Author: Peggy Smedley

Temperatures are heating up—and so too are electricity prices. How can you keep costs down, while protecting the environment? Start by considering how to get the most out of your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. A central air conditioning system or window units consume a lot of electricity, costing homeowners big in terms of both money and energy. What are some things we can do to improve our energy efficiency, specifically when it comes to our HVAC systems? We have six tips to get the most out of your HVAC system. Perform routine maintenance. Change air filters, check…

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As the saying goes, trust is earned, not given, and it seems the IoT (Internet of Things) space has some work to do, according to a recent report. The findings show newer technology developments in mobile—like AI (artificial intelligence)—are creating greater uncertainty and increasing mistrust among users. Candidly, I am not surprised by these results. The Mobile Ecosystem Forum’s 8th annual Global Trust Report shows that rather than achieving the goal of increasing trust among mobile users, these new technologies are, at best, making no difference or are actively reducing trust. Only a small minority expressed positivity toward any of…

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The homebuilding market has been hot for so long, many have assumed a cool down was coming. Well, now, it seems we are beginning to head into that direction. Home sales dropped significantly in May and demand is likely to remain slow in the coming months, as one forecast suggests demand for new homes may be dropping for more builders than at any time in the previous four years. The BTIG/HomeSphere survey shows only 19% of builders indicated they experienced a year-over-year increase in sales in May, which is the poorest reading in the survey’s 56-month history. This leaves 53%…

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If we want to be more sustainable and achieve our ESG (environmental, social, and governance) goals, we need data, which of course is easier said than done. Many companies have a data challenge, meaning they are trying to pull insights from legacy systems and legacy business processes that haven’t been modernized. Perhaps this is our next step to addressing ESG in our organizations. This is exactly the conversation I recently had with Matthew Sekol, industry advocate, worldwide sustainability, Microsoft. We talked all about data on The Peggy Smedley Show this past week. He explains how Microsoft intersects with ESG in…

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The benefits of the transition to net zero are clear: reduced spending on electricity and water bills and being a better steward of the environment around us. But it comes with an upfront cost for many homeowners. McKinsey suggests reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 requires a significant increase in spending on physical assets across all homes and businesses. In fact, it suggests the transformation of the global economy needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 would be universal and significant, requiring $9.2 trillion in annual average spending on physical needs. One of the best ways to reach net zero is…

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Homes are getting smarter and more energy efficient—but are they within reach for the average homeowner? Not yet, but scientists are now developing a new framework for HEMS (home energy-management systems). Let’s look at how this will impact home construction projects in the future and how this just make energy-efficient homes more equitable in the future. Dae-Hyun Choi, associate professor, Chung-Ang University, in South Korea, envisions a world where electric cars and energy trade between households. Today, many energy decisions can be done by a HEMS, which efficiently manages the energy consumption of home appliances, by scheduling when an appliance…

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I had an opportunity to listen in on a presentation from Jon Baggett, business recruitment manager, South Carolina Dept. of Commerce, and ask some questions about what is happening in my new home state. Here is the big takeaway: South Carolina is looking to become a hub for EVs (electric vehicles). The state is seeing new projects related to electric vehicle supply chain, including everything from production of EV cells to changing manufacturing plants to retool product lines. He says when he pulled data two weeks before the presentation, there were 21 new investment projects and six expansion projects. The…

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Are we finally stalling with distracted driving or are we speeding up? Perhaps more importantly, what are we going to do about it? The answer to these questions could be life or death for construction workers who spend their days on the road and at highway jobsites. I can’t help but ask, what will it take to keep us all so that we focus on the task at hand of driving when behind the wheel of a vehicle? To be very candid, I am saddened that I still have to educate people on the topic of distracted driving and report…

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Millions of U.S. homes have moderate to severe physical housing problems, including a dilapidated structure; roofing problems; heating, plumbing, and electrical deficiencies; water leaks and intrusion; pests; damaged paint; and high radon gas levels—all of which can result in a range of health issues. Enter National Healthy Homes Month, which aims to find ways to keep people of all ages healthy in their home. Happening in June, National Healthy Homes Month—created by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes—is an outreach campaign designed to help people connect the dots between their…

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The last two weeks on The Peggy Smedley Show, I had an opportunity to sit down with Sheila Hollis, acting executive director, United States Energy Assn., to discuss the energy crisis in the United States and across the globe—and I learned quite a bit about the challenges we face with energy and what ultimately needs to happen. Journey back with me for a minute to the 1920s, when the Federal Power Act came into being. As Hollis told me, it is a service invested with the public interest. “The public is what it is all about,” she explains. “When you…

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