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David Heslam

Portland, OR

David Heslam has been a national leader in the effort to develop and deploy energy labeling systems into the residential market. This work began in 2008 with the conduct of the 2008 Energy Performance Score Pilot with the Energy Trust of Oregon and has continued in work across 16 states.

Heslam became interested in this topic after designing, building, and remodeling homes from 1994-2008. Although Heslam’s company, Coho Construction Services Inc., became known as a local and national leader for adopting new technologies and striving for high levels of sustainability, he found no effective way to help customers quantify energy performance in a meaningful way. This issue came to a head when the owners of a particular home, one that won the 2003 NAHB’s Custom Green Home of the year, were surprised their utility bills were not lower. The explanation that the efficient new home was much larger than the older home therefore it was still using more energy than the older, yet smaller home they had left behind was not easy trying to use building code as a point of reference. This was a difficult issue to communicate and caused Heslam to start considering “what is the right information to communicate the energy performance of a home?”

Since 2008, Heslam’s work at Earth Advantage has included the development and management of CakeSystems software, research into the effectiveness of energy audits, education about high performance buildings, and the managing the implementation of energy labeling and green building certifications.