Energy efficiency isn’t just low-hanging fruit; it’s fruit lying on the ground. We have the tools to reduce energy use at home and at work and to provide huge savings to families and businesses on their energy bills. But use of these technologies has been far too limited because we lack the simple and effective ways for people to access them. –Chu
BGB is on board for this movement, and will hopefully learn some valuable lessons from out own energy retrofit project. I have two points in response to the article mentioned above.
1. In regards to accessibility, as Chu explains we have the technology, homeowners just don’t know how to use it. One important lesson we have drawn from our first swim in the retrofit ocean is that too many people don’t know how to apply the technology because too many people don’t know about the technology. People laugh when we talk about our Deep Energy Retrofit (DER) project because its such a foriegn concept to them. We need to eliminate the uninteresting stigma associated with retrofits, educate our communities about the importance of decreasing energy consumption in our homes through retrofits, and disseminate this information efficiently and effectively amongst our social and political networks.
2. We need to develop user friendly residential energy efficiency software. The current energy modeling software is often overwhelming for even the more experienced software guru. Currently, we show the energy audit report to a client and their eyes immediately glaze over. We want a software program where we can easily enter the energy audit numbers, home statistics, and other relevant information into an electronic intake sheet. That information would then be processed to create an energy grade for each home breaking down the annual energy use for the home and the costs associated with that level of use. Next we would want the program to show the different paths to decreased energy use (retrofit, renewable energy, new light bulbs etc.), the estimated budget for each type of solution and the associated payback period.
Why can’t we make these suggestions a reality? Lets make the Deep Energy Retrofit exciting because let’s face it: Energy Efficiency Isn’t Sexy right now.