[Greenbuilding] Fwd: energy savings myths

Reuben Deumling 9watts at gmail.com
Thu Nov 17 13:52:18 PST 2011

Perhaps I should have said two more words about this.

A house that *uses less energy *than it used to; than it's competition
across town; than the energy code requires, etc. is, I think most of us
would agree, among other things, more energy efficient than those
alternatives. The reason this is so is that it uses less energy to keep its
occupants comfortable/clean/fed/etc. by whatever measure we may wish to use.

But the reverse is not necessarily true. A house that is *asserted to be
more energy efficient* may or may not use less energy. It may use more
energy than the categories to which we were comparing the first house
above. It is perhaps frustrating (it should be) to discover that the
'energy efficient' house uses more energy than its
builders/occupants/boosters/etc. hoped/asserted/believed it would, but it
is not uncommon. Nor is it really all that surprising when we stop and
consider how 'energy efficiency' is packaged; how it is deployed; what it
is bundled with.

Put another way, many dwellings *asserted to be energy efficient* use in
some cases considerably more energy per occupant, per square foot, and most
importantly *per house* than other dwellings that don't exhibit all the
'energy efficient' markers. I could give lots of examples.
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