Building Code & Energy Efficiency educational training opportunities and builder continuing education is offered regularly for homeowners, Realtors, homebuilders and contractors. The nuts and bolts of home ownership are spoken in plain English directly from one of the most credentialed inspectors in the state, Steven Rinehart.
He explains, in detail to the purchaser of the home the when, where, why and how, by walking through the construction process from the design through moving in and beyond. All types of required inspections including the Energy Star certification process. Testing equipment is demonstrated, including infrared thermal cameras.
The Third Rail of Energy Efficiency
You can add efficient lighting, install setback thermostats and purchase the latest ENERGY STAR rated appliances, but all of these have a common-thread that has an inherent weakness. People. That's right. They leave the lights on, leave the computers on, avoid bathroom exhaust fans, ignore open doors and leave production equipment running during off-hours. No one intentionally wastes energy. It's just that they have learned these behaviors from peers and managers.
It's a fact that the US EPA ENERGY STAR pegs energy waste at somewhere from 5-30 percent of a home's energy cost. So Energy Awareness is really a big deal. We know that that it can be difficult to change behaviors, shift culture, and recapture the waste. But it's not impossible.
Energy awareness is often viewed as the ugly redheaded stepchild, the third rail of energy awareness because it's not sexy, it doesn't change the lighting, improve the HVAC or put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. So it's often the most forgotten opportunity in the world of harvesting the lowest hanging fruit.
The bottom line in energy efficiency is all about transparent solutions that deliver dollars and mega-tons (of CO2). It's all about sustainable (maintaining the savings year over year) solutions with an aggressive ROI. Energy awareness fits the bill. So when planning your energy management strategy, don't forget to be holistic... add energy awareness to you plan.