Joe Davis and Sid Frederick own an innovative passive solar home on 40 acres that is "off the grid" in the Santa Cruz mountains, using no energy from PG&E.  Built in 1983, it has passive solar heating, solar water heating, photovoltaic electricity and two backup propane heating systems. A giant central skylight provides passive cooling and day-lighting. 

Our job was to calculate the energy and carbon savings of the home and objectively describe its green features compared to a conventional new home, in a report to be shown to potential buyers.  Using the architect's building plans, we created a simulation of the home's energy consumption and calculated the energy contributions of the three different solar systems and the two backup systems.  We were able to show that the home uses less than half the external sources of energy of a brand new conventional home built to stringent new standards, using a type of analysis approved by the state of California.  Despite already being very efficient, we were able to make recommendations to cut energy use even further.  This showcase home stands as a model of what can be achieved to cut energy and carbon use at modest extra cost and no sacrifice in comfort and convenience. As home buyers become more concerned with operating costs and their carbon footprint, there will be more need for energy audits and for EcoBrokers®, like the Realtor® who owns this house. Read the complete report.

 
 
Former Mayor and current Councilman of the City of Santa Cruz, Don Lane, is an advocate of municipal programs to combat global warming.  He took the lesson "Think globally, act locally" to its natural conclusion by asking us to inspect his own home for potential energy savings, even though his PG&E bills were already low. Built in the 1920s, the home has opportunities for adding insulation in the walls and attic, and sealing leaks.   We also identified a furnace and water heater that were at the end of their lives and needing replacement.  We found air leaks in a furnace closet, window frames and a fireplace damper.  That's leadership in action. Read the complete report.

A client family in the San Lorenzo Valley heats their home with wood and a conventional forced air gas furnace.  They were unaware that leaky ducts in the crawlspace were leaking a third of their heated air to the outdoors, a total waste of money and carbon.  We also discovered that persistent moisture in the crawl space was corroding the ducts and making the home excessively humid, encouraging mildew growth and condensation on windows and threatening the health of the family.  Our recommendations included sealing the ground in the crawl space with a reinforced plastic barrier to prevent moisture intrusion and repairing the ductwork, making the home healthier and safer to live in as well as reducing energy losses. By testing with the Energy Conservatory Blower Door, we found that the home also leaks a lot of air through missing weather stripping, a water heater closet, and window frames.  Sealing leaks like these takes a specialist just a few hours and generates a stream of savings that will last as long as the home. Read the complete report.

Christian Forthomme is an international consultant who trains executives of multinational corporations to shift their corporate strategies towards sustainability. To make his own coastal home more sustainable and install a new central heating system in the most efficient manner he ordered our energy audit.  Analyst Rick Meyer, assisted by a performance contractor, discovered that several rooms in the oldest part of the house had never been insulated.  Previous attempts to control moisture in the crawl space were inadequate, necessitating installation of a ground moisture barrier.  Much of the heated air was escaping  through excessive leakage.  We developed a plan of phased improvements that will permit installation of a smaller and more efficient heating system than would have otherwise been installed. We also provided guidance on using a cool roof coating on a third story office that overheats in the summer.  Read the complete report.

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  • This page contains case studies showing how analysts at Home Energy Saving Analysts have helped homeowners like you in a highly individualized way.  The descriptions and reports are all used with clients' written permission. Reports have been redacted to protect clients' privacy.
 
We develop an energy savings plan for you like the ones described on this page, that is responsive to your needs and contains our measurements and inspection report.