Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Energy consumption in the United States

The US Department of Energy’s latest data on our country’s energy production and consumption is quite telling. In 2007, approximately 21% of the energy consumption in the United States was attributed to residential buildings.

Meanwhile, in the period from 2000 to 2007 fossil fuel energy production was reduced 1.46% while consumption increased 1.74%. Renewable energy production did increase 0.72% with consumption increasing 0.76%, less than half of the increased consumption of fossil fuels. Clearly there is room for improvement and an opportunity for homeowners building new homes to lessen the dependency on fossil fuels.

If you are building a green home, one of the most important choices you will make is the type of system you will use to heat and/or cool the home, domestic hot water and the electricity required for lighting and appliances.

Consider renewable energy systems – in particular, a solar, wind, or geothermal energy system. Each system uses abundant natural energy and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. When we burn these fossil fuels we increase “greenhouse gases” (carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor and other chemicals) contributing to global warming.

On July 17, 2008, former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore addressed the United States with a call to reduce 100% of our electricity from energy sources with zero carbon emissions within the next ten years. Watch the highlights of his speech below.

We are committed through our profession to lessen our individual and global carbon footprint. Together, we have an opportunity to make a difference.


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