PECI Blog

Where we ask our experts to share their insights into the energy industry, sustainability and life at PECI. Let us know what you think – we love a good conversation.

A little over two years ago, I wrote a blog post about what it means to be a building scientist in the energy efficiency industry; a couple of months later, I blogged about trying to...
Happy Earth Day!   It's a notable day for those of us who are committed to designing more sustainable buildings, not just because it is Earth Day. Today, in Seattle, the Bullitt Center is opening its doors, and it is being billed as the greenest commercial office building in the world.  ...
Back in July, the University of California, Berkeley, with the University of California, Los Angeles, released a report entitled “The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market.”  In it, the two primary researchers, Nils Kok of Cal Berkeley and Matthew E. Kahn of UCLA, set out to show that new homes given some sort of “green” label (indicating a higher degree of energy efficiency and / or sustainability than average) sell at a premium to homes that do not receive a similar label.  Their analysis proved...
If you are in any way associated with the energy efficiency industry, you've probably heard about the Green Button initiative.  In fact, if you work in EE, it would be surprising if you haven't heard of the Green Button initiative.  Launched in response to a White House call-to-action to make energy information more readily available to consumers, the press releases about utility and technology partners signing on to...
Fostering building science research and helping to drive energy efficiency innovations into our programs is part of my job at PECI, and it affords me the opportunity to work with many talented teams on several residential programs.  Utah Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, which wound down operations at the end of April, is one example of so many innovative things coming together to deliver results that we like to think of it as a paradigm for successful home...
Jambo!*  In my last post, I mentioned I was leaving to go to Africa.  I've been back from my trip and on American soil just a little over a month now, and I'm still catching up, but I wanted to share a few amazing things that I saw while I was overseas. Mt. Kilimanjaro.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience making it to the summit of Africa's highest peak.  Here's a view at dawn from one of our camps, at around 13,000 feet.  We woke up that morning to clear skies and frost on our tents. kilicamp.jpg Maasai Villages...
I think it goes without saying that we all deserve a vacation every now and then.  I don't get to travel as much as I'd like, but when I do, I try to make it count.  And so it is that I'll be going on "blog hiatus" for a few weeks while I make my very first trip to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. A trip like this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for sure, but it is not without environmental consequences.  I've calculated my carbon footprint a number of times, and without travel, it looks pretty good - almost...
Last week in Antarctica, researchers spotted a rare, nearly all-white leucistic Chinstrap penguin. Although not nearly as adorable as this penguin, I have to say that I feel a special kinship with him.   You see, I work in PECI's Engineering & Technical Services group, which affords me the opportunity to work with a lot of incredibly smart engineering and technical people... lots of fellow "numbers" people like myself...
Working in the energy efficiency industry means - much as it does in other industries - that I deal with a lot of acronyms on a daily basis.  One of my favorite subjects, in fact, is an acronym that is just starting to gain traction in the EE "lexicon": HEMS, which stands for Home Energy Management (and/or Monitoring) Systems.  If you saw my blog post on the 2011 DOE Solar Decathlon, you know I am pretty enthusiastic...
Sometimes I take it for granted that we get to live and work in one of the most sustainable cities in North America.  And then I find myself in Portland's "living room", Pioneer Courthouse Square, at dusk, and I see this glorious tree, and I'm reminded: Portland's holiday tree is covered in strings of LED holiday lights.  These lights are incredibly energy efficient, using in some cases...

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