The Keys to Successful Passive House Implementation

Imagine buildings so well constructed they need virtually no heating or cooling and can cut normal utility bills by 50%–80%. Now imagine these buildings are also so airtight there is almost no air leakage or outside street noise, yet they provide healthy, fresh, filtered air throughout the day whether windows or doors are open or not. Moreover, these buildings are not dark boxes with tiny windows, but light, bright, spacious…


The Switch is on Campaign is live!

The Switch Is On will support people in swapping out their gas-powered appliances for cleaner, safer, and more resilient electric appliances. As someone who has already begun electrifying my home, I know that this is one of the most effective and impactful ways we can build a better energy future. Most homes in California burn natural gas or propane for space heating, water heating, and cooking. These gases—like crude oil or…


Passive House California at COP26

It should not be a surprise that the International Passive House Association (iPHA) was well represented at the recent COP26 in Glasgow. Four years earlier at the 2017 North American Passive House Network conference, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammad described Passive House as “a model for the developing… and the developed world.” (Originally published on the EcoReport 2017) iPHA was involved in COP26 in several ways, including a tour…


Is Cost the Barrier to Passive House Performance

A new NAPHN report by Bronwyn Barry, NAPHN Board Chair, looks at cost assumptions, barriers, and the reality of cost in achieving Passive House buildings. “Most non-profit developers we work with are all passionately seeking ways to build better for less. In our advocacy work at NAPHN, we’ve found that these developers are most concerned with two things: first cost to build, and operating costs for their occupants. Of these…


How SMUD Re-Engineered itself to Focus on Decarbonization through Flexibility and Electrification

How SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) Re-Engineered Itself to Focus On Decarbonization Through Flexibility and Electrification. WATCH THE SEMINAR Summary of the Key Points Recently, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) became the first electric utility in the nation to begin evaluating all of its demand-side manage management programs in terms of avoided carbon emissions rather than average savings. In this Building Decarbonization Coalition webinar, Scott Blunk, Strategic Business Planner…


The “Duck Curve” – What it is – Why You Care

The intent here is a simplified explanation of how and why our patterns of electrical usage create issues for utilities, how rooftop solar impacts those issues, and how energy storage helps solve them. Think “Duck Curve for Dummies”. Two important facts about electricity are important to the explanation. First, electricity must be used as it is generated. A limited amount can be stored in batteries but it cannot be compressed…


California’s All – Renewable Energy Future

[caption id="attachment_552" align="alignleft" width="480"] Figure 1. Renewable energy sources are incentivized with PER factors (Logo use with permission, PHI. Original Illustration by author.)[/caption] Introducing Passive House Plus and Premium If you’ve been puzzled by the proliferation of ‘net,’ ‘nearly’ and ‘almost ready’ Zero Energy definitions and standards and have wondered just how net or nearly they truly are, take heart.  The Passive House Institute (PHI) has introduced an equitable assessment…