Page 15 - HBNews_Oct 2012x.indd

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OctOBEr, 2012
For today ’s energy-savvy
homebuyers, the prospect of so-
lar energy is very appealing. Solar
electric and solar water heating
systems provide a great deal of
energy savings by harnessing the
power of the sun. Homes that tap
into this powerful renewable re-
source benefit from reduced en-
ergy costs while drastically reduc-
ing their environmental impact.
As demand for solar increases,
more and more buyers and build-
ers are taking notice. One of the
most cost-effective ways to meet
this growing interest in solar is to
build homes that are solar ready.
this provides your homes with
a very marketable added selling
point, and gives buyers the flexi-
bility and ease of installing full-on
solar at any point down the line.
An insider’s perspective
Ethan Beck, of Ethan Beck
Homes, is a leader in an emerging
breed of Pacific Northwest build-
ers who embrace the benefits of
solar-ready homes. “Just about all
the homes I build now are solar
ready,” says Beck. “Every time it’s
a realistic possibility I include it.”
For Beck, building solar ready is
a smart move that brings tremen-
dous benefits both to the builder
and the buyer. “From a market-
ing standpoint, we can show
that we’re preparing the home
for future solar. this is really ap-
pealing to buyers. We’re setting
everything up so when they want
to go ahead and add solar they
don’t have to backtrack and do
extra work. Everything’s there—
concealed and ready.”
Most of Beck’s homes are cus-
tom, and he’s found it doesn’t
take much convincing to get
buyers on board with the idea
of setting themselves up for a
future solar installation. “All of
my custom buyers are at the very
least wanting to prepare for it,”
he says. “And checking back with
them a year or two later, a good
portion are installing solar. I think
it helps that it can be quanti-
fied in terms of cost savings and
they also appreciate the fact that
we’ve planned ahead. It puts
them at ease a bit knowing that
energy conservation and renew-
able resources are something we
Beck also adds that, from
a builder’s perspective, mak-
ing homes solar ready is a fairly
simple process that can quickly
become routine. “Once my sub-
contractors are educated on the
process—whether it’s the electri-
cian putting the conduit in the
correct spot, or even the plumber
putting the pipes in the right lo-
cation—once we do one solar-
ready house, it’s really easy to do
Energy trust of Oregon offers a
number of resources for builders
of solar-ready homes. For more
information on available resourc-
es and incentives in your area,
email Energy trust’s trade ally co-
ordinator at
or call 1.877.283.0698,
option 1.
Solar-ready homes open
the door to future savings
Since customers are soon go-
ing to be calling on you in the
upcoming months to make them
more comfortable in their home
during the cold season it’s an op-
portune time for you to brush up
on your weatherization upselling!
Since you already were invited
into someone’s home, use this
chance to tell them about the
benefits of energy efficiency. Ma-
ny homeowners make decisions
that are not cost-effective and
will not achieve the anticipated
savings – like installing new win-
dows or adding insulation before
air sealing. trained and certified
energy contractors (that’s YOU!)
have the knowledge and testing
equipment to help homeowners
make smart decisions about how
to improve their home’s efficien-
cy and get the most out of their
If you aren’t a BPI certified
Home Performance with Energy
Star contractor or an Energy
trust of Oregon trade Ally then
your upsell will include bringing
in one of these certified profes-
sionals (
find-a-contractor/) to assist your
homeowner even more.
If you are, don’t forget these
basicupsells for your customers:
Air leakage is the largest source
of heat loss in most homes. Warm
air leaks up and out openings
high in the house, creating low
pressure and sucking cold air
through openings low in the
house. Finding and sealing high
air leaks is an easy upsell for you
that delivers quick results. caulk
leaky windows, weather-strip all
exterior doors, including attic
hatch, bulkhead door and doors
to cold cellars and crawl spaces.
check out the Energy Star web-
site at
more detailed information on Air
Sealing and Insulating with En-
ergy Star.
Install a programmable ther-
mostat. Jimmy carter and your
momwere right – put on a sweat-
er and turn down the thermostat.
Lowering your thermostat will
save you about one percent on
your heating use for each degree
lowered for eight hours per day.
So, lowering temps 10 degrees for
16 hours each day (while sleeping
and at work) would cut your fuel
use by about 20 percent. Using a
programmable thermostat to do
this will allow you to bring the
heat back up to a comfortable
temperature before you get up
in the morning or return home.
Heat loss in homes is directly
proportional to the difference in
temperature between inside and
out. the warmer your home, the
faster it will loose heat. raising
the thermostat back up to a com-
fortable temperature will not use
more than if you had kept it warm
all the time.
But you already know what
products you have to offer the
customer. Here are some tips
for broaching the subject!
Get to know the products
Weatherization for efficiency and profit!
Come all ye faithful!
Join the HPC on our fourth
annual holiday pub crawl.
tour three top-secret Northeast
Portland pubs for surprise Happy
Hour pricing and holiday nosh. En-
joy yourself to the fullest by hop-
ping on the
Holiday Pub Crawl
Party Bus
, which will transport you
and fellow merry makers in style.
Party starts at 4pm on Wednesday, December 12 at the
HBA offices in Lake Oswego. We will return you to your car
at the HBA by 8pm.
$35 per person
gives you the chance to break the ice
with other members in an informal style. rSVP today so you
aren’t left out in the cold!
RSVP to or register online at hbapdx.
you have to sell.
Understand their application
in the home and arm yourself
with knowledge. the building
science behind air sealing, ven-
tilation and insulation is read-
ily available to you through your
distributers or the HBA. We make
it easy to learn the impacts each
of these measures will have on
the home.
Know your customer’s com-
fort challenges and how your
knowledge and products can
help them be more comfortable
this winter. If you are really de-
livering this information so the
customer understands the ben-
efits, then the customer would
be silly not to want to make their
house more energy efficient and
When you know these things
you are in a position to meet the
needs of your customer, AND
your bottom line.
this won’t be your ordinary planning meeting.
the Home Performance council (previously the
Building Green council) is ready to hear from
• What do you want the HPc to do in 2013?
• What can the HPc do to help your business?
• What is value of the HBA membership to you?
• How can the HPc bring you more memberhsip
• What HPc topics have you already heard
enough about and what topics would you like
to learn more about?
these burning questions are only the tip of the
iceberg. come enjoy breakfast and coffee and
experience an interactive organizational plan-
ning meeting. Join us for a light breakfast and
open round table discussion on h additional top-
ics including energy efficiency, LID practices, EPS
score, Home Performance with Energy Star and
potential 2013 trainings.
the HBA and the HPc are member driven
organizations. We depend on YOU to help us
October 11, 2012. 9:00 – 11:00 am
HBA JMG conference center
Help the HPC decide what
issues to tackle in 2013