

Ok, so the new trend is to use the newer style CFL Bulb (Compact Florescent Light). Energy Star has a program called "Change a Light, Change the World", this encourages consumers to replace their older incandescents with CFL's. They claim if each home in the US changed just one bulb, it would save $600 million a year in energy cost. On average, about 20% of a home's energy bill is for lighting.

Well this is all good, but the downside is each of these CFL's contain about 4 milligrams of mercury. The EPA actually has a procedure for cleanup if the light gets broken.

So do we just throw these lights in the landfill when we are done with them?? No, they should be recycled. The easiest way to recycle these CFL's is to take them to your local Home Depot. Every Home Depot store in the US has a program to recycle these bulbs. Here is a information bulletin from Home Depot describing the program

Home Depot started this program in June of 2008. The bulb can't be broken or damaged and must be in a plastic bag. Good Job Home Depot for helping protect the environment!!

Premier Inspection's Home TuneUp Program

We offer a home tune up program that is much more in depth than the "Weatherization Program" audit offered by many local utilities. Our Home TuneUp program evaluates the entire home, all the appliances, the shading and direction of the house on the lot, type of construction, ect. With our program is also doesn't matter the source of heating a home; we can evaluate most any heat source (Oil, Wood, Natural Gas, Propane, Electric, even Corn) and offer recommendations. There are only three companies in the state of Oregon that Offer this program, and we are one of them.

The average home over 15 years old can save around 25% of their utility bill with some simple improvements. Often times there are a handful of items that can be completed that will have a payback in less than 1 year. One of the common items to replace is the windows, did you know that it can sometimes take more than 30 years to save enough energy to payback the cost of the windows?? With our program we can help with some basic cost estimates and show your return on investment through energy savings.

In addition to the Home TuneUp program we can also do a Thermal Scan of the home with our Infrared Camera. This will easily identify the areas of heat loss, missing insulation, and air intrusion.

The cost of a Home Tuneup is between $250 and $350, if you want to add the Thermal Scan it's an additional $100. With the combination of these program you will be on the way of saving energy and having a more comfortable home. As the experts say, "It's well worth the investment". The idea behind the program is to get the savings in energy to pay for the investment, even if you have to finance the improvements.

Check out hometuneup.com for more information. We will also be posting more information on thermal imaging in the near future.

Home Energy Audit: First Step to Lower Heating Cost

Northern Wasco Ruralite January 2009

If you heat with an electrical furnace or wall heaters and want to cut heating cost this winter, call the energy experts at Northern Wasco County PUD to schedule a free energy audit.

If you have an older home that is heated with electrical baseboard, wall, furnace or heat pump, then you may qualify for rebates through the PUD's weatherization program.

To qualify, customers must complete a weatherization program application and return it to their office before beginning any work.

Applications are also available online. Got to their website: www.nwasco.com and click on "Can I request an energy efficiency audit?"

Once they receive your application, one of their specialist will schedule an appointment to come to your home. They will check your insulation areas (attic, walls, floor, duct work), windows, water heater and heating equipment to see how you can save money and energy when heating and cooling your home.

At the end of your audit, they will recommend what work you need to do to bring your home up to today's insulation code.

Only existing spaces that are electrically heated are covered under the weatherization program and qualify for the free audit or rebates. Room additions, remodeling and new construction do not qualify.

Weatherization rebates are based on the recommended upgrades at the time of the energy audit.

Their energy specialist will provide recommendations based on what will provide your house with the highest energy savings. Fore example, an attic with R-11 insulation would lose more heat than a floor that is not insulated or single-pane windows.

For this reason, the program will not pay to simply replace the windows if the home also has major areas that are not up to the insulation code.

NWCPUD offers a rebate of $0.75 per square foot for insulation of attics, walls and floors for both site-built and manufactured homes. They will pay up to $400 for sealing and insulating duct work in an attic or crawlspace.

The PUD offers rebates of $5.00 per square foot for window replacements that are rated at .30 U values or lower. Rebates apply to primary windows only.

To see how you can qualify for a rebate on the home weatherization projects on your to-do list for 2009, contact PUD energy specialists Steve Holmes or Patrick Urain at 541-296-2226.