This Week’s Regional Energy Events


December 10, 2014: 4:00 – 6:00; Green Building Products and Services Leadership Team meeting, Location TBD.

December 15, 2014: 8:30 – 12:30; Designing a Municipal Energy Strategy, Montpelier

December 17, 2014: 3:00 – 6:00; Monthly meeting of SEON’s Building Science Guild; SEON’s Conference Room; 2nd floor Friends of the Sun.

December 18, 2014: 4:30 – 6:00; Monthly meeting of SEON’s Board of Directors.

January 5, 2015: Beginning 5:00; Monthly meeting of the Brattleboro Energy Committee  in the Hanna Cosman Room, Municipal Bldg.

February 4-5, 2015: Better Building by Design, So. Burlington


Green Building Products and Services Value Chain in Windham County

Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategy has completed the Comprehensive Economic Strategy (CEDS) and filed the report to the Economic Development Administration in Washington.  A key findings was the identification of the Green Building Products and Services industry sector as an emerging opportunity in Windham County.  Given the presence of BuildingGreen, Inc., the Healthy Building Network, local entrepreneurs, cutting edge practical lab and field research, committed high performance contractors, and the engagement of SEON to provide the infrastructure led to this conclusion.  The attachment captures the overall network of this emerging cluster.

SeVEDS 050614 GreenBldgValuChain (2)

Prudent Living’s Train Story Link

Paul Biebel’s Prudent Living train story featuring energy conservation was recently aired on Vermont’s WCAX.  Here’s the link to the newscast:

Well, WCAX ( Channel 3 )  aired a spot on our train display last friday.  Here’s the link below.  I hope you like it.

designPH Training in California, Vermont & New York

Originally posted by Ken Levenson on 475 High Performance Building Supply’s website.

designPH Training in California, Vermont & New York

Posted on May 13, 2014 by 475ken                       The Passive House Institute’s (PHI’s) new designPH software allows one to use SketchUp to create a model for preliminary suitability studies – to tweak the design’s energy balance and physical form in the same interface.  The software is loaded with default values and materials properties, so you can specify materials and easily customize the results.  Once a compliant design is achieved, key building characteristics can be exported for integration into PHPP.  You can order designPH from 475 here. (Special price discounting is available to those registered for the below designPH courses.)

Mercifully you don’t have to figure this piece of software out on your own.   Andrew Peel, an accredited PHI building certifier and trainer from the Canadian Passive House Institute (CanPHI) is leading a one-day course that will get you up to speed and on your way.   So far Andrew’s designPH teaching schedule is:

In this one-day course, participants will learn how to use designPH for the design and certification of Passive House buildings. Participants will be guided step-by-step through the building design process, from building model creation to exporting to PHPP. A major focus will be on iterative design to achieve the Passive House criteria. A case study will provide participants with practical experience in completing and documenting a designPH model for building certification.

For more information see course links above.  See also PHI’s designPH website here.

Follow-Up to Air Source Heat Pump Workshop

Follow-up Q and A to Heat Pump Workshop on 11/18/2013

Where can I view the presentations on air-source heat pumps?

To view the program in its entirety, go to:

What are the first steps towards investigating a heat pump system for my home, rental property, or business?

 Before you install a heat pump system, ensure that your building is weatherized properly.  There’s an adage: “The least expensive BTU is the one you never use.”   If you do not know how to measure the efficiency of your building, contact Bruce Whitney of the NeighborWorks H.E.A.T Squad at 802-246-2111.  He was an exhibitor at the workshop.

The next step is to find a certified heat pump installer. Here is a link to Efficiency Vermont’s approved list of certified installers:

When you contact a potential installer, ask how many ductless heat pumps they install annually and their level of familiarity with this type of product.

What information should I gather for an initial consultation with an installer?

Be clear on your intent for such a system.  For example, do you want to supplement your fossil fuel, biomass, or resistant heat (electricity) use, or have the heat pump be your primary heat source with another system as a back-up?

Have information about your building (square footage, insulation values if known), type of HVAC system (oil, propane, gas, biomass), and equipment model numbers, if possible.  Historical utility bills are helpful for estimating energy savings.  Most manufacturers have tools on their websites that will help with equipment selection as well as energy estimation. Here are links to Mitsubishi and Fujitsu’s websites: (offers a savings (ROI) calculator).

 What is the cost range for a heat pump system?

For a 12,000 BTU unit, the installed price could be approximately $2,500 to $3,500.

How do I determine the number of units/capacity I’ll need?

 There are industry rules of thumb (i.e.: 400 sq. ft./ton or 30 BTU/sq. ft), but it is best to leave equipment sizing to the contractor, as things like insulation values, window type, and ceiling height may affect the equipment selection.  Oftentimes, a good starting point is examining the size of the existing HVAC system and how well it has performed in the home.

What resources can Efficiency Vermont provide?

Homes, rental properties, and businesses that meet specific eligibility requirements are allowed to take part in the Cold Climate Heat Pump (CCHP) Program, which provides financial incentives for installing heat pumps. This program is only available to customers located in the former Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) territory.  Information on the program, including eligibility requirements, can be found at the following link: