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Home > Feature Articles > Weatherization of Homes and Commercial Buildings

Energy Efficiency is HERE, it's ACHIEVABLE, and ... WHY aren't we doing it?

There is increasingly understanding of the scope of the problem of wasted energy... and a will to make it happen.

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Energy efficiency is not gearing up in the US. Why? Maybe because we're just not doing the math. Energy efficiency saves money, and is much better than recent investment rewards on the stock market... or in Vegas!

Compare purchase of equipment and the utility costs associated with full time ownership costs. $1,000 for the equipment. $400 a month for a year equals about $5,000 a year. By spending $2,000 -- TWICE THE UPFRONT COSTS -- you could save as much as 30 PER CENT a year -- that's $1,500 a year. That's $15,000 over a ten year life of the equipment.

Now, that's just a hypothetical figure to get your adrenalin pumping. But it's not far from the possible! THIRTY PER CENT savings is touted by the Department of Energy as achievable savings PER YEAR with good energy efficiency systems and practices.

Ask your energy efficiency contractor, your Energy Star equipment dealer, your utility company customer service rep for the data to fill in this equation based on your local area and choices. And don't forget to ask for incentives, rebates, and other tax programs that shave even more off your equation for savings!

$ Cost of ENERGY EFFICIENCY Equipment + (Annual est. Energy x Years of expected life of the equipment) = Optimum Savings

Compare this with:

$ Cost of INEFFICIENT Equipment + (Annual est. Energy COSTS x Years of expected life of the equipment) = Energy Hog Costs!

Consumers have a choice. Contractors have a choice, and can pass on good information to their clients -- if they care about keeping them!

We, consumers as well as professional builders and remodeling contractors, have the technologies for heating, air conditioning more efficiently.

Highly energy efficient technology is here, today, on the shelf.

Energy efficiency in buildings is low hanging fruit.

While climate change and carbon trade discussions focuses on renewable energy generation - with solar, geothermal, wind etc. they are good approaches to reducing the impact of generating energy... but not at the expense of energy efficiency! You can reap more benefits, and savings and a shorter term payback with energy efficiency.

Costs are going up for energy ... the dangers are too great and redundancies, precautions, higher insurance rates, and scarcity of feedstock will impact future energy costs.

People will have to look to more energy efficiency to keep costs in-line -- or to reduce costs. It's a must.

But it's not easy. You must have a sincere wish to do it.

Many energy efficiency solutions aren't obvious, you have to look for them. Problems like leaky air ducts, and holes in the attic construction take a bit of climbing and poking to find. And it takes some research to find the best equipment for the dollar. But if you sincerely want to save money, you can find a lot of helpful information. There are professionals who have put together effective auditing systems for homes and commercial buildings to find leaks, lumps, holes and drafts. You can find a lot of tips and techniques on online websites and in databases.

But you have to look. And then make a plan... and work it.

There is increasingly understanding of the scope of the problem of wasted energy... and a will to make it happen.

You can be part of the solution for your family ... and for your country's competitiveness in the global market. Waste was never smart ... now it really pays to be efficient!

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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