Building Energy Usage in the US by Sector

This hopefully is common knowledge for about a decade now, as you can see in the graph below US energy consumption attributed to buildings is at about 40%. It is clear that we need to work on making our building stock more efficient. We will always have to heat,cool and provide a certain standard of living, so where are the energy hogs?

The US consumption of Energy in 2011 was roughly 97 Quadrillion BTU’s (according to EIA). Below is a break down of the Buildings category into Residential (Dark Red) and Commercial in quadrillion btu’s/yr. From this we can see that our collective energy could be focused toward lowering our Space heating, Water Heating and Space Cooling to dramatic affect. While creating more efficient technology such as CFL’s will help, we can see massive advances in efficiency by building to better performance standards. Wrapped up in the Space Heating category are going to be the efficiency of the Heaying unit, but more importantly the efficiency of the buildings envelope needs to be considered. This is why I am a proponent of a Passive House Standard. If we were to aggressively address the four top issues in the graph through-out all new and renovated buiildings we would drastically reduce our energy demand and increase efficiency. This would be a worthwhile immplementation of President Obama’s call for increasing our Residential Home Energy Efficiency. What do you think…

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