The Home Energy Saver™ (HES) empowers homeowner

admin Berkeley Lab Leave a Comment

The Home Energy Saver™ (HES) empowers homeowners and renters to save money, live better, and help the earth by reducing energy use in their homes. HES recommends energy-saving upgrades that are appropriate to the home and make sense for the home’s climate and local energy prices. The money invested in these upgrades commonly earns “interest” in the form of energy bill savings, at an annual rate of 20% or more (see examples). HES also estimates the home’s carbon footprint and shows how much it can be reduced. For professional users, we also offer HESpro and teachers and students can check out Energized Learning.

The upgrades recommended by HES offer other benefits as well. Depending on the type of improvement made, the home can achieve better comfort (warmer in winter, cooler in summer), fewer drafts, lower maintenance costs, and improved security and fire safety—all of which improve life and increase the home’s value.

Elevated Indoor Carbon Dioxide Impairs Decision-Making Performance

admin Berkeley Lab Leave a Comment

Overturning decades of conventional wisdom, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have found that moderately high indoor concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) can significantly impair people’s decision-making performance. The results were unexpected and may have particular implications for schools and other spaces with high occupant density.

“In our field we have always had a dogma that CO2 itself, at the levels we find in buildings, is just not important and doesn’t have any direct impacts on people,” said Berkeley Lab scientist William Fisk, a co-author of the study, which was published in Environmental Health Perspectives online last month. “So these results, which were quite unambiguous, were surprising.” The study was conducted with researchers from State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University.