The Internet age has made it easy to find information. Occasionally you can find some that's even true. That's where it becomes helpful to have someone more knowledgeable than yourself to be able to ask for advice and input on stuff you read online, get feedback on ideas you'd like to try on a project, or discover what cool things other home energy pros are doing. One place that's been great for that since it started in 2008 is the LinkedIn group called “RESNET BPI – Energy Audit and Home Performance.” Unfortunately, it's been in decline lately.
One of the best online home performance haunts
I joined the RESNET BPI group on LinkedIn way back in early 2009. It was a great place to ask questions of other home energy pros and do some online networking. One thing that was always cool was to interact with someone in the group and then meet them at a conference. (And speaking of conferences, the Home Performance Conference is hosted by the sponsor of the new forum, the Home Performance Coalition. )
The group was created by Claire Rutiser in 2008, and in the early years she also moderated it. With changes in her work and family life (having a child), Rutiser had to give up the group. David Butler, an electrical engineer who knows more about HVAC than just about anyone else I know, took over the moderating responsibilities and eventually the whole group. Since 2011, he's been wholly responsible for the group. And all of us who have used the group owe him a big debt of gratitude.
Butler has been an amazing administrator, moderator, and contributor to the group. He has participated in many of the discussions as well as keeping the group running smoothly. Oh, and he's kept the spam that dominates many LinkedIn groups out of this one.
The decay began a few years ago when LinkedIn pulled resources back from the groups. Then they stopped sending email notifications for discussions you might be following. That's when Butler knew he had to do something.
Meet the Home Performance Forum
In 2015, Butler began working on a way to move the group away from LinkedIn. He assembled a team and found a sponsor, too. Mike Rogers of OmStout Consulting (bonus points if you know the origin of his company name) connected Butler with the Home Performance Coalition. (You know, the great organization that hosts the Home Performance Conference that we'll be at next week in Nashville.) The HPC helped Butler make the move.
So, after a year and a half of work on getting a lot of the archived discussions into the new site, the Home Performance Forum (homeperformanceforum.org) has launched! Go there. Become a member and set up your new profile. Participate!
When I spoke with Butler last week, he showed me the new site and talked about some of the advantages. “The archives are rich,” he told me. The search function “is absolutely awesome.” That was one of the big complaints about the LinkedIn group. We had all these really in-depth discussions but a lot of that knowledge was practically inaccessible because it was so hard to find. Not so with the new site.
One restriction worth noting here is that the Home Performance Forum is for professionals only. Butler and the Home Performance Coalition don't have the resources to take homeowner questions here. Homeowners and everyone else will be able to read the discussions, however.
What are you waiting for, home performance pros? Get over there and join!
If you need another way to get there, here ya go: