Tuesday, September 07, 2010

$100 bills lying around, why's nobody picking them up?

The New York Times has an article on the glut of energy efficient opportunities around us and it makes a pretty convincing case. So the question with so much free money available, why don't people take advantage of it. Says a lot about inertia is my guess. If a light bulb is working, why replace it. And you pay your electricity bill because you have to, it hurts but when you write the check. You forget the pain and move on.

So the goal is to make sure that people don't have to think about taking advantage of efficiency. They just do it since all choices available are efficient.


At 1:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

One problem with looking at efficiency numbers is that they don't necessarily address SYSTEM efficiency. For example, we recently tried to replace our hot water heater with a super efficient on demand system. It turned out that the on-demand system needed a commercial size natural gas line to feed it the power to heat the water quickly enough. Also, to achieve the high efficiency, you needed to add a heat exchanger to the exhaust and have a completely separate exhaust from the furnace. That's a heck of a lot of complexity to save about $100 per year (not even considering capital outlay). To add insult to injury, the "super efficient" unit cost $4K and the reasonably efficient unit that we ended up getting cost $1K. These things only last 15 years... ($100*15<$3K)
- Roger


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