Posts Tagged ‘Mike Rogers’

Peter Welch on Home Star

June 21, 2010

Congressman Peter Welch and Mike Rogers, SVP of GreenHomes America and Chair of Efficiency First address members of Efficiency First in Washington, DC. May 20, 2010.

Speaking of good energy policy, I recently visited Washington, DC with more than 100 contractors from around the country to help educate Congress about the potential for Home Star.  As part of that, I had the pleasure of introducing Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont who said a few words about Home Star.  Home Star is good energy policy, that creates local jobs, and helps home owners fight rising energy costs.

Michael Tanesky caught some of the remarks in this video clip.


Congressman Welch Leads Home Star Job Creation Initiative

March 15, 2010

Congressman Peter Welch hosted an event today in Williston, VT at the home of some Vermonters investing in energy-efficiency in their own home–and expecting to save 30% doing so.  The Congressman spoke about the pending Home Star legislation, and local contactors, builders, retailers, energy experts, and home owners joined in supporting the proposal.

Remarks by Mike Rogers, Senior Vice President, GreenHomes America

Williston, VT — March 15, 2009 — My name is Mike Rogers. I’m the Senior Vice President at GreenHomes America.  And today we’re here to talk about jobs.

First, let me say what a privilege it is to be here with Congressman Welch.  I’m thoroughly impressed with the Congressman’s work on this issue.  He has shown time and time again the ability to reach out across the aisle and across different segments of his own party to hammer out good, common sense solutions.  I’ve had the opportunity over the last few months to work with a broad group representing contractors, manufacturers, labor, environmentalists, and energy experts from across the political spectrum to provide real-world input into the Home Star concept.  And I’m here to tell you that because of the way Peter focuses on the common sense and practical approach, Home Star has good bi-partisan support.  We in Vermont are lucky to have such leadership.

But let’s get back to jobs, jobs, jobs, because that’s what Home Star is about.

Home Star would help create jobs in the construction industry, perhaps the hardest hit sector of our economy, and a sector in which recovery is lagging even as we show signs of emerging from the recession.  Nationally, more than 25%, that’s 1 in 4, construction jobs have been lost over the past couple of years.  In Vermont, that’s almost 6,000 jobs.  6,000 people out of work.  Home Star would help turn that around.

Home Star means jobs for contractors, the insulators, window installers, heating guys and plumbers.  People in our own communities that we can get back to work, in jobs that can never be exported.

Home Star also means jobs at our local lumber yards and supply houses where we get the materials to make homes more energy-efficient.

Home Star means manufacturing jobs.  And well over 90% of the products and materials used in these home improvement projects are made right here in the U.S.

I can’t speak for the industry, but at my company, these are good paying, year-round jobs, with full benefits, vacation and holiday pay, health insurance, 401(k)s, and more.

The jobs created get people back to work, off unemployment, and get money flowing through our communities.

Home Star does this not by providing a hand-out, but by encouraging private sector investment.  That’s homeowners investing in their own homes.  And private sector businesses investing in their own companies to stand up an industry that will thrive for decades to come. 

That is good economics.  Good home economics.  Good Vermont economics.  And good economic policy for our country.  As Peter would say, it’s good common sense.

Home Star is the right policy for right now.  It’s a bipartisan policy.  I’d like to thank Congressman Welch for his leadership and his willingness to look at this not from a Democrat or Republican perspective, but from the perspective of what’s best for our state and our country.

ACI & the Home Energy Retrofit Summit

March 7, 2010

Coming up April 19-23 in Austin, TX is the annual ACI Conference, the best gathering of minds focused on energy-efficiency in existing homes.  The core confernce is a treasure trove of technical and best-practice information for business, utility program design, research and results in home energy retrofits.

This year, as a special high level event for policy makers, financial institutions, state and utility program managers, and entrepreneurs is the first annual Home Energy Retrofit Summit.  The Summit features a great line-up of topics and speakers, including Congressman Peter Welch, DOE Assistant Secretary Cathy Zoi, and GreenHomes’ own president, Brett Knox.  This is a must attend event for those on the leading edge in home energy efficiency.  See you there!


Good Energy Audits are…Good!

January 16, 2010

Home energy audits are valuable to determine how your home is performing and where it needs attention. A good audit includes a blower door test and other diagnotics.

With a lot of interest in the ice forming on people’s roofs in recent weeks, we’ve gotten a few comments, here and offline, encouraging people to look beyond the attics.  And that’s absolutely right!  While an ice damming problem may be like a gaping wound that needs immediate attention, it’s important to remember that just because you got stitches last year does mean you shouldn’t get a full physical, too.

And for your home, the equivalent to a physical is a home energy audit.  And in the interest of recycling, I’m going to recycle much of a previous post on the subject.  Full a fuller description and details to watch for, I encourage you to visit the overview on our website, or check out this energy audit video.

You’ll see a lot of people hawking audits.  And rightly so.  A home energy audit, done right, help you focus on the real things likely to save you energy. (Hint: most of the time it is NOT new windows!)

Regarding the audit it’s important to get the right audit–accurate and actionable.

To be accurate, the audit needs to include a good inspection and a range of diagnostics including combustion safety, infiltration (using a blower door), duct leakage testing, and an infrared scan.  If the person conducting the audit is making cost-effectiveness recommendations, then they need to have a firm understanding of local installation costs by a quality contractor—if they don’t know these exact prices they can’t talk about cost effectiveness!

To be actionable, any recommendations for improvement need to be easily understood by you and easily communicated to an installation contractor who can fully execute the recommendations.  For example, if the recommendations are for attic air-sealing and insulation (you shouldn’t do the insulation without the air-sealing), the person doing the work needs to understand exactly what needs to be done and be able to deliver (assuming the recommendations are accurate—see above!).  

A simple “clipboard audit” or home energy rating won’t cover both of these for you, so make sure you get what you need!  And don’t waste your money on what you don’t!

For a bit more background and additional links, see my earlier posts, our website, including a video description.


GFX — Drainwater Heat Recovery

September 11, 2009
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as much as 250 billion kWh worth of hot water is sent down the drain.  We pay to heat water, and then we pour it down the drain.  That’s not good.  Fortunately, a good percentage of the wasted energy is recoverable.  
GFX installed in the drain of a home pre-heated incoming cold water and lowers the energy needed to provide hot water for your home.

GFX installed in the drain of a home pre-heated incoming cold water and lowers the energy needed to provide hot water for your home.

Several manufactures make version of drain water heat recovery systems—and one class in particular seems best suited.  These are gravity film heat exchangers, or GFX.  Water flowing down a drain pipe tends to cling in thin a film to the sides (not fall down the middle as you might imagine.  We can take advantage this to “grab” the heat from the waste water and add it to incoming water.  The two streams are separated by two walls of copper, so your incoming water is not fouled by the outgoing water.  In the photo, you see an actual installation (from my basement!) of the GFX, with the cold water inlet in the blue box, and the preheated water outlet in the yellow box.

The savings you’ll see depend a lot on whether you use batches of water (like baths, dishwashers, clothes washers) or whether the water drains as you’re using it, as is the case with showers (these simultaneous uses deliver the best recovery).  Depending on how you use water, you could save between 20-40% on hot water costs with a GFX, all from a piece of equipment with no moving parts, that uses no electricity, and that should last 50 years.

The GFX system can be a good complement to high-efficiency water heaters and solar hot water systems.  There are some installations challenges in existing homes, and especially in home built “slab on grade”.   There are also a variety of installation considerations to optimize performance.  But for many homeowners–especially those who have teenagers with a proclivity for hour-long showers!–GFX can be an attractive option.


Solar hot water video

June 3, 2009
Click for Solar Hot Water Video

Click for Solar Hot Water Video

We’ll be putting together a series of informational and educational videos beginning this summer.   It will be several weeks before we launch, but I thought it would be fun to share the simple concept piece we put together.   Crunching the numbers on solar hot water systems, I’m really excited about them, and I thought we’d start with that to flesh out the video idea.

[Click on the video at:]

And my commitment to you—in the future I’ll try to keep it below 10 cups of coffee per day!

P.S.  As GreenHomes’ blog readers know, my mantra is “efficiency first,” before renewables.  But if you’d like to learn a bit more about solar thermal visit our website or dive into our blog archives here:


Taking Home Performance National

June 1, 2009
David Lee of the U.S. EPA, speaks at a DOE Summit on Residential Energy-Efficiency. Seated on the panel were also Mike Rogers of GreenHomes America, Gil Sperling, U.S. DOE, and John Byrne, Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility

David Lee of the U.S. EPA, speaks at a DOE Summit on Residential Energy-Efficiency. Seated on the panel were also Mike Rogers of GreenHomes America, Gil Sperling, U.S. DOE, and John Byrne, Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility

I had the honor of presenting at and participating in discussions at a U.S. Department of Energy summit last week that was exploring how to bring exactly the sort of whole-house approach the GreenHomes America uses to homeowners all around the country. 
It was great talking with thought-leaders and experts from DOE, the EPA, reserach, utilities, and the private sector about how to make this happen. 
While GreenHomes is expanding to new locations, I’m glad that people will be working to bring more contractors into the fold nationally to help grow this faster and help fix more homes the right way.



WSJ article: Efficiency First!

March 6, 2009

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Jeff Ball writes an article “Cutting-Edge Energy Technologies Such as Solar Panels Don’t Deliver as Much Bang as Plugging Leaky Homes”. He explores the opportunities for a GreenHomes customer, and rightly points out how much sense it makes to look at energy-efficiency in homes.


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