Google Buys Nest

NEST

Recently Google bought Nest, a digital thermostat company for 3 billion dollars. Nest thermostats are much more than a digital thermostat that can be connected to the web and controlled by your smart phone. They are also self learning thermostats that will change their behavior based on your personal schedule. Nest takes the programmer thermostat to a whole new level for homeowners. However, these devices aren’t cheap costing roughly $250 a piece. You don’t have to spend $250 for a digital thermostat for your customer’s home but a nice programmer thermostat will do just as good of job in helping make a home more energy efficient.

 

Google buying Nest signals that major companies, including technology companies, are willing to bet big on the home energy market and are looking to integrate technology to help homes become more energy efficient. Continuously be on the lookout for new technology similar to Nest Thermostats that make their way to market as they can help you integrate technology into your customer’s home giving you an edge over your competition.


Get Your Federal Tax Credits Before It Is To Late

The Department of Energy released a reminder this week to cash in on the Extended Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency.   Be sure to remind your customers of these tax credits as they will expire at the end of the year.   Here is the tax credit reminder from the DOE.

Department of Energy

 

December is just around the corner, and so is the expiration for some of the Extended Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency. In fact, December 31, 2013, will be the last day you can use the following tax credit to make your home more energy efficient—and save yourself some hard-earned cash by reducing your monthly energy costs this winter.

With colder temperatures on the horizon, this deadline provides the perfect impetus for homeowners to upgrade their heating, insulation, doors, and windows. Or, why not invest in a biomass stove for safe-burning heat with lower fuel costs? The tax savings on these new products could be a great way to start the holiday season, readying you and your family for battling blistering cold and snow.

For the full list that applies to this expiring tax credit, read on. If you purchased certain energy-efficient products during 2012 or 2013, you could be eligible to receive a tax credit for 10% of the cost up to $500, or a specific amount from $50-$300 for the six following product categories.

 

- Biomass stoves

-HVAC systems

-Insulation

-Roofing (metal & asphalt)

-Water heaters (non-solar)

-Windows and doors.

 

The products above must be installed in an existing home or your principal residence on or before December 31, 2013.
Fortunately, that’s not all. Despite the expiring tax credit above, consumers can still apply for the following tax credits for the next three years. The product categories listed below are eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost with no upper limit until December 31, 2016.

 

-Geothermal heat pumps

-Small wind turbines (residential)

-Solar energy systems.

 

This tax credit can be used on eligible products installed in new or existing homes, and a principal residence or second home would both qualify (but not rentals).

 

Finally, you may receive a tax credit for 30% of the cost, up to $500 per .5 KW of power, for residential fuel cell and microturbine systems through December 31, 2016. These can be used on new or existing homes, but only a principal residence. Second homes and rentals do not qualify.

 

To receive these tax credits, you will need to submit the 5695 form with your 2013 taxes. To learn more information about specific requirements for each product, as well as information on applying for these tax credits, visit ENERGY STAR®. And be sure to check out our Savings page for federal and state-specific tax credits and rebates.


Benefits of BPI Certification

Many contractors and building professionals ask what are the benefits of becoming a Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified contractor.    There are a number of good reasons to becoming BPI certified.

First, you obtain a certification from a reputable organization that can help boost your reputation to your customers.  Simply put, being certified looks good to your customers and has immense marketing potential.

Secondly, you’ll obtain a great education that you can apply to your work.  In turn, the quality of your work will improve which will result in happier customers.  Happier customers can lead to referrals for your business.

Lastly , recertification is available.  This allows you to hold onto your certification and get updated on the latest building science information and techniques.

If you’re not already BPI certified, you can obtain BPI Certification Here.


Google+ Impacts Local

We highlighted the importance of submitting your business to Google Places.  The landscape is changing on the web and it is vital to have a Google+ profile to help boost your local listing to the top of the search results.  Google is putting more of a focus on promoting its own social network Google+.  Having a Google+ profile for your business can only help your local listings as well your business’ presence on the web.

 

Google Plus

 

Google will walk you through the Google+ Setup process here.    If you haven’t yet signed up for Google+  yet, you should do so soon.  The web is changing and you want to be ahead of the curve instead of chasing the pack.

 


Recessed Lights – Air Sealing

Many older homes that have recessive lighting may not have insulation contact (IC) lights.   As a contractor or homeowner this is one thing that you can check to make sure air leakage is kept to a minimum.  If the recess light is not IC it is recommend you replace the light fixture with one that is IC rated.  Upon replacement you can then place insulation in direct contact with the fixture, helping to minimize the transfer of air.

Recessed Lights

 


Green Information


New York Times

Building trustworthy relationships with your customers is a vital part of expanding your business. A sure fire way to help build trust between you and your customers is to be up to date on current events in your industry. This will give you an advantage over competition by showcasing your knowledge.

A great way to keep up with current information is to frequently read blog posts by top sources. One source we recommend is the New York Times. The New York Times has a variety of blogs that keep you up to date on many of the most relevant topics in the industry. The blog “Green” from the New York Times is an outstanding resource to obtain the latest information on energy and the environment. The next time you are with your customer, you will be able to spark up conversation and hopefully it will lead to future business.

Service Partners is the largest insulation distributor in the United States. Currently, Service Partners has over 75 branch locations that provide building materials such as fiberglass insulation, shingles, fireplaces, spray foam and accessories to all 50 states.


Beat The Drought Early!

During the hot summer months, many of us will experience droughts throughout the country. You can help reduce the use of water for your customers by installing low-flow showerheads in showers or bathtubs. Be sure to select a showerhead that has a flow rate of no more than 2.5 gallons per minute at 80 psi for optimal water savings. Your customers will see water savings between 25% -50% by using an energy efficient showerhead.

You can also advise your customers to use faucet aerators throughout their home. Aerators are the screw on tip of the faucet that can be replaced to restrict the amount of water flow. Ideally, you’ll want to install an aerator that has a flow rate of 1.0 gpm for maximum water efficiency. However, anything lower than 1.75 gpm would be more efficient then what is typically used in new faucets directly off the shelf.

If your customers are using a well for water supply, these adjustments will have a significant impact on their water usage and allow them to save for future droughts. Customers that are accessing their local water utilities will see a decrease in their water usage bill and effectively be putting money back into their pocket. Don’t forget, the little things like a low flow showerhead and aerators can go a long way for your customers.

Service Partners is the nations largest insulation distributor of fiberglass insulation and accessories. We supply contractors & retailer businesses with fiberglass, spray foam, accessories and other building materials.