Residential Asphalt Shingle Roof Mounted Solar System
6.4 kW DC PV solar system installed on a residential building in South Burlington, Vermont in Febeuary of 2018.
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.
6.4 kW DC PV solar system installed on a residential building in South Burlington, Vermont in Febeuary of 2018.
Going solar is still a good investment even with the newly imposed solar tariff.
Our 10 Compelling Reasons to Go Solar are still as valid today as they were before President Trump imposed a new tariff on imported solar panels!
Even with the new U.S.tariff on imports of solar panels, now is still a great time for consumers to go solar.
The price increase on imported panels will only affect a fraction of the total cost for home installations. The bulk of the expense will not change, plus taxpayers can continue to claim a 30% federal tax credit on the cost of solar installation. (The credit will decrease to 26% in 2020 and to 21% in 2021 before being phased out completely in 2022)
Thanks to some planning on our part, we have a stockpile of panels that we purchased in advance of the tariff that allows us to keep our pricing low… but only until those panels are gone.
Act now to take advantage of today’s pre-tariff pricing on solar panels! Supplies are limited. Contact us today to learn more.
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With the arrival of below zero temperatures in our area, homeowners are asking what they can do to make sure they are getting the most from their heat pumps to keep their homes warm.
Even cold air contains some heat and with Mitsubishi’s renewable heat pump technology, this heat can be captured even when temps fall well below ZERO. For homeowners who have made aggressive energy improvements to their homes and installed heat pumps in locations intended to cover the whole home’s heating needs, your heat pump can keep working to keep you cozy warm.
As these extremely cold temperatures are forecasted to remain in our area for about another week, we wanted to take this time to remind you of a few tips to get you through this cold snap. Please keep in mind these tips are intended for people operating a zero energy home without supplemental heating options. If you have a supplemental heat source, you may want to use that.
Start with an Energy Audit to learn how you can improve the comfort of your home with air sealing, insulation and ventilation. CONTACT US to learn more.
The cost of spray foam insulation can sound daunting to many homeowners especially when compared to cheaper alternatives like Fiberglass Insulation. While fiberglass can be significantly cheaper is also way less effective and not as energy efficient especially in the extremely cold conditions that are common to Vermont winters.
Here is our list of the 7 Main Benefits of Closed Cell Spray Foam:
Closed cell spray foam works better than any other options because of its expansive nature that allows it to tightly seal all nooks and crannies effectively. It has an R value per inch of 7, the highest on the market.
Because closed cell spray foam covers nooks and crannies effectively, it provides an excellent air barrier and is extremely energy efficient. Closed cell spray foam has been shown to provide energy savings at an average of up to 50% or more.
Closed cell spray foam insulation is uniquely capable of thoroughly sealing holes & cracks in your attic or crawl space. Air leaks are one of the biggest culprits of high energy bills. Spray foam insulation creates a powerful airtight seal that is 24 times less permeable to air infiltration than other types of insulation.
Holes & cracks in walls and crawl spaces can allow entrance to more than just air. Water and moisture can gain access to these areas through exposed cracks and holes if not sealed. Spray foam insulation is impermeable to water. Meaning, not only does it thoroughly seal and protect from airborne moisture and leaks but it will not absorb the water like other materials if flooding was to occur.
Spray foam is not only water-resistant but it is composed of an inert polymer that provides no source of food for mold or bacteria. Homes insulated with closed cell are better protected against mold and mildew.
Spray foam is comprised of inert polymer which allows it to have an indefinite lifespan. The benefits of spray foam can be enjoyed for years before needing to reinsulate. It performs at optimal levels for extended periods of time.
Spray foam helps reduce energy consumption thus creating a ‘greener’ household. It protects against moisture and mold growth and it is designed to last indefinitely producing fewer consumed materials.
Recently we posted 10 Compelling Reasons to Go Solar. For a limited time, we are giving you an 11th reason to make the switch to solar energy…
All solar energy contracts signed now through the end of January 2018 will receive an automatic $1,000 Discount!
ACT NOW to take advantage of this limited time offer and help us keep our solar installation crews busy through the winter.
Offer Expires 01/31/2018
Head to our solar energy services page to learn how you can go solar!
Call or email today to get started!
Deciding whether or not to go solar is a major life decision with significant upfront cost that requires careful consideration. Energy from the sun can power your home while reducing or eliminating your electric bill, fuel your electric car and even help to create a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone. But wait… there’s more… lots more!
Here are 10 compelling reasons to go solar today:
1. Protect the environment
Have you been wondering what it is you can do to help save the planet? Reduce your reliance on fossil fuels by harnessing the power of the sun! It’s a clean source of energy that doesn’t produce greenhouse gasses or other harmful emissions.
2. Save Money
While the initial investment to go solar may be large, in the long run using solar power will help save money. Solar will drastically reduce or eliminate your electricity bills. Harness the power of the sun to generate free power during your system’s 25 plus year lifespan. Even if you don’t generate 100% of the energy you consume, you will still drastically reduce your bills and save a lot of money.
3. Earn a great return on an investment
Don’t look at solar as an expense, but rather one of the best ways you can invest with returns rivaling those of more traditional investments like stocks and bonds. Take advantage of the Federal Tax Credit to greatly reduce your initial investment.
4. Increase your property value
New studies have shown that homes equipped with solar energy systems have higher property values and sell quicker than non-solar homes. Appraisers are increasingly beginning to take solar installations into consideration when placing values on homes, and as homebuyers become more educated about solar, the demand for properties equipped with solar will continue to grow.
5. Protect against rising energy costs
One of the most clear-cut benefits of investing in solar now is the ability to hedge utility prices. You can fix your utility rate and protect against unpredictable increases in electricity costs. You will no longer be at the mercy of your utility providers. They can raise energy costs all they want but you won’t be affected because you are generating your own power.
6. Help Boost US energy independence
The sun is a nearly infinite source of energy and a key component of achieving energy independence in the United States. By increasing our capacity to generate electricity from the power of the sun, we also insulate our country from unpredictable price fluctuations in global markets that are notoriously unstable.
7. Create jobs and help your local economy
The Solar Foundation sites Vermont as a national leader in the solar industry, ranking third for the number of solar jobs per capita. According to the 2016 Solar Job Census, 1 out of every 50 new jobs added in the United States was created by the solar industry, representing 2% of all new jobs. This growth is expected to continue.
8. Solar energy can be used anytime of the day
There is a myth that solar power can only be used when the sun is up and shining. Since the majority of homes with solar power are connected to the grid, you do not risk a power outage at night or on a cloudy rainy day. Through the process of net-metering the excess solar energy you generate that is not used to power your home is sent to the grid and you receive credits to use when the sun is down and your panels are not generating power.
9. Demonstrate your commitment to Sustainability
If you own a business, you know that sustainability and corporate responsibility are important components of an organization’s culture and values. They also produce bottom-line results. Consumers are increasingly aware of a company’s commitment to the environment and typically reward businesses that choose to operate responsibly. ‘Green’ credentials are a powerful driver of consumer’s purchasing decisions.
10. Solar Energy is the Future
Going solar now puts you ahead of the curve. Deciding whether or not to go solar is a big decision that requires careful consideration but the benefits you’ll reap are undeniable. Go solar today and be a part of the solution.
Spray foam insulation is developed from 2 types of composite material, polyurethane and isocyanate. When combined, the 2 materials chemically react to expand and harden. During the insulation process, the 2 materials are sprayed at the same time from the tip of a spray foam gun allowing them to expand and form a protective layer of spray foam insulation over a designated area. Spray foam is widely promoted as a green building material for its ability to improve energy efficiency. It insulates better than fiberglass or cellulose leading to major heating and cooling cost savings for a homeowner.
There are 2 types of spray foam insulation – open cell and closed cell. Open cell is less expensive in general but it has a lower R value per inch (3.6 compared to 7) so a thicker layer is often required. It is permeable to moisture and impermeable to air and has an effective sound dampening effect. The closed cell provides a higher R value per inch and adds structural strength to wall, ceiling and roof assembly. It stops both air and moisture.While all spray foams contain petroleum-based chemicals, some manufacturers have ‘greened’ their formula by reducing the percentage of petroleum-based chemicals in their polyol resin component and replaced that with
While all spray foams contain petroleum-based chemicals, some manufacturers have ‘greened’ their formula by reducing the percentage of petroleum-based chemicals in their polyol resin component and replaced that with resin derived from soy oil or castor oil. These are known as soy-based foams.
Building Energy has been using a non-toxic soy based foam for almost a decade. This is a safe, environmentally friendly foam with the highest R values and quality. HEATLOK SOY®, a closed cell Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation, has a unique ecological benefit that recycles plastic waste into a Rigid Spray Polyurethane Foam. This helps to more efficiently utilize the world’s nonrenewable resources. HEATLOK SOY® can reduce excess waste and energy consumption in buildings by up to 50%. This is an excellent closed-cell spray foam insulation/air-barrier used in areas where relative humidity levels exceed 55%.
For more informative information on insulation be sure to head to the Building Energy’s Weatherization-Insulation blog. Building Energy provides a full range of energy services to help make your home or business more energy efficient. Start with a Home Energy Audit to determine if Air Sealing, Spray Foam and/or Cellulose insulation is right for you and take advantage of the many incentives Efficiency Vermont has to offer. Head to Building Energy weatherization and insulation services page for more information!
For the first half of 2017, solar panel prices were steadily declining but now prices have been increasing (by as much as 20 percent, in some cases) due to fears of a looming tariff.
“[The] Downstairs bedroom is cold, family room above garage is hot in summer.”
“Reduce ice buildup in the back of the house above kitchen. Lower energy costs. Reduce summer heat cost in family room.”
Blower Door Test Before Work
Blower Door Test After work
% Reduction in Air Leakage
Blower Door Change
Heat Energy Savings
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|