Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Business Opportunities for Home Energy Raters

New Business Opportunities to be Available Soon for RESNET Rater
 and Energy Smart Contractor Members
*click picture for link to RESNET

RESNET will be soon presenting its Rater and Energy Smart Contractor members with an exciting opportunity to sign up for a first of its kind suite of online lead prospecting tools.  The goal to assist RESNET rater and contractor members generate new business opportunities through cost-effective and high return-on-investment lead prospect generation.

This first of its kind suite of tools is expected to be launched to all RESNET rater and contractor members by the end of this July.  All raters and contractor members will be able to take advantage of the program which will allow them to generate significant new leads through a web and mobile application accessible through the RESNET web portal.  The system also takes the guess work out of identifying the complete universe of utility company, municipality, federal / state stimulus programs, tax incentives and retail rebates by matching the zip code level requirements of the specific rebate and incentive

This opportunity is being made available through an agreement between RESNET and GreenOhm.  GreenOhm has developed lead and incentive finder tools for such organizations such as Masco's Healthy Homes, Johnson Controls, York and Bosch.  Through the agreement with RESNET GreenOhm will tailor its system for RESNET members.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Development that could effect energy-efficient home appraisals

The Appraisal Foundation and the US Department of Energy to Collaborate on Issues Relating to Green Building Valuation
June 13, 2011

Paula Douglas Seidel
Executive Administrator
The Appraisal Foundation
direct phone 202.624.3048

Washington, DC — The Appraisal Foundation, the Congressionally authorized source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications in the United States, is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, to collaborate on a series of activities focusing on energy efficiencies and the valuation of green buildings.

The Appraisal Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 1987, is dedicated to the advancement of professional valuation and serves as the parent organization for three independent Boards: the Appraisal Practices Board (APB), the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB), and the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB). 

A principal component of the MOU is that the generally accepted standards of the appraisal profession, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), are applicable to green valuations.

Collaborative activities between The Appraisal Foundation and the Department of Energy will include:

·       Engaging the appraisal community on energy efficiency and green valuations.

·       Development of additional guidance from all three of the Foundation’s independent Boards relating to applicability of the existing standards to the valuation of green buildings. This guidance could take on a number of forms such as USPAP Frequently Asked Questions or Advisory Opinions from the ASB, and voluntary guidance from the APB on recognized valuation methods and techniques.

·       Development of one or more databases, through the Department of Energy, to provide data on energy performance for specific building types and upgrades, to the valuation arena. Data of this type has historically been sparse and/or difficult to collect, whereas this new initiative is intended to be of great assistance to the valuation community.

·       Development of educational course curriculum, through the Department of Energy and based on the guidance of the Foundation’s APB, relating to energy performance and sustainability in commercial buildings.

The importance of energy efficiency is gaining traction throughout the marketplace. On June 13, the issue was raised with President Barack Obama as part of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness meeting and is a component of his Better Buildings Initiative.                                                                                                                 

Examples of the importance of education on energy efficiency and green valuations in the appraisal community include:

·      Energy efficient items result in lower operating costs for commercial properties, thereby increasing the net income potential for the property.  Since income potential is the primary factor considered by investors when buying commercial properties, this translates into a higher value potential for the property.

·      Some municipalities and local jurisdictions are starting to require a certain level of energy efficiency for their commercial properties.  Because many existing buildings do not meet the new standards, investors are likely to place a premium on those properties that do comply, thereby resulting in higher values for properties of these types.

·      The increasing costs related to energy consumption make less efficient properties less desirable to many potential buyers, including owner occupants.  Because the appraiser’s job is to “mirror the marketplace,” any premiums placed on properties due to their energy efficiency should be recognized by appraisers when providing opinions of value.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Energy Efficiency Creates Jobs, See Where North Carolina Ranks

Written byRachel Gold | 5/31/2011
Borrowed from Green Builder Media

 Since the 1980s, energy efficiency appliance standards have been saving consumers money and creating jobs throughout the United States. These standards translate into savings when new, energy-efficient equipment is purchased, reducing utility bills for consumers and businesses. This in turn creates a net increase in jobs and wages due to the fact that as consumers and businesses shift spending away from energy utilities—an industry sector with relatively few jobs per dollar of revenue—they are more likely to spend money on improvements and services, sectors that are more job-intensive.
Meanwhile these standards protect the environment by reducing not only the need for new power plants, but overall power plant emissions as well.
Due to their track record of success, federal energy efficiency standards have been enacted with bipartisan support in 1987, 1988, 1992, 2005, and 2007. The standards prohibit the production and import of energy-consuming products less efficient than the minimum requirements, keeping low-quality appliances—whose competitive sticker prices conceal their high operating costs—out of the marketplace, while still providing consumers with a broad array of product sizes and features.
Standards, however, need periodic updates in stringency to keep pace with evolving technological capabilities, and new products may require additional federal standards as technologies advance. Absent congressional updates, existing standards mandate that federal appliance standards be periodically revised in Department of Energy rulemakings. Therefore, we estimated savings for those standards, already in law, which the Department of Energy will issue and complete by 2013. We also looked at new consensus standards for HVAC systems, many standards currently covering home appliances, and some previously overlooked areas that are a part of pending legislation, the Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreements Act of 2011.

A report ACEEE released in January found that standards already in place created about 340,000 jobs across the nation in 2010. This number includes jobs that standards created in earlier years and were maintained in 2010. Current and future standards will create about 380,000 jobs by the year 2030, an increase of 40,000 jobs relative to 2010. See the map here:

Net Jobs from Appliance and Equipment Standards in 2010 by State

As shown in the map, appliance standards added jobs to each state and the District of Columbia in 2010, with the number of jobs roughly correlating with population for most states. Data on energy consumption, prices, employment, and energy expenditures was used to apportion our national energy, energy bill, and jobs estimates to each state.

While previous standards have yielded savings and created jobs, we shouldn’t rest on our laurels just yet. INCAAA 2011, introduced by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), would codify appliance standards already agreed upon by the appliance manufacturing community, efficiency advocates, states, and consumer groups. It contains improved standards for HVAC systems, including furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners, which take advantage of the latest technologies and efficiency potential. It also would improve standards for many currently covered home appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, dryers, and dishwashers, to maximize cost-effective efficiency savings. In addition, it would create standards for some previously overlooked areas, including inefficient types of outdoor lighting.

The potential savings created by these standards could be tremendous. ACEEE estimates that INCAAA would, by 2030, save the United States about 850 trillion Btus of energy each year, which is roughly the energy use of 4.6 million homes. That’s more energy than was used by the entire state of Connecticut or West Virginia in 2008. According to these estimates, the net economic savings to consumers would be $43 billion through 2030. And as we’ve discovered, these savings are likely to save consumers even more money and create more jobs, all while reducing emissions and the need to create more power plants.
Appliance standards have an almost 30-year history of success and bipartisan support, and INCAAA presents an opportunity for Congress to leverage this impressive track record. Passing this legislation would achieve real savings for taxpayers while increasing business competitiveness—a winning combination in today’s economy.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Another Builder Moves to the adoption of the HERS score

 Ryland Homes has committed to having all of their homes energy rated and marketing the HERS Index of the homes they build.

Ryland Homes and RESNET have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together in promoting improved home energy performance and home energy ratings of new homes.

The intent of the MOU is to raise consumers knowledge of new home energy performance by using RESNET's HERS Index. This will clearly differentiate homes built by Ryland Homes and put competitive pressure on the new home industry market to follow suit. It is expected that this agreement will serve as a model to other local and regional builders that would have positive outcomes for consumers, RESNET and the new home industry.

With the agreement Ryland Homes commits to having the homes it builds energy rated by RESNET certified Home Energy Raters and it will provide a label on every new home built that contains the HERS Index score of the home and advertise the home's index rating. 

Ryland Homes is the nation's ninth largest homebuilder. It has communities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Texas.
Info borrowed from the RESNET news letter.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back from the first leg of the NCEEA "Road Show"

We are back in our office at the North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance.  Last week we were in Goldsboro, and Morehead City, NC giving a "what's the deal with ENERGY STAR" presentation to two of North Carolina's HBA's.  They both were a success, and we presented to a packed house at both events.  Thanks you to those HBA's and their members for allowing us to present at your meetings. 

Below are a few pictures I managed to snap during the event.  Next week we will wrap up the road show with stops in New Bern, Smithfield and Jacksonville.  For more information visit our Calander.

The Crowd in Morehead City