|A lot has changed in energy since the 70's, but we still use a lot of it.|
I see two problems with this however. First of all, we have a whole lot more homes today than in 1978. We're around 115 million households today where we were only at 68 million in the 1970s. While flat or even slightly declining per household energy consumption is great, 47 million new households means that we're using a lot more energy on the whole than ever before.
|Where we use energy in our homes--1978 and today.|
Take a look at the water heating portion of the chart. 20% of our residential energy goes to heating up water for showers, cooking, and cleaning. This is a very predictable energy load that is completely unrelated to any other mechanical system in the house or to the quality of the building envelope. As we look to make further cuts in per capita and total energy consumption, the water heating load is an excellent place to focus.
|Germany has far less sun & far more solar than the US. No one thinks the Germans are flaky environmental nuts either.|
The answer to our energy problems rises every morning.