Boston buildings to be scanned for heat loss data

New Online “EnergySavvy” Calculator Helps Pre-Scan Estimates & More

Online — In an online article on MassHighTech, a week ago Friday, June 18th, Kyle Alspach?? reported:

Mayor Thomas Menino has plans to announce today that Boston is seeking to become the first large American city to complete an infrared scan, in order to identify heat loss from buildings. Menino was scheduled to make the announcement at the South Boston headquarters of Next Step Living Inc., a home energy service company.

Save Money with Mass Save : Contact Telephone No. : 866-867-8729

Most Massachusetts homeowners are eligible for a free home energy assessment and generous weatherization rebates up to 85% of the cost of work. It’s easy to get started, just click the link on the left (above) or call the number above. (www.nextsteplivinginc.com)

Article Link: www.masshightech.com/stories/2010/06/14/daily48-Boston-buildings-to-be-scanned-for-heat-loss-data.html

If you are really curious about how much you could be saving on your energy bill check out the online home energy calculator at: nextstepliving.energysavvy.com We did and here’s our “phantom” results

We did a test case for the nearby community in which our family lived for a few decades back in the 1950s – 70s, Milton, Massachusetts, the first town going south out of Boston proper.

Test case conditions: 4 people in a 2450 sq ft. home built in 1910.

Then we answered a number of detail questions about the house construction, heating, appliances, thermostat settings and more. The selection was based on what the conditions were in the 1960s with allowances for more recent upgrades in the most likely appliances, such as refrigerators, entertainment and lighting.

Our Score was 47,?? 28 points lower than efficient homes in Milton (and this is before a thermal scan!).

Energy Savings Breakdown3 Year Estimate: $8,649

Heating– $7,662
Air Conditioning – $354

Water Heating – $345
Electronics & Lights – $285

What does the score mean?

Here’s how they explain it:

Your score represents how close your home is to what it could be if it had all of the possible efficient options. A score of 100 means that you’re as energy efficient as possible. Of course, we won’t count things against you that you can’t easily change ??? like the type of foundation in your home or how many people live there.

We also won’t make recommendations that don’t make a big difference in overall efficiency ??? like lowering your thermostat by 1 degree in a mild climate or upgrading perfectly good double-pane windows.

The science behind determining your score is a mix of physics, meteorology and building science. While we hope you found the report easy to use, you should know that there’s quite a bit of complexity “under the hood”. In addition to your home’s structure, we use local weather data to calculate the amount of energy your heating and cooling systems need to keep you comfortable.

We also take into account regional variations in building requirements, methods and styles. For example, in some hot and sunny parts of the country, having a reflective roof or radiant roof barrier is important for efficiency and in others, it’s not necessary.

Reference Data for Milton, MA (area):

Cold Water Temperature 56 ??F
Typical Energy Prices:?? Natural Gas ($1.49/ Therm), Electricity (16.36?? / KWH), Heating Oil ($2.98/ Gal)
Local Scores: Inefficient (54 & lower); Less Efficient (55 – 74); Efficient (75 & up)

Guess we weren’t too efficient back then when heating oil was less than $1 per gallon.

Check out the calculator to see how you fare!

Unfortunately, this service through Next Step Living is presently available only in the New England region of the USA and only for a limited number of towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Here’s hoping it is successful and expands or inspires others to do the same in other states and regions as well. You might provide them some market feedback and possible motivation if you contact them at: 866-867-8729.

Meanwhile, the program that Next Step Living uses on their website was developed by EnergySavvy, a tech startup in Seattle Washington, as reported by Techcrunch.

This use is one of the first online applications of the Energy Savings Calculator outside their own website. (You can run some savings estimates there for single-family homes.

Also as reported in the Techcrunch article, some competing software are also offered by?? Google Powermeter, Microsoft Hohm, and Apogee.