Back in 1984, an article featured on Mother Nature News spoke of the significantly higher rates of return on investments towards home energy efficiency when compared with any other investment.
“No standard investment, whether it be money market certificate, bond, stock, or collectible, is likely to pay you as much for a small outlay as good energy saving at home. The money you save this way is also the equivalent of tax-free income. “
Scientists had foreseen the need for more sustainable building practices, as a way to break free from our dependency in foreign and non-renewable energy sources, way before the peaking of the oil crisis.They called for energy efficiency as a path towards financial stability, before the soaring of fuel prices, the housing crisis, and the problems in our economy.
So why is it that, 30 years later, we are still building many homes without strong emphasis on energy efficiency? And why is it that 80 million homes in America are still consuming 2 to 3 times more energy than they would need if their existing home systems were working at top efficiency?
According to Larry Janesky -- a building scientist and author of 5 books concerning building performance and energy efficiency -- this is more of a homeowner’s issue. Despite of all the tax credits, grants, and incentives provided to them by federal and local governments over the past few years, many homeowners have not taken advantage of them and, as a result, are missing the chance to live more comfortably and affordably.
What is keeping so many homeowners from taking the leap? Misinformation, confusing advertising with exaggerated energy-saving claims, sure play a part on the overall skepticism but the main deterrent is cost.
Many think that home energy efficiency requires investing tens of thousands of dollars on solar equipment or high efficiency replacement windows and HVAC systems, while ignoring the fact that sometimes the biggest savings can be achieved by simple and relatively inexpensive building envelope improvements, such as attic or foundation insulation and professionally performed air sealing.
It all boils down to how much they will need to pay, how long it is going to take to recoup, and how much extra money they will have in their pockets each year.
Of course, given the chance, everyone would like to live more comfortably and help the environment – but what is in it for you?
To help clarify these issues, Larry gathered some local friends and employees at Dr. Energy Saver and Basement Systems, to put together two Ideas Worth Sharing videos, one of which illustrates this article. Enacted in front of a live audience, two skits using simple terms and analogies help explain the concept of home energy efficiency and its impact on comfort, quality of life, environment, and communities.
Larry hopes that, by helping spread the word, more homeowners will feel encouraged, roll up their sleeves and start building the future today, one home at a time.