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Industry Overview: Solar

Posted on July 26, 2018 by Suzanne Carroll

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

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Posted in: Home Improvement, Solar Energy
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California Solar Mandate FAQs

Posted on June 21, 2018 by James Florence

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

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Posted in: Solar Energy
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5 Ways to Lower Your Cooling Costs

Posted on July 20, 2017 by James Florence

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

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Posted in: Home Tips, Home Improvement
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Industry Spotlight: Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Suzanne Carroll

PHCC logoThe 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

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Posted in: Industry Organization Spotlight
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Video: Financing Your Solar Installation with PACE

Posted on September 15, 2016 by James Florence

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

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Posted in: Diamond Certified Experts
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Swim ‘n’ Save: How to Splash the Cost of Running Your Pool

Posted on April 12, 2016 by James Florence

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. Read more

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Posted in: Swimming Pool & Spa, Consumers
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Green Building: Eight Ways to Make Your Home Improvement Project Environmentally-Friendly

Posted on March 08, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

Last fall, we published a long piece about how to make different types of Bay Area homes more energy efficient (download the free e-book here). This month, we’ve distilled the wisdom offered in that post and added a few more Green tips in honor of March, the greenest of months. Enjoy!

1. Implement a whole-house solution
Richard Hiteshew of A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air, Inc. says people who want to “Green up” their homes should “reduce before they produce.” Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Landscaping Tips
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