Warming Up A Historic Home


PHOTO:  Homeowner Greg Tudor (right) and Thurston Energy Manager Mark Rentfrow observe the Tudor’s historic home, and discuss techniques for removing siding, filling walls with additional cellulose insulation, and then replacing the siding.

Kate and Greg Tudor and their family moved into their historic home in 2009 and the pipes promptly froze.  They quickly determined that they needed some form of weatherization, so they got an energy evaluation from Thurston Energy.  “Essentially, our home was like a moderately protected carport,” recounts Greg.

So after replacing the knob and tube wiring in the basement, they insulated the underfloor with foam and sealed the ducts with mastic.  “For the first time, we could actually lay on the floor without freezing,” says Greg.  “And when we cleaned the ducts, we filled a 30 gallon trash bag with toys, blocks, doll clothes, a bow tie, and other things that were dropped down a vent in a child’s room over the years.”

They also insulated the room above the porch and sealed the doors, windows, and attic “to keep the wind from blowing through the house,” quipped Greg.  The family has noticed that the furnace runs a lot less often, and for shorter periods of time.  Next on the energy improvement list is more insulation and air sealing in the walls and attic, once they replace the rest of the knob and tube wiring.



Last Two Insulating Window Insert Workparties of the Season!

Saturday, March 8th and 22nd
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation commons area
2300 East End Street NW, westside of Olympia.

Reduce heat/energy use, get together with good folks and empower your self/others.

The Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation is once again sponsoring this series of workshops to help householders construct simple interior storm window inserts that save money on your heating bills and keep you warmer. Custom-built for your windows for $1/sq.ft. or whatever you can afford. Windows fit tightly inside the room by compression of weatherstripping – no hardware needed.

During the Saturday workshops, volunteer staff can help you build several window inserts and reduce heat loss and drafts in your home. There will be consistent opportunities, so contact us to participate.

Call or email Joe Joy to register or get on the list for future workshops.
Host: Joe Joy  (   786-8092

85+ People Discuss Healthy Energy Improvements for Rental Homes


Thurston Energy was proud to be a part of the “Healthy Energy Improvements for Rental Homes” Symposium on February 13, 2014, which attracted more than 85 people to join the discussion.  Read about the event in The Olympian here.

What will it take to get more rental homes improved in terms of their energy performance and their healthfulness?  That was the topic of the day.  It’s not an obvious answer, because typically the landlord pays for improvements and the renters enjoy the benefits.  Several big ideas came out, and lay the ground work for future progress:

Education and Awareness Building – Both renters and owners would benefit from more awareness and understanding of how buildings work as a system, and how improvements to energy efficiency can also lead to improvements in the health of occupants.

Incentives and Financing – Utility rebates, tax incentives and low interest loans all decrease the cost of energy improvements and make them more affordable.

Better Information Before Leasing – Renters would choose more healthy and more energy efficient housing options if they were able to identify and find them during the search and consideration phase.  Therefore, it will be critical to give distinction to those properties so that potential renters can find and choose them.

Over the next few months, Thurston Energy will be working with our partners more on this issue.

Story of Spree … One Lucky Dog


The Story of Spree … One Lucky Dog

Sometimes there’s more to savings and comfort than simply installing energy efficient heating equipment. No one knows this better than Spree … a fifteen year old dog whose owner recently went through an energy improvement in their home in Olympia.

This home had a history of being uncomfortably cold. No matter what the owner did to try to improve the situation, she never felt that she was receiving the full heating benefit that she had paid for.

Read More

Healthy Energy Improvements for Rental Housing – Register Today

Help Solve the Next Big Energy Challenge:

Healthy Energy Improvements for Rental Housing

a vision2action sustainability symposium

Thursday February 13, 2013  -  12:00pm – 4:30pm

Thurston County Public Health & Social Services

412 Lilly Rd NE, Olympia, WA


Click Here to Register

Due to the Recession, foreclosures, and lifestyle choices, more people are renting their homes than ever.  Yet rental properties can be poorly insulated or maintained, leading to high energy bills and poor indoor air quality.  This hits low-moderate income families especially hard, including elderly people and families with children who can least afford the financial and health burden this creates.

To tackle this issue, a team of local stakeholders has come together to propose a market-based solution with incentives for landlords and renters to make healthy, energy efficient homes more affordable for more people.

Join in a strategic conversation with landlords and renters, construction and energy companies, local utilities as well as housing advocates and public health officials, and refine and implement the vision.


Please Register Now using our short online form and secure payment gateway, Brown Paper Tickets.