Tagged : home-retrofits

Steven Chu: Making buildings energy efficient ‘is truly low hanging fruit’

March 22nd, 2010

(In this piece, reprinted from a collection of essays assembled by the World Economic Forum, a Switzerland-based non-profit commited to improving the state of the world, U.S. Secretary of Energy argues that making buildings energy efficient can rack up substantial energy savings. Chu also discusses why businesses and individuals have previously failed to pick up on this opportunity.)

By Steven Chu


Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy

For the next few decades, energy efficiency is one of the lowest cost options for reducing US carbon emissions. Many studies have concluded that energy efficiency can save both energy and money. For example, a recent McKinsey report calculated the potential savings assuming a 7% discount rate, no price on carbon and using only “net present value positive” investments. It found the potential to reduce consumer demand by about 23% by 2020 and reduce GHG emissions by 1.1 gigatons each year — at a net savings of US$ 680 billion.

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From Durham to Sacramento, cities get help with ‘climate showcase’ projects

March 3rd, 2010

By Harriet Blake
Green Right Now

In Durham, N.C., homes will get an energy retrofit. In Salt Lake City, they’ll develop a plan to reduce auto pollution. In Sacramento, they’ll be improving the landscape around a river to reduce pollution runoff. And in Denver, they’ll be looking at a little bit of all that — energy efficiency for homes and businesses, bike sharing and renewable energy.

It’s all being made possible by $10 million from the EPA’s Climate Showcase Community Grants, set up to help communities develop their plans to reduce greenhouse gases and lighten their carbon footprint.

Durham, N.C.

Retrofiting by insulating pipes in Durham, N.C.

Retrofiting by insulating pipes in Durham, N.C.

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Greening in place, tips for retrofitting from LA’s Eco/Consulting US

August 6th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

New green homes can awe-inspiring, both for their groundbreaking designs and their show of techno-muscle. Those tubular daylights, state-of-the-art solar panels, sleek recycled flooring, dehumidifying HVAC systems, complex gray water reclamation systems, louvered light “shelves” and heat-reflecting metal roofs can leave the common homeowner gaping — and wishing.

The truth is most of us won’t be building a brand new green castle, at least not anytime soon — and perhaps there’s something to be said for the alternative; let’s call it “greening in place”.

Almost any home can become more energy friendly, and this “in fill” project can occupy a very important spot in the urban landscape: your own lot!

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