Posts Tagged ‘Vermont’

It’s official–Monday was COLD!!

January 25, 2011

Monday’s temperatures in the Northeast with numbing.  In some places, the mercury droped so low it almost disappeared.  Why the temperature was so low it could sit on a dime and dangle its feet.  The temp was so low it could crawl under the belly of a snake–although the snake would have been frozen solid in this case.   Here’s a sampling of locations where they probably didn’t go through a lot of ice cream yesterday:

  • -36  Saranac Lake, NY
  • -35  North Troy, VT
  • -28 Fryeburg, ME
  • -20 Burlington, VT  (as measured on my back porch)
  • -13  Syracuse, NY
  • and a relatively mild -1 in Providence, R.I.

Syracuse is on a pace that might challenge a couple records for snowfall–already 111 inches this year–and cold.  And folks in the Northeast, brace yourselves.  Although it’s warming up into the 20s and 30s, there are forecasts pointing to more subzero weather this weekend.

Stay warm and safe.
Mike

It ain’t over ’til it’s over. Snow hits New England

April 27, 2010

As shown in this photo (which looks a lot like the picture out my window) and story from the Burlington Free Press, Vermont and elsewhere in New England are getting more of the white fluffy stuff.

At least it doesn’t usually snow in July.   Enjoying that insulation right now!

Icicles Follow-up

January 9, 2010

A few days ago, we showed pictures of various roofs with evidence of heat loss as demonstrated by strange snow melt patterns and icicles.  Now, a few days later, I wanted to show what’s going on with couple of the homes.

First, the best performing roof still shows a remarkably even snow melt pattern.  Remember, this roof assembly is well air-sealed and insulated to R-60.  We do see a few small icicles on the left side of the roof.  An important point is that it is impossible to completely eliminate icicles, even with a great insulation and air-sealing job.  Outside temperatures, sun, and even depth of snow (since snow itself provides some insulation value) all are factors.  You’ll also see a chuck of snow missing on the right.  This actually didn’t melt off.  A thin layer of melt water under  the snow actually caused a section of snow to slide off the metal portion of the roof this morning.

This second shot, shows another house from the earlier pictures.   This second house is on the same side of the street, facing the same direction, and just a couple hundred feet from the house shown above. Snow on the main part of the house continues to melt fairly quickly.  The snow at the eaves of the two gable ends–not directly above the attic–is more than twice as deep as over the house showing the the house is a big contributor to the melt.  The snow on the addition roof to the right is almost completely gone showing much higher heat loss from this part of the house–an issue that should have been much better addressed at the time of construction.

Again, you can’t completely eliminate heat loss or icicle formation.  But with proper  insulation and air-sealing you can greatly reduce the problem, save a lot of energy, and help your roof last longer.   A good energy audit can show you the way.  And energy-efficiency tax credits and state and utility incentives can often help pay for the improvements.

Read more about icicles, ice dams, and solutions on our website or in a varierty of posts on this blog.

Thanks,
Mike

Senator Bernie Sanders: Good environmental policy is good economic policy

November 1, 2009

Bernie Sanders in both Senate hearing and other writings with respect to environmental policy, energy policy, and economic policy, “the low-hanging fruit and a real job creator is energy efficiency”.  

[Speaking of Senator Sanders, check out this video from July 2009 from a hearing on Green Jobs, and note that Burlington, VT despite healthy growth and the increase in gadgets seen everywhere, today is consuming only 1% more electricity than it did 20 years ago, essentially handling growth in electricity needs by efficiency rather than building new power plants. ]

Thanks,
Mike

Efficiency First–A Vermont View

October 11, 2009

There was an interesting piece in today’s Burlington Free Press about the value of energy-efficiency and the good economics of starting with efficiency rather than with renewables.  This is the same mantra we’ve been repeating at GreenHomes, the conclusion reached in this year’s McKinsey Group report, and that a group of contractors and other members of Efficiency First was repeating to House and Senate members last week in Washington, DC.  [While you’re hitting the Free Press, check out a Q&A with Bill McKibben.]

Quoting the article:

Here are three options to substantially reduce heating cost and energy use, assuming current fuel prices:

 • Solar electric panel at a total cost of $185,000 with a homeowner cost of $74,000 and a taxpayer cost of $111,000. This amounts to $2,700 in savings a year.

• Geothermal heat pump at a total cost of $80,000 with a homeowner cost of $56,000 and a taxpayer cost of $24,000. This amounts to $1,670 in savings a year.

• 80 percent reduction in energy use through efficiency at a total cost of $55,000 with homeowner cost of $53,000 with taxpayer cost of $2,000. This amounts to $2,200 in savings a year.

Hmmm…that third option sounds better for the homeowner, the taxpayer, and the utility.
And speaking of Vermont, Vermont Congressman Peter Welch spoke to that above-mentioned group of contractors Wednesday night at Union Station in DC.  Congressman Welch has taken a strong leadership position on energy policy.   He was quoted from earlier remarks several times through the week.  “We should have the policy of efficiency first.”  Yes we should!

Thanks,
Mike

Energy Policy–Efficiency First

May 13, 2009

I had a My Turn piece in today’s Burlington Free Press on energy policy proposals in Washington and in Vermont.     And kudos to Congressman Welch for getting it right!

Thanks,
Mike


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