News - Charles Cormany

Will ZNE Transform Energy Efficiency?

There is a lot of conversation these days about making buildings Zero Net Energy (ZNE). The basic idea is that a ZNE house or building produces as much energy as it uses in a year. Early adopters have been interested in ZNE building for years, but its only recently that technology has gotten to the point where it’s possible to make ZNE a reality at a large scale. The combination of a continued reduction in the cost of solar panels along with advances in energy efficiency technology means that the potential for ZNE is growing by the day.

It’s Time to Stop Using Fire in Our Homes

At some point in time man gained control over fire. Fire was very useful: it could be used to cook food, provide light, and its heat allowed us to survive in hostile environments.

Thousands of years later, some things haven’t changed much. Whether we have a natural gas or propane furnace or (in some parts of the country) an oil fired boiler, most of us still rely on fire in some form to heat our homes and our water. Many of us use open flames for cooking as well: the gas cooktop is a favorite of many culinary experts.

Good Intentions, Poor Results

The energy efficiency industry in California is tangled with regulation.

Without a doubt, there are many policies that have been successful. California’s strict building codes have reduced energy use per capita and are responsible for eliminating the need to build 15-20 new power plants over the last 30 years. This is a great result and job well done.

But there are also plenty of cases where regulations that aren’t enforced actually end up penalizing those who play by the rules. It’s time to rethink our approach so we can level the playing field and get the good results we all agree are needed.

Building a Clean Energy Future, Respect for the People Who Will Build It

You don’t need to spend a great of time deal in the policy world before you hear a conversation about workforce development. In fact, the Energy Upgrade California incentive program was originally created as a workforce development solution. Flashback to 2008, the Great Recession: contractors were out of work and the economy was in a downward spiral. The incoming Obama administration designed a program to stimulate the economy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed into law February of 2009 and was intended to save existing jobs and create new ones. Lots of ARRA funds flowed into the energy efficiency industry and hopes were bright.

The Perfect Solution, and Why it is Not Working

Recently, California has made great progress in setting and charting a course toward ambitious energy and climate goals. There is, however, one huge regulatory and political roadblock that’s creating a barrier to achieving greater savings by blocking one of our most promising technologies: heat pumps.

Can Energy Monitoring Services Bolster Your Bottom Line?

For years the HVAC industry has relied on repeat visits to existing customers to generate new business. The service contract model is well tested and used by many because it works. The idea is pretty simple - sell annual service contracts to your customers and then check in on them twice a year to make sure their systems are in top operating condition. Most contractors visit their clients before the heating season and before the cooling season. Typically a technician performs routine services such as replacing filters and cleaning leaves and other debris out of the air conditioner’s outdoor unit.

What Trump Does Not Know About Energy Efficiency

There is no question that the recent election results were a shock to the nation. The voters sent a message: we want change. There is no doubt things will change, but when and how much is yet to be determined.

4 Ways Residential Pay-For-Performance Will Change The Market

PG&E has sent out a request for proposals (RFP) to create a residential pay-for-performance (P4P) pilot incentive program for energy efficiency. Given the frequent changes and updates in efficiency rebate programs over the years, it could be tempting to easily dismiss this as just more of the same. In reality though, this new pilot is much more significant than you might realize. If you’re a contractor you need to pay attention--because this pilot could mark a real turning point for the industry.

6 Ways Recent California Legislation Will Change Home Performance

As a contractor it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day operations and not give much thought to rebate programs other than what paperwork is currently required. For better or worse, these programs have become a fact of life. However, there are some real and significant changes happening in the energy efficiency industry today that have the potential to dramatically affect your business.

Is Your “Bag of Tricks” Missing a Critical Tool?

It’s interesting to me how many self-employed people don’t think they are good at sales. Whether it’s true or not, though, the reality is if you’re in business, you’re in sales. It might be obvious but the bottom line is, in order to stay in business you must sell jobs.