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Historical energy Use and Costs

Prior to the industrial revolution we gathered all the resources we needed to sustain ourselves and families. This included growing our own food supply, gathering wood for heating and cooking, and hauling our own water home. The industrial revolution brought many people to large urban areas, where they worked in large factories and lived in large apartment buildings or tracts of single family homes. These urban building were supplied heating, cooling, water, and lighting from common sources of energy, called utility companies. You paid your utility bills every month and you took for granted that life's conveniences would always be available at a price that was insignificant to your monthly budget.

When you turned on the water faucet, you assumed that fresh drinkable water would always flow. When you adjusted the thermostat, you assumed that you could sit comfortably in your living room without freezing or overheating. You also assumed that the supply of these resources were unlimited. So you didn't put much thought into saving energy, modifying your home to reduce heat and cooling losses, and generating energy from alternate sources.

Today's Reality

Today we consume huge amounts of energy because of population growth in North America, industrialization of developing nations in Asia, and the increased use of electronic equipment such computers and computer controlled devices.

The supply of most earth based energy resources (fossil fuels) has gone over the peak, meaning now they are in declining supply. And, the extraction of energy resources is becoming much more difficult and expensive because we have to dig deeper into the earth's crust. At the same time, with the world's human population increasing to 10 billion, demand for traditional energy sources is ever increasing.

The USA, for the past 100 years, has established an economic and lifestyle model of highly inefficient energy consumption that the rest of the world wants to copy and the USA wants to continue. USA homes of the past century were built with an emphasis on visual appeal, comfort, and convenience rather than efficiency. Most homes in America older than 30 years have many "energy leaks" in the walls, conduit entering the home, windows, and doors. The affects on energy supply and the environment are becoming quite significant.

There have been record high temperature recordings and flooding occurring on every continent around the world during this current decade from 2000 to 2010.

Floods on the rise worldwide. The red shaded areas show floods so far in 2010.

Houston Harvey Hurricane Summer 2017 All Time Rain Fall Record Broken More Than 50 Inches

One of the most brutal storms to hit the Oil refinery capital of the world, Houston Hurricane Harvey broke all USA records for rain fall levels topping more than 50 inches in less than 5 days. No one in the Houston Metro Area escaped getting their property damaged by high winds or flood water inundation.

Houston Harvey Hurricane Summer 2017
Houston Harvey Hurricane Summer 2017.

Community, rather than government efforts dominated the rescue missions of many thousands of people and pets that were stranded in homes, roof tops, and on street corners.

Houston Harvey Hurricane Summer 2017
Houston Harvey Hurricane Summer 2017.

The Harvey storm hovered, over south east Texas and the Gulf of Mexico for several days, continuously bringing water from the Gulf and dumping it on land. Because of this area's flat topology, it will take weeks, maybe even months for the water to drain back into the Gulf and people to return to their homes.

Houston Harvey Hurricane Summer 2017
Houston Harvey Hurricane Summer 2017.

Houston Harvey Hurricane Summer 2017
Houston Harvey Hurricane Summer 2017.

San Francisco Bay Region Get Damaging Floods in Winter 2017

San Francisco Bay Area Flooding Early 2017
San Francisco Bay Area Flooding Early 2017 After Years of Drought.

January 2017 has been one of the wettest months for the the San Francisco bay Area after many years of drought. The heavy rains caused damage through out the states of California, Oregon, and Washington.

Scientists Underestimate Effects of Rising Temperatures

The ice is melting faster than climatologist's models predicted. The melting ice is releasing million year old methane stored under seas and land. The release of methane into the atmosphere will accelerate world temperatures and push the climate into an unstoppable run away temperature raise. Most species, both plants and animals, including humans will not have time to adapt to the changing environment. According to biologist Dr. Guy McPherson, we'll all be gone before the year 2030. He recommends not committing suicide, but live out this next 10 years to your fullest. These things will not be televised for obvious reasons.

Helping Each Other Save Energy

The good news is, if we begin the change now, we have a chance to prevent further climate change destruction, by making our home more energy efficient. This web site focuses on solutions you can implement in your home to save energy and water. It is also a site that encourages your sharing of ideas. As the site is named "", many of those tips will come from you. As you browse the tips given, if they trigger a thought or implementation you have used to save energy in your home, please share those ideas with other viewers of this site.

Economic Motivation for Home Energy Efficiency

Saving money is the top overt reason for implementing home efficiency in most minds today. As utility bills for electricity and gas increase year over year, they start to become a significant proportion of the homeowner's income. As these bills increase, quality of life goes down AGAIN. It is possible to save from 20% to 95% on your utilities bills by implementing home efficiency techniques. The investments made in the beginning, with government incentives, can repay themselves within 5-20 years. After the payback period, energy is free for the life of the home. Economic costs will be outlined through out the web site.

Institutional Investor Community Recommends Large Scale Investments in Clean Energy

The push for a new clean economy has just got a very large injection of inspiration. The Environmental News Service just reported that "WASHINGTON, DC, October 19, 2011 (ENS) - Hundreds of the world's largest investors, representing more than $20 trillion in assets, today encouraged governments and international policy makers to take new legally-enforceable steps to combat climate change at the upcoming UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa." The consortium of investor groups prodded governments to create a long term stable environment for investor to invest in clean energy projects, as well as other important humanity focused objective such as helping developing nation adapt to permanent climate change. So at this point the money is ready, the majority of the people are ready, we just need to vote the right people into our governments that can pass meaningful legislation. Download the investor summary and list of signatories. Download the full investor group policy recommendations.

Environmental Motivation

Rising average temperatures worldwide with catastrophic effects on glaciers and rising waters is only one of the many products of inefficient energy use. At some point the burden placed on the complex web of life in our world will be too much and our world's fragile ecosystems will begin to collapse. For example, land that was used for centuries for farming will no longer be able to produce a crop because the land had succumbed to salt water intrusion. So you may ask "With such a large problem, how can an individual family make a difference?" Well the answer is, "Get Started". Your neighbors and visitors will see your home efficiency implementations and will want to employ them in their own homes. The term "Grass Roots Activist" has become very popular today after the Obama Presidential Election Campaign. However, it certainly applies here. When individual households like yours and mine take steps to improve the efficiency of their own homes, it adds up to big savings across the globe.

The Debate, Climate Deniers, Climate Gate

When you look at how fast the world is changing, both in terms for climate severity and countries accelerating their clean energy policies, one can not imagine that there is still some debate in America as to whether there is a climate problem or not. This debate is stalemating the American federal government from enacting critical policy changes and entrepreneurial incentives to convert a carbon based civilization to one that is clean energy based. The time has passed for arguing. The motivations of climate deniers are obvious. The storms are getting worse by the season worldwide. Strong action needs to be taken now.

International Energy Agency Finds Current Policies Not Enough to Prevent 3.5° to 6° C Temperature Rise

After an intense study and subsequent publication the International Energy Agency (IES) has determined that even though many governments have enacted laws to reduce greenhouse gases, carbon emissions will increase by 33% by the year 2035. That's only 25 years away. And with this kind of increase, average temperatures will rise long term by at least 3.5 degrees Celsius.

International Energy Agency talk.
International Energy Agency Climate Change Discussion

In the New Policies Scenario, cumulative carbon dioxide emissions over the next 25 years amount to three-quarters of the total from the past 110 years. Dr. Fatih Birol, chief economist for the IES says that without placing a price on carbon and an internationally binding emissions reduction agreement, fossil fuels will continue to be a growing part of driving the world economy. The report can be found at World Energy Outlook.

Topics Covered on This Site

We broke the home efficiency topic into several categories to allow you to focus in on a given area.

  • Overview of Home Efficiency: Pages in this section include topics that help you become familiar with home efficiency such as definitions, standards organizations, energy audits, and tax credits.
  • Inside The Home: This section includes everything pertaining to energy efficiency inside the home. This includes appliances, lighting, heating and cooling, and home automation.
  • The Home Shell: This includes walls, windows and doors, insulation, as well as the roof.
  • Alternative Energy Sources: Here we talk about solar panels, passive solar heaters, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources to help you offset or eliminate your utility bills.
  • Conserving Water: Fresh water is probably the most important natural resource that keeps us alive. Most of the water coming out of our faucets goes to the landscape. It also takes excessive amounts of fossil fuel energy to move and purify water. You can implement a very efficient water conservation system by employing a number of techniques in your home and landscape. Some of the topics covered here are
    • Rain Water Harvesting
    • Grey Water
    • Efficient Irrigation Systems
    • Testing For and Repairing Leaky Plumbing
  • Transportation: Over 25% of carbon dioxide released into the air from humans is from transportation. There are many ways to reduce your carbon dioxide production. Here we'll discuss changing your driving habits, alternative energy vehicles, hybrid cars, high speed rail and government incentives.

Your Ideas Needed

This is your site. For those who are passionate about living a more sustainable lifestyle, for those who are just looking for ideas on where to begin, and for those who are on a limited budget, we welcome you to participate in home energy efficiency ideas. Our web service provider has several excellent methods to allow you to share home efficiency information. Just fill in the form and get started. And remember, your content information will not be used by any other entity for spamming or surveillance.

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Inside The Home

The Home Shell

Sustainable House Design

Alternative Energy Sources

Conserving Water