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Bob Boerner, Conservation Services Group

June 22, 2007 @ 12:00 am EDT


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On Friday our expected speaker did not show up. This rarely happens at
LIMBA (I can’t even remember it happening without any notice).
We have the most astute, speakers that respond to our call. Fortunately
we have an equally astute group of people who attend our meetings. The
topic was the Energy Star Program that has been adopted by several of
the towns, and what it means. The contractor that will be training the
new personnel that will make the program work is Conservation Services
Group. Bob Boerner works for the company and he is in charge of the
program. Bob immediately told us that he does not ordinarily do public
speaking, but his ability to convey a cogent message was immediately
The mandates of the Energy Star Program sets a standard of energy use
efficiency in new homes that must indicate a 30% reduction of energy as
opposed to a standard code constructed house. Bear in mind the present
code is substantially more efficient that the codes of 25 years ago.
According to Boerner, we could even do better.
Among the criteria that will be evaluated are the air infiltration of
the house. This can be measured by the use of a device that sucks out
the air in the dwelling and air filtering into the house can be
measured. If the infiltration is too high, the house will fail
inspection. Boerner also addressed the need for air conditioning to be
efficient. The integrity of the system can be lost to leaks in ducts.
These leaks may not be obvious, but they can be measured. If the house
fails, the leaks must be fixed. Air conditioning systems must also be
properly sized. The conventional wisdom is "bigger is better". Not rue,
says Boerner. A smaller system will take a little longer to cool the
house but the humidity will be driven out of the house due to the longer
cycling. Moreover the installed system will cost less to buy and cost
less to run. And, as a result of the lower humidity the comfortable
temperature will be slightly higher, further reducing operating costs.
There was some discussion on the training program for the technicians
that will be needed for the task of rating these new homes so that they
are in compliance. In that discussion we covered the compensation these
techs could expect doing this work. It appears to be a high paid, high
skill job for technically oriented people. That sounds like a plus all
Bob Boerner did an excellent job in his presentation and during the Q&A,
particularly since he was a last minute substitute. We did well by
having him.