This article was originally published in the May/June 1999 issue of Home Energy Magazine. Some formatting inconsistencies may be evident in older archive content.


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Home Energy Magazine Online May/June 1999

in energy

Program Assesses Contractor Work in California

A new project will use building diagnostic equipment and techniques to assess the installation quality of energy features in new California homes. Information gained from the project will help the California Energy Commission (CEC) to improve both Title 24 building energy efficiency standards and home energy rating systems.

The two-year project will also identify builders who use diagnostic testing as part of a utility program or to distinguish their homes from those of other companies. It is part of the CEC's plan to establish a market that values and promotes affordable, comfortable, and energy-efficient homes, says commissioner Jananne Sharpless.

Diagnostic tools--such as duct testers, blower doors, and infrared cameras--will be used to assess the postconstruction quality of 60 new homes throughout the state. Davis Energy Group of Davis, California, and a team of subcontractors will gather extensive data on duct systems, insulation installation, and air infiltration, and will evaluate the diagnostic work done by participating contractors. We want to get a snapshot of current diagnostics practices, says Marc Hoeschele, senior engineer at Davis Energy, so we can compare them a year from now, after the CEC standards take effect.

Who should get involved? Any builder or contractor who uses diagnostic tools to verify the installed performance of energy features should be part of this project. For more information, contact Eurlyne Geiszler at the CEC. Tel: (916)654-4052; Web site:

--Scott Matthews

Scott Matthews is the deputy director for energy efficiency at the California Energy Commission.


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