Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lessons Learned from Energy Audits

Lessons Learned Take One:

I haven't spoken to anyone who doesn't know much about energy efficiency. Most of the folks I've spoken to have had some exposure to the topic of energy efficiency, whether it was from their own projects, someone else's, the internet, their own research, or even the media.

Interestingly, I'm always asked for opinions on different approaches and techniques, etc. But a recurring trend I noticed is that they speak about energy efficiency from the perspective of their own experience and try to relate it to someone else's predicament. I've found that this comes up short because that person doesn't understand how to apply the principles of energy efficiency to someone else's home. They only understand it from their home and think it should apply to someone else's home just the same.

For example, I heard from someone who talked about how a friend of theirs added an instantaneous hot water heater in their home and reduced their electric bill by about $40. He said that that friend encouraged him to do the same to help save money too. So, he set out to do the same but found that this change had the opposite effect. It increased his electric bill by about $95 and he was quite discouraged by the results. After discussing both scenarios, his friend's household and his household, I saw distinct differences in their household needs and that was only the beginning. I will spare you further details. But, needless to say, he walked away from the conversation understanding what needed to be done in order to get a better outcome and he was going to have to spend more money.

I'll leave this story here. But I will write more detailed accounts following this post. Stay tuned! ;-)

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