With PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs affecting millions in Northern California this year, many residents are now searching for alternative methods for powering their homes. Some have turned to portable generators. Although they’re relatively inexpensive, generators consume gasoline, produce noise and fumes, and require regular maintenance to run reliably. For a more permanent and environmentally-friendly solution, some homeowners are investigating solar power. But not all solar systems will provide electricity in the event of a power outage, so it’s important to do your homework before making a decision. Read more
Solar panels are popular with homeowners seeking environmentally-friendly energy solutions. But the reality of choosing and installing solar panels gets a little complicated once homeowners start learning about all the options that are available. Below, we define commonly used terms in the solar industry, discuss the pros and cons of going off-grid, and answer some frequently asked questions regarding solar power. Read more
On May 9, 2018, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted a significant update to its Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Most noteworthy is the landmark requirement that solar photovoltaic systems be installed on all new construction homes. From the moment this groundbreaking mandate was announced, the Internet has been abuzz with commentary from both supporters and dissidents. To cut through the noise, we’ve provided some answers to frequently asked questions regarding the newly adopted mandate. Read more
A central air conditioner can be priceless on a hot summer day, but the cost of running it certainly isn’t. While having a well-maintained, energy-efficient system will help keep your cooling bills in check, another smart step is finding ways to keep your home naturally cooler, which reduces the need to run your system in the first place. Here are five measures to consider:
1. Install a whole house fan. On summer mornings and evenings, it’s not unusual for the temperature outside the home to be cooler than on the inside. In this instance, running the air conditioner can feel like a waste of energy. If only there was a way to get that cool outdoor air into the home… Read more
The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) promotes the advancement and education of plumbing and HVAC professionals and advocates for improvements in public health and environmental safety. Since its founding in 1883, the PHCC has assisted in establishing an apprenticeship system, worked with lawmakers to enact sanitation regulations, helped develop improvements in plumbing fixtures and created educational programs to keep its members up-to-date on industry advancements. The association’s goal is to “become so relevant that PHCC contractors are the best choice for professionalism, reliable products and knowledgeable service.” Read more
Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips about residential solar. One tip mentioned a recent financing program available to California homeowners called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE. To learn more about PACE and its benefits, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Randy Zechman of Clean Solar, Inc.
To learn more about solar power and other topics, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org. Read more
While children anxiously await the coming of summer, there are others who are less enthusiastic about it—and no, we’re not just talking about their parents. Motorists, for example, know all too well the “pain at the pump” that sets in as gas prices make their seasonal ascent. Likewise, if you’re a swimming pool owner, you experience a similar summertime phenomenon—only, instead of the fuel pump, your pool pump is the source of pain.
Let’s face it: swimming pools are enjoyable, but they aren’t cheap to maintain. In fact, it’s been estimated that homes with swimming pools use almost 50 percent more electricity than those without. Fortunately, there’s good news: with a few proactive measures, Read more