Sitting in a conference room on the 17th floor in Nashville, I was listening to a presentation by a couple of builders who are producing energy efficient housing.
"For a 3-5% increase in up front cost, we have houses that use 40% less energy than what is currently being built in Tennessee." Then he laid the clincher on me..."They never run out of hot water...never!"
Ok, sign me up. ...Although now that both boys are older and have "serious" girlfriends their showers are much shorter and there's hot water for the Dad.
Payback on these energy efficient homes is less than 5 years, even on the ones that go to extremes to save energy. The first 40% is easy though and fairly cheap, with a 3 year payback. So if you build a house to last 30 years, why wouldn't you go with one that saves you money for the last 25-27 years of that?
We saw a graph of historical petroleum demand since the 1920's and noticed the only two downturns in usage...one driven by the OPEC oil embargo when we as a nation decided to conserve energy and one when the original CAFE mileage standards went into effect, when we as a nation decided to conserve energy.
So here's the bottom line...There is no oil shortage. it is artificially created by the marketing department and oil lobbyists. if we as a nation decide to conserve energy again, the price of gas will drop back to a buck fifty fairly fast.
If everybody goes out right now and inflates their tires to the proper pressure, gas drops to Two bucks in the next 60 days, unless Bush bombs Iran.
So I have come up with a new campaign slogan for presidential candidates. We should "Fight 'em over here" so we won't have to "Fight 'em over there."
So you know those air machines at the gas stations? The ones where it costs you 75 cents to air up your tires? I say pass a law making air free and rip those babies out and replace them with the good old American classic "Free Air" pump, and while we're at it...
How about let's bring back water fountains? Buying water in a plastic bottle for $5.16 a gallon seems to be the greatest of all American stupidities.
For those interested in learning more, here is the nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for low energy homes. I'm thinking it's time for us to take this matter into our own hands.