The case for green retrofits in 2009 – A call to action

For almost 30 years homeowners have been remodeling their homes to improve the aesthetics, increase space, make the home more kid-friendly or to just raise their quality of life. The 1970s were a wake up call that the US was becoming too dependent on foreign oil. As long as the oil embargo lasted Americans were interested in reducing their energy use and retrofitting their homes. The US Department of Energy created a solar program and researched how to reduce building energy use. I was privileged to be part of that process. We knew then how to reduce energy in homes to the extent that if we had kept building more energy efficient and solar homes we would have saved the equivalent of the amount of oil we import from the middle east by today.

Alas, as oil prices came down and life returned to “normal” the interest in energy efficient homes went away. In 1985 the tax credits for solar expired and the solar industry withered on the vine. The Europeans and the Japanese took up the cause and continued to reduce energy use in all sectors and are the global leaders today. We are just waking up again.

Posted: 2009-06-25 16:42:33

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