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Why do we want to be efficient?

Monday, February 29th, 2016 by Ben Kershner


Why go green?OK, so you recycle.  You turn off lights when you leave the room.  Maybe you drive a Prius.  But WHY?  Why are we doing all this?  Well here’s what I believe:

  1. By Bureau of Engraving and Printing - http://www.newmoney.gov/newmoney/files/100_Materials/100_GlossyFront_EN_WEB031210.pdf, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10086032To save MONEY.  When it comes down to it, saving money is a big priority for most of us!
  2. ComfortFor COMFORT.  If I can eliminate drafts, and have a quieter, healthier home, count me in.
  3. By NASA/Apollo 17 crew; taken by either Harrison Schmitt or Ron Evans - http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/115334main_image_feature_329_ys_full.jpgAlt: http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/GPN-2000-001138.html (direct link), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43894484For the PLANET.  So not everyone believes in global warming.  What about Strategic Energy Dependence?  Air pollution?  Nuclear Waste? The cost of incentivizing renewables?  There’s a reason for everybody.
  4. DurabilityFor DURABILITY.  Houses are not disposable items.  The same measures that improve the comfort and efficiency of a home will also improve the overall longevity of the home.  We can’t tear down and rebuild every house.  Instead, let’s make what we have last longer.

Ben Franklin never said it

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”  

--Ben Franklin (or not)

Here’s an interesting way to look at efficiency:  If you install solar panels, and produce 1 kilowatt (kW) of energy, that’s a kW that the power-plant ISN’T producing.  Likewise, if you make your house more energy efficient, that can ALSO be a kW that the power plant isn’t producing – lots of kilowatts, in fact.  All these efficient homes are adding up to MEGAwatts of energy NOT spent, and NOT produced at the power-plant.  It’s better than producing energy using renewable means – it’s like your home produces “NEGA-watts”, or Negative energy usage. With every small improvement you make, your home produces more and more “nega-watts.”                 

Now, efficiency can be compared to solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, coal, etc.. Which is best -- efficiency?  The answer turns out to be a RESOUNDING “yes!”  with NO pollution like coal and oil, NO hazardous waste like nuclear,  NO fickle weather problems like wind and solar, NO wildlife habitat concerns as with hydro… Simply USING LESS makes sense.   And… it’s the most cost effective by a landslide.  Because it saves you money, and therefore pays for itself – in the long run, it’s free. 

Energy efficiency done right improves your comfort and health, extends the life of your home, saves the planet and PAYS YOU MONEY! 

Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

About the author

Ben Kershner

Ben Kershner is a home energy advisor at True Energy Solutions, and is a regular contributor to our website. He lives with his wife and family in Greece, NY.

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