Live from the RESNET Conference in North Carolina

Posted By on February 23, 2010

This week I am at the RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) Conference in North Carolina, where there are over 900 attendees at this 3 day event.

If anyone questioned whether the Residential Energy market was growing or not, they need look no further than this conference.  There are 900+ attendees this year, and that number is up almost 200 over last year’s attendees, which was up almost 200 over the 2008 conference. 

Attendees include HERS raters (Home Energy raters) as well as a few builders/ contractors, exhibitors ranging from insulation to software, lenders and LEED Providers, as well as representatives from utility companies and even the United Nations.  

The three day conference is filled with seminars of varying topics from Air Infiltration Prevention to HUD’s Energy Efficient Mortgage Initiative. 

One common theme that seems to resonate through the conference is that retrofitting existing homes to be more energy efficient is an absolute must if we ever hope to make a dent in the exorbitant amount of energy used by our buildings.

While there were a total of about 121,939 newly constructed homes that received the EnergyStar label in 2008 (approximately 16.8% of all new homes built that year), that number is not enough to make a real difference in the over all energy efficiency of all buildings. Even if 100% of all newly constructed homes were built to EnergyStar standards in 2008, that number would still represent only 1% of the total housing stock in the U.S.

While building to EnergyStar on new construction will help- retrofitting existing homes- either through government mandates or volunteer incentive programs- is going to have to take place if we ever hope to wean ourselves from foreign oil and fossil fuels. 

RESNET has endorsed a program called REEP (Retrofit for Energy & Environmental Performance) – which was introduced as legislation by Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) in 2009 to provided homeowners and businesses incentives to reduce their energy use. Homeowners could qualify for cash incentives or interest rate subsidies depending on the percent increase in energy efficiency for many energy efficient improvements (up to a 50% cap on the cost of the retrofit).  RESNET continues to work toward receiving funding for this program.

Another potential source of retrofit funding out there is the Home Star plan.  This “cash for caulkers” for homes was unanimously endorsed by the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board late last year. Home Star (a.k.a. “Cash for Caulkers”) is now on the table as Congress crafts a series of bills targeting job creation.

The movement toward energy efficiency is growing leaps and bounds.  If you’re ready to build a new home, why don’t you check out Potterhill Homes- where each and every home we build is 50% more energy efficient on heating and cooling than required by the energy code- and we have every home certified by a third party to prove it. Some day all homes will be built the Potterhill way.

For more information on RESNET visit http://www.natresnet.org

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About the author

Carolyn Rolfes is the President of Potterhill Homes. And she's also a Rolfes - as in daughter of Dan Rolfes, the infamous Red Tag Man of Holiday Homes. So what does that say about Carolyn and who she is? Plenty. When you grow up the daughter of man who does commercials in his red underwear, you have no choice but to have a great sense of humor and humility from a very young age. Carolyn and Dan founded Potterhill Homes in 2001 and she has grown it to be one of the most successful home builders in Cincinnati. Home building is in her blood and she has a keen awareness of what consumers look for in a new home and how to deliver value at all levels. And while we don't make Carolyn dress up in green underwear for our commercials, we bet she would if we asked!

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About Potterhill Homes

Cincinnati-based Potterhill Homes is a premier builder of affordable, environmentally friendly homes in Greater Cincinnati. Our homes are built with traditional Cincinnati architectural styles and are perfect for both urban infill and suburban development. To learn more about Potterhill Homes,visit www.potterhillhomes.com.


About the authors

Carolyn Rolfes is the President of Potterhill Homes. And she's also a Rolfes - as in daughter of Dan Rolfes, the infamous Red Tag Man of Holiday Homes. So what does that say about Carolyn and who she is? Plenty. When you grow up the daughter of man who does commercials in his red underwear, you have no choice but to have a great sense of humor and humility from a very young age. Carolyn and Dan founded Potterhill Homes in 2001 and she has grown it to be one of the most successful home builders in Cincinnati. Home building is in her blood and she has a keen awareness of what consumers look for in a new home and how to deliver value at all levels. And while we don't make Carolyn dress up in green underwear for our commercials, we bet she would if we asked!