Energy News, Information & Case Studies

The Building Energy blog is your source for energy news in Vermont. Read through a collection of energy articles on a variety of topics such as energy efficiency, solar power, weatherization, insulation, heat pumps and construction. With over thirty-five years of experience in the energy industry, Building Energy is your source for energy news, facts and information.

The Rigg’s (Residential Insulation Case Study)

Homeowner’s complaints

“[The] Downstairs bedroom is cold, family room above garage is hot in summer.”

Homeowner’s goals

“Reduce ice buildup in the back of the house above kitchen. Lower energy costs. Reduce summer heat cost in family room.”

Primary Issues:

  1. Ice Jambs on the north side of the house are being caused by insulation and air barrier gaps on the sloped ceiling, kitchen soffit and dormer walls.
  2.  The house has a high air infiltration rate due to the inadequate air barriers in family room attic.
  3. The main attic fiberglass insulation should be replaced so that the entire flat attic plane can be air sealed. This would be relatively easy to do when the home is being reroofed.

Reinsulation & Air Sealing

Insulation:

  • In the attic on both sides of the storage area and the floor above the master bath: air seal with spray foam and/or dense pack cellulose contained by stapled netting.
  • Above the kitchen soffit, from the side of the dormer wall and slant rafter cavity: spray the side wall with 3” of foam and cap the corner. Inject cellulose into the rafter bay between the dormer wall and family room to 16” deep loose fill.
  • Family room flat attic: remove poorly placed fiber glass insulation and air seal. Inject 16” of loose fill cellulose over the attic flat.
  • Kitchen Soffit: spray foam 7” into rafter bays from eave to the dormer wall and all along the top of the wall above the soffit. Also add cellulose insulation in Kitchen soffit.
  • Clear story: spray foam 5.5” of spray foam on all four sides.

Results

Blower Door Test Before Work

Blower Door Test After work

 % Reduction in Air Leakage

Blower Door Change

Heat Energy Savings

3391 2698 20.4% 693 11.02%

 

Reduction Statistics

Blower Door Decrease/ $

Heat Energy Savings/ $

 Incentives received from Efficiency Vermont

Incentive $/ Contract $

0.21/ $1 0.32896% / $1  $ 1,040.75 0.31/  $1

Related Images

Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchen Infrared Image

Kitchen Infrared Image

Attic Insulation Infrared Image

Attic Insulation Infrared Image

Williston Passive Solar Home Case Study


A Vision for New Construction

The Williston Passive Solar Home was constructed by Building Energy for a family desiring a highly efficient home. It received a 5+ Star Rating from ENERGY STAR and was the most efficient home in Vermont that has been rated. It is a 3000 square foot home, complete with highly efficient insulation, energy recovery ventilation, ENERGY STAR appliances propane fired boiler, indirect hot water heater, and energy efficient lighting. The passive solar design incorporate overhang to shield the home from the sun in the summer. It’s energy rating is 90.8.


Related Images

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studyphoto-FH000021
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Darrel Duffy – Wood boiler installation Monkton Case Study


Client
Darrel Duffy

Structure
Ranch style house

Wood Boiler
“We installed our Tarm Solo Plus 40 back at the beginning of January and since then we have loved staying warm.”

Before
“Prior to January 5th we heated our 2800 sq ft ranch with propane and had to keep the heat at 62 degrees during the day and 59 at night just to keep it affordable.”

After
“We now keep our heat at 66 to 68 during the day not because of cost but that is all the heat we can take, and 62 to 64 at night.  We even enjoy leaving a window open here and there just to get the fresh air and haven’t noticed that much of a change in wood usage.”

Update
“It is the end of April and I have made it from January 5th to now and only used 5% of our propane tank.”

Related Images

Efficiency Electric Heating with Air Source Heat Pumps Case Study


Heat Pump Installation Saves $1,200 Annually in Waltham

Watch the video below to learn how Building Energy helped the Melnick’s in Waltham, Vermont save BIG ($1,200 annually to be exact). The Melnick’s realized that a heat pump was a good option for them after they had and energy audit done by one of Building Energy’s BPI certified building analysts. Once our expert team reduced their home’s heating load with insulation and weatherization they had a heat pump installed during the summer of 2013 and have been enjoying the comfort and savings of this great technology since!

Become energy independent when you combine a Cold Climate Heat Pump with Solar

Watch this WCAX news report from January 2016 to learn how Building Energy helped a South Burlington, Vermont family become more energy independent with the installation of a Cold Climate Heat Pump.

http://www.wcax.com/story/31025242/vermonters-become-energy-independent-with-new-home-heating-system

Bill Moller – Residential Solar PV Case Study


Residential Client
Bill Moller

Location
Hinesburg, VT

Structure
A two-story house

Installation Date
July 2011

System Details
System Type: Utility Interactive Photovoltaic System without Batteries

Rated Capacity: 8.64 kilowatts

Modules: (36) SolarWorld SW240, 25-year power warranty

Inverter: SMA SB8000US, 8000-Watt Grid-tie inverter, 96% efficient

Racking: Unirac SolarMount with Ecofasten Flashing Plates


Predicted Savings
Expect to generate nearly 10,000 kilowatt-hours annually ($2,000 under SolarGMP)

Related Images

Solar PV Array, 8.64kW

Solar PV Array, 8.64kW

Solar Disconnect & Revenue Meter

Solar Disconnect & Revenue Meter

Solar Inverter, SMA SB8000US

Solar Inverter, SMA SB8000US

Roof Attachment witih Shingle Flashing Plate

Roof Attachment witih Shingle Flashing Plate

Leunigs Bistro – Commercial Solar PV Case Study


Client
Leunigs Bistro

Location
Burlington

Structure
A four-Story historic building in Downtown District

Installation Date
December 2010

System Details
System Type: Utility Interactive PV System without Batteries

Rated Capacity: 26.4 kilowatts

Modules: (120) Sanyo HIT220, 20-year warranty

Inverters: (4) SMA SB7000US, 7000-Watt Each, Grid-tie Inverters

Racking on North Roof: Low-Profile Rack with Tilt Legs

Racking on South Roof: Flush-mount Rack with 12″ Stand-off Posts


Predicted Savings
Designed to produce 28,000 kilowatt-hours annually.

Challenges

Our firm was contracted to design and install a solar photovoltaic system on the roof of this popular downtown restaurant.

The roof system needed significant structural improvements just to meet current building codes.


Our Approach

We assembled a team of engineers, designers and installers and we were able to put forth a plan that met or exceeded all applicable building codes and operated within the owner’s budget. The installation was completed on time.


Related Images

Installing Modules

Installing Modules

Installing new steel rafters to meet existing building codes

Installing new steel rafters to meet existing building codes

Navigating the decorations on Church Street in a 40-foot lift

Navigating the decorations on Church Street in a 40-foot lift

Solar Modules on North Roof

Solar Modules on North Roof

Solar Modules on South Roof

Solar Modules on South Roof

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