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Energy Efficiency

For the utility companies, the motivators are a bit different.  It is very important to understand that most utilities do not own energy “production”.  They own energy “distribution”, the grid.  They purchase electricity from power plants; some are dirty polluters and some are clean.  They put the electricity that they purchase into their distribution grid and then deliver it by wire to our properties.  During periods of high energy demand, like the air conditioning load of hot summer afternoons, the utility must “turn on” those dirty power plants that are heavy polluters.  When the utilities are forced to do this, the Public Utilities Commissions fine them heavily.  The fines are actually so significant that the utility company is better off actually reducing the energy demand of their entire territory of focus to the point that the utility will never again need to buy energy from those high pollution power plants.  In reality, today’s public utility commission legislation insures that, in order to be more profitable, the utility that provides energy must sell less energy.  The goal of the utility based energy efficiency incentive programs is to decommission high pollution power plants.  If you breathe or drink water, seeing this decommissioning successfully accomplished should be important to you!  Is there any other industry that is financially incenting its customers to purchase less of the product that it provides?

So then, the municipal and utility administrated energy efficiency based financial incentives are real and many of the programs focus on multi-residential housing.  Energy efficiency studies show clearly that, as a nation, we have two key sources of energy waste that absolutely must be resolved.  The first is that HVAC ducting systems often leak about 30% of the air that they condition into unconditioned airspace like an attic or crawlspace.  So, how about that?  For decades, we’ve been installing bigger heaters and air conditioners that increase power consumption in order to meet our thermal conditioning loads when, in reality, at least half of those HVAC system upgrades could have been avoided if their ducting systems had simply been sealed to avoid leakage.  Moreover, if those ducts had been sealed instead of increasing the capacity of the HVAC system, power consumption and associated costs would have decreased instead of increased!

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