We've all heard the numbers before, but here's a nice little chart with a helpful breakdown of information. Buildings account for roughly 40% of all U.S. energy use. Or stated with more particularity, residential buildings account for 22% of all U.S. energy use and commercial buildings account for 18% of all U.S. energy use. When you parse the numbers out, here's where that energy is used:
The energy management space is really crowded, and the pace of innovation is hard to keep up with. While researching the various options on the market, I saw an opportunity to learn what one company's doing. Vantage, a long-time provider of home automation solutions for luxury homeowners, is located down the road in Orem, Utah, and the company just released a new Energy Management Solution. It's designed to save homeowners upwards of $600 – $1,500 per year, and the Vantage was kind enough to give me a tour of their offices to see how the solution works.
Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably heard about McKinsey & Company’s new report called Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy. Starting in 2008, a research team from McKinsey began working with companies, experts, agencies, and NGOs to (1) understand the net present value (NPV) positive potential of energy efficiency gains, (2) identify barriers to realizing these gains, and (3) outline practical solutions to unlock the potential energy efficiency gains. This comprehensive report documents that effort.
There's been a lot of talk about various green building provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454 or "ACES"), but there's one specific section of ACES that deserves more attention. Section 204 needs to be included in the green building discussion, because this is where the Building Energy Performance Labeling Program is. With this program, as we predicted with our Seven Green Trends, the federal government could lay the foundation for true and legitimate building environmental impact labels. Let's talk about this unprecedented policy, with a little background discussion.
San Antonio-based LionForce built this efficient home as a prototype for their ecoLiving System — a web-based configurator that will help homeowners design homes and build them through a national network of certified building partners. LionForce says their homes are efficient, healthy, low-maintenance, quickly constructed, and cost effective. This first prototype home, the T-2 home, has already received a 2009 Green Building Award from the City of San Antonio (in the custom home under 2,200 square feet category).
If you haven't noticed, the big news today is Microsoft Hohm, a free online beta application that's rumored to launch sometime next week. Microsoft Hohm will be a web-based service that takes information about your energy use — not just electricity — and examines it to provide recommendations to save money and energy. Here's what you can do: