Author: janesvillehomesolar

Can My Brick, Stucco or Slate Home be Insulated?

insulation via interior drywall
Many houses with brick facades, stucco exteriors, or the long-lasting slate siding do not have insulation in the sidewalls. This results in cold walls, higher heating and cooling bills, and some mysterious drafts. The reason is simple: Brick walls are nearly impossible to work with from the outside. Stucco often has tough metal mesh behind the material and the patching result is miserable. Slat...
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Missing the Big Picture of Energy Improvements?

Energy Improvements Don't Stop with Savings on Your Utility Bills! The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) lists many other benefits: 1) reduced maintenance material costs 2) avoided procurement costs 3) reductions in facility expenses 4) operations and maintenance savings 5) enhanced productivity 6) higher product quality 7) improved home environment 8) improved ca...
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Wisconsin Residents get 3 Free LED Light Bulbs

Any Wisconsin resident, having an electric account with most major utility companies, can register online and get three free LED light bulbs. These LED’s give out a bright 800 lumens, use only 6 watts, and last for 25,000 hours (a very long time). Just go to the “” website, click on “for your home”, select “simple energy efficiency” to find the online offer.   Fill in the i...
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Housing and Energy and the Crisis of Obsolescence

One flawed assumption regarding this emerging subject of housing and obsolescence is that new construction will save the day, because new homes are more efficient than older ones.  The average household energy consumption, however, in new homes is greater than in existing homes.  Increasing house size, fewer people per household, and proliferating electric plug loads are neutralizing efficiency ga...
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Should I Use Utility Budget Billing? Neale Talks About The Down Sides

"Budget billing” is a service offered to customers by major utility companies.  Under this plan, your annual costs for gas and electricity are divided up into twelve equal payments.   This offers a relatively uniform payment amount for every month.    This means that winter costs seem lower while costs in the rest of the year are higher but uniform. There is problem with this uniformity and conve...
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The Winter Has Ended

After a very severe and hard winter, isn't time to take action?   What value does your comfort and safety have on top of energy savings on your utility bill? For a modest fee you can receive a comprehensive report and proposal for many kinds of long-lasting energy improvements.   This fee includes a follow-up visit following any improvements.   In Wisconsin, if you heat with a major gas ...
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Solar Energy

Solar Energy works in Wisconsin and Illinois, no matter what anyone tells you.  LED lights are a new development and are exciting but do not produce energy or serve as “distributed generation”. Photo Voltaic or PV solar electricity has the greatest “sex appeal” in the industry.  For most installations the solar power is stored on the utility grid as a “battery” when it is not directly used.   S...
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