I’ve just returned from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) conference on buildings. This is a biannual meeting of the leading researchers, policy folks, and leading installers in the energy-efficiency. One big-take away was clear: all across the country, states, cities and towns, and utilities are very concerned about our energy future. In fact, there was so much interest that the conference sold out this year and they had to turn people away.
For all the reasons we discuss—including energy independence, our economy, national security, and global warming—we have to greatly reduce the fossil fuels we burn. And the consensus is that energy-efficiency has to lead the way, and that homes are a critical piece of the puzzle.
The good news—and again the consensus—is that we can do it. The technology and the science already exist to make very dramatic improvements. We can make a huge difference for individual homeowners. Add enough of these projects together and we make a difference for the country. A big challenge in many states is that there are few contractors who know how to look at homes, find the problems and answers, and make the installations needed to achieve deep energy savings. That’s one of the reasons the GreenHomes is being asked to expand into new regions—something we are doing.
In short, we know what to do to meet our energy needs. Now we just need to do it!
Shifting gears for a moment to something you can do today… GreenHomes often includes MythBuster facts in our newsletter. (Sometimes we like to go old school.) I’ll offer one up right now. You may have heard it said that turning lights on and off uses more energy then just leaving them on. That’s almost never the case! Turning off light really saves energy, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Once again, Mom was right. And you should turn off the lights when you leave a room.