Energy efficiency more affordable than once believed

While debate rages on the best methods of better improving energy efficiency in the United States, most agree on the long-term fiscal and environmental benefits that can be reaped from sustainability. It's well-documented by now how adopting a greener lifestyle can result in cheaper electricity bills and a reduction in climate change-causing carbon emissions. But for many people the initial cost required to make the jump to energy efficient living is too much of a deterrent to consider efficiency a viable option. After all, where's the upside in long-term benefits if they're offset by an upfront, short-term expense? However, a new study seems to indicate that this initial expenditure may have been projected as being higher than it actually is.

In its new report, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) indicates that the Department of Energy (DOE) has been over estimating in its work to calculate the costs of going green. In the past, DOE has projected that production costs will increase for manufacturers making energy efficient appliances. But according to the ACEEE study, DOE's projections fail to take into account the fact that production costs naturally decrease over time. Additionally, DOE's cost estimations don't factor in innovation and other advances in both production methods and technology, which can also make manufacturing quicker, cheaper and easier.

ACEEE concludes that, because of what is essentially bad math, DOE has been holding back energy efficiency standards for both buildings and appliances. If eco-friendly upgrades are more affordable than believed, then that fact completely rewrites the cost-benefit ratio that determines how financially viable energy-saving building codes can be. 

Virginia homeowners can invest in more affordable energy efficient homes with the help of a home inspection. Virginia home inspectors can analyze your property for signs that you may be wasting energy and how to address those issues, bringing down your utility bills in the process.