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What We Learned from the New National Association of Realtors Sustainability Report

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For the second year in a row, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) released their sustainability report, which is filled with useful insights for those of us working at the nexus of energy efficiency and real estate. While the report show that energy efficiency is valued in listings, it is also clear that significant work is needed to ensure energy efficiency features are visible and understood during real estate transactions. Those who work on energy efficiency programs are in a unique position to ensure Realtors have the tools and education so efficiency measures are evident at the time of sale. What are the report’s key findings? MLS Green Data Fields are Under-Utilized Green data fields are a useful tool that enable Realtors…

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Secrets to Successful Home Performance Contracting with an ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year

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What does it take to run and grow a successful home performance contracting business? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more qualified to answer this question than Michael Helwig from DNR Construction, winners of a 2019 ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year award and longtime Illinois Home Performance rock stars. Each year, the Contractor of the Year award is given to Home Performance with ENERGY STAR participating contractors that exhibit outstanding professionalism, build strong customer relationships, and apply building science solutions to improve homes. In 2018 alone, DNR helped more than 900 homeowners across northern Illinois improve the comfort, safety and value of their homes through the IHP program. A lightly edited transcript…

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DOE Proposes Rollback of Lighting Efficiency Standards

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In February, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a proposal to roll back light bulb efficiency standards set to take effect in 2020. Enacted under the Bush Administration, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) contained three main provisions: vehicle mileage standards, appliance efficiency standards and lighting efficiency standards (only the lighting efficiency standard is affected by DOE’s proposed rule). Initially, the most common bulbs, such as household A-lamps, were required to meet a higher lumens-per-watt standard, and less common lighting types like globe and decorative bulbs were exempted. In 2017, these exemptions were removed, making high-efficiency CFLs and LEDs the standard of lighting for nearly all…

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