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Should energy efficiency always be addressed before renewables are considered?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've been speaking with a bunch of home energy audit and retrofitting companies recently that argue for addressing the 'low hanging fruit' of energy efficiency projects (windows, insulation, duct seals, lighting, etc) before considering renewables (solar, small wind, etc).

 

Thoughts?

post #2 of 5

Absolutely! Address the plums first.

 

But it is important to consider people's values before handing them an assessment they may find boring, difficult to swallow or even insulting.

 

A) Do the home-owners sincerely want to minimalize ALL ASPECTS of their home's energy consumption?

..or..

B) Do the home-owners want to feel warm & fuzzy about having a few PV panels on their roof... as a kind of new-age yuppie status symbol.

 

The correct answer is actually "C", both of the above.

post #3 of 5

I think the Department of Energy secretary Chu would agree with this. He is constantly talking about energy efficiency as being low hanging fruit. he even once referred to it as $20 dollar bills laying around on the ground! Pretty huge. I think in order to essentially rebuild the energy industry replacing the current system with a renewable one we have to try to use as little as possible so that there is less of a burden.

 

I actually read an article that most home owners don't really care about green or reducing their energy consumption per se, the care more about saving money.

post #4 of 5

yes i think so

post #5 of 5

Energy efficiency is the first step to install solar especially solar heating.  Regardless using energy more efficiently is common sense.  Moving from fossil fuel base heating to solar heating requires you to plug the leaks first.  Even if you weren't moving up to solar, when you plug leaks you save energy and perhaps a little money.  Simply, it's the right thing to do!  

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