In the US, nearly half the energy we consume and three-fourths of the electricity we generate is used to heat, cool, light and operate our buildings. Most of this energy is created by burning fossil fuels.
Our goal is to reduce energy consumption in buildings, transition to renewable energy, and eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the first things to do is to weatherize your home with sufficient installation and air sealing to make it as energy efficient as possible. Energy Trust of Oregon has excellent information on how to do that including financial incentives and rebates.
If you are building a home then consider building a Net Zero Energy home that combines solar with energy efficiency features. Or a Passive House design, an approach developed in Europe to make homes ultra-low energy efficient. Fortunately, our partner, Green Hammer, specializes in all of these design approaches.
When shopping for new appliances, look for an Energy Star symbol. This certification means a product has met energy efficiency standards for the United States. High value energy efficient appliances such as the refrigerator, dish washer, clothes washer, dryer, and spare freezer go a long way towards making your energy usage smarter.
Solar and wind are two of the best renewable energy options. There are three good ways to support that:
Eliminate Fossil Fuel
A key strategy to eliminate fossil fuel usage in your home is to Electrify Everything including how you heat, cool and cook. This means replacing appliances that use natural gas with energy efficient heat pumps to heat and cool your home, an energy efficient heat pump water heater and an induction stove top for cooking.