What Does the Internet Think About Home Performance?


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How does one find out what the Internet thinks about Home Performance?

Just ask it!

With Google commanding a 65% market share for search volume, followed by Bing and Yahoo at 33% (August 2015 estimates), it’s a fairly easy task.

But what do the results mean? That’s what I will attempt to address.

How I did it: I simply typed “Home Performance” into the search box of each of the three search engines noted above, and let them autocomplete the results, using their predicative algorithms (Whoa! Is SkyNet coming?).

As I ran through the results, I think the Internet got it right!

A major recurring theme in the results is the US government program Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES). Makes sense.

I remembering attending a meeting years ago where David Lee (US DOE), (or was it Chandler von Schrader (US EPA)?) was trying to turn the acronym for Home Performance with Energy Star into a pronounceable word, “HIP-WIS, HIP-WEES, or HIP-WE-US.” I’m glad nothing stuck.

If you have not perused the HPwES site, go to http://www.energystar.gov/homeperformance today. It is an absolute treasure trove of information on home performance, including resources for homeowners and contractors to get connected with current programs across the country. All of the information can be re-shared with attribution, e.g. the famous “HPwES” before or after “house” on the homepage, that you have probably seen in a dozen or more presentations or places.

Also well covered in the search results are the state and utility based programs that are incentivizing home occupants and homeowners to get home performance work performed. Interestingly, the same states popped up with the same high frequency in all three search engines: New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington, New Jersey, Arizona, and Maryland. What is going on in your neck of the woods?

I was also pleased to see several Home Performance Contracting companies come up in the results, but the particular list I saw may be a result of the location settings in my browser. Most of the websites looked very professional and offered a lot of learning material for prospective clients.

One particular company, doing mainly “building products” work, kept showing up with bad reviews and complaints. So, look out! The Internet is policing itself.

What shows up when you search for home performance contractors in your area?

Also well represented were the trade organizations, especially the Home Performance Coalition (www.HomePerformance.org). Efficiency First (www.efficiencyfirst.org), The Building Performance Institute (www.BPI.org) and the Residential Energy Services Network (www.RESNET.us), as well as the non-profit Home Energy Magazine (www.homeenergy.org). It’s great to see that the Internet understands that there are in-depth resources, credentialing, and oversight in the home performance– all signs that it has truly achieved status an industry.

Interestingly, Wikipedia gloms Home Performance and Building Performance together (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Building_performance), yet still does a good, yet brief job in covering the highlights of the topic. Whereas, the Building Science Wiki page (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Building_science) seems to go off in a lot of directions including seismic events!

Sadly, the logical website for this whole topic, www.homeperformance.com has been snatched up by our neighbors to the north. Yet, curiously www.homeperformance.ca is a dead end! (.ca sites are always Canadian owned)

That being said, it’s worth a couple minutes to check out how Canada approaches home performance with Energy Advisors, grants, tax incentives and rebates, coming from the utilities, national, and provincial governments. It’s pretty cool that you can go to one website to call one number in order to book an energy audit almost anywhere in Canada. (LINK)

In summary, the Internet thinks Home Performance is a real industry; multifaceted, happening all over the country and involving many solid resources, organizations contractors and players.

So what do you think about Home Performance?


Posted In: Building Performance, Residential Buildings

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