The Nuts and Bolts: July 23, 2013

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A little DIY, FYI…

DIY Network Prepares for Seventh Season Premiere of "Blog Cabin"

The DIY Network is getting ready for its seventh season premiere of "Blog Cabin," the first interactive home improvement series. Hosted by Chris Grundy, "Blog Cabin" includes its viewers on the design process with the incentive of winning the finished product – a vacation home situated on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.

This season’s home is unique due to its original construction dating back to the mid-1800s. The show will document Chris Grundy along with a team of renovation experts – Matt Blashaw of Yard Crashers, Jason Cameron of Desperate Landscapes, Anitra Mecadon of Mega Dens, Matt Muenster of Bath Crashers, Josh Temple of House Crashers and Alison Victoria of Kitchen Crashers – as they transform the original 1,600 sq ft home into a dream vacation retreat at nearly 2,000 sq ft.

We're looking forward to checking out the new season and giving our design input! Winning a vacation home wouldn't be so bad, either.

Check out more information on the show here!

J.D. Power Report Shows Customer Engagement in Electric Utility Offerings Increases Overall Satisfaction

J.D. Power recently released a study measuring the level of customer engagement with their electric utility's programs and services throughout the United States and Canada. The study provides electric utilities with insights regarding customer awareness, participation, ease of enrollment, and the impact they have on the overall customer experience.

The study shows that overall satisfaction is highest among customers who participate in one or more of their electric utility's offerings at 679 out of 1,000. However, customer satisfaction declines to 642 for those who choose not to participate in these programs, regardless of being aware. Finally, the score bottoms out to 582 for those who are unaware of any offerings from their utility.

"Creating awareness and motivating customers to engage with new energy programs, products and services is a huge opportunity for utilities to improve customer satisfaction," said Jeff Conklin, senior director of the energy utility practice at J.D. Power. "Customer satisfaction is higher when consumers are merely aware of programs, and then satisfaction increases substantially with each additional program a consumer joins."

Based on J.D. Power’s study, customers most commonly engage in the following programs/features:

  • E-bills
  • Level or equal pay plan
  • In-home energy audit
  • Rebates on Energy Star appliances
  • High-efficiency light bulb rebates/discounts

The study was based on 27,000 responses from residential customers of 131 electric utilities.

Napa Valley’s Odette Estate Winery Gets Green

Odette Estate, a winery located in Napa Valley, California, is revealing their plans to build a living roof at their tasting location. Fitted with indigenous plants, the goal of the roof is to attract vineyard friendly bug and repel the not-so-friendly types, creating an environment that promotes a healthy organic vineyard. In addition to the living roof, Odette Estate is building solar panels, an electric vehicle charging station, and offices created from recycled shipping containers. The design and renovations are being carried out by renowned architect Juan Carlos Fernandez.

Concept image of the roof.

The Odette Estate vineyards have been converted to 100 percent organic farming over the last few years. The project is scheduled to be finished by mid-2014.