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The Costly Side of Energy Efficiency

Areg Bagdasarian's picture
Program Manager and Research Analyst, DataCapable

Areg Bagdasarian is an energy analyst and program manager covering the world of alternative energy vehicles, energy efficiency and technological change in the utility and smart grid world. He's...

  • Member since 2012
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  • Aug 23, 2017

It’s easy to get joyfully engulfed in the positive wave of news emanating from product and service companies whose aim is to make energy use more engaging or efficient. Yet attaining some of the more glamorous and bleeding edge technology still is an income bracket or two away for a large portion of consumers. Though things are trending in a more affordable direction it’s worth noting that not only can most people not afford a Tesla Model S, but the impending $35k+ model 3 may still be an aspirational product for many. The same goes for home energy storage systems which  are incredibly practical when hooked up to solar panels but also costly with most starting at around $3,000 or more  and Tesla’s 14 kWh Powerwall coming in at $5,500. But what everyday efficiency for your home or dwelling? Doors, windows, insulation and the like?

With respect to housing, your region and the type of dwelling you happen to reside in are also key determinants of how costly energy can be and how much you’ll be able to take advantage of energy efficiency initiatives. Often it seems that those in more rural areas are likely to have the same if not more energy efficiency issues but have fewer choices and less expendable income to cover the costs. A recent report in the Guardian warns of those in rural England being left behind because of rising fuel prices and the inability of rural inhabitants to take advantage of utility initiatives for making homes more efficient through new insulation, modern boilers and heating systems. Whereas urban dwellings are said to be using almost 23% less energy per square meter in 2015 as compared to 2008, rural homes in the UK were at the same standard as urban UK homes from 2010, resulting in higher energy bills in the countryside.              

The latest cars, gadgets and electronics always seem to pull in more eyeballs but its good to remain abreast of some of the basic day to day energy efficiency necessities for homeowners. Utilities can do their part to make energy efficiency audits and upgrades more affordable not just for urban and suburban residents but also for those in rural areas. As so often happens, those that can least afford high energy prices are those most often faced with them.


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