Why We Save: When the Cost of Energy Hits Home

As we work to save energy, one of our goals is to save dollars for consumers. But there are other costs that energy professionals can minimize as well, for example, obtaining and transporting energy and building materials. Knowing that we are helping to minimize these 'external' costs will renew our motivation to save energy, and hopefully inspire home energy users to save as well. 'External' costs include the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill; U.S and Afghan lives lost obtaining expeditionary energy for U.S. military operations; and the cost to families, flora and fauna from environmental damage to our streams and watersheds at home.

At the recent National Community Action Foundation Energy Leveraging conference, John Daws, with the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, brought home the environmental cost of Natural Gas (NG) plays in his home state. Pennsylvania has become one of the major sites for Marcellus Shale and other unconventional Natural Gas plays that use hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to remove deep NG deposits contained in shale. Fracking injects water and other fluids up to 8,000 feet or more below the surface and laterally for a mile or more. The natural gas needs no additional refinement and is ready for market. As a result, fracking has turned the U.S. into an NG energy producer, and there is a projected capacity for serving domestic power needs for next 88-120 years at projected future use, not including transportation uses.

The Marcellus Shale NG industry is only three years old, and John made it clear that Pennsylvanians, and other communities with shale containing NG, are not ready for the compressor stations, under/above-ground storage and pipeline projects that are built through public and private game and forest lands as part of shale gas drilling. Pennsylvania is second only to Alaska in stream miles and the state's prior Governor leased 700,000 acres of public land, almost one-third of all state-owned acres, to gas drillers.

John called upon energy professionals to take on our role as public citizens and watch against "sacrifice areas" in energy development. Let your local government know how energy companies are developing resources in your back yard, get involved in setting the ground rules for gas plays and help insure that gas companies perform responsibly. In some communities impacted by Marcellus Shale NG drilling, tax funds are being set-aside into a green/clean tech funds to support energy efficiency and renewable energy developments. Go to Fractracker.org, at the Univ. of Pittsburgh Center for Healthy Environments and Communities.

Will a sense of culpability for having harmed another person, or the common good, by their (in)action induce home-dwellers to save energy? Read Jim Gunshinan's recent Home Energy blog post on the Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference, for his update on what recent human behavior studies show.

Can government stay ahead of the energy industry and help minimize the costs of environmental damage from energy development? The Deepwater Horizon spill would lead one to say no. However, on Nov. 30th the New York State Assembly voted to impose a statewide moratorium on fracking while a comprehensive review of the practice is undertaken. The moratorium now requires Governor Paterson’s expected signature to go into effect.

Views: 140

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros Forum to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros Forum

Comment by Franco Oyuela on November 19, 2018 at 3:48pm

How to Save Money With a Mini-Split System.

The Energy Star program provides detailed information on efficiency and performance ratings, helping customers to select the most effective cooling and heating unit for their needs and budget.

Energy Star rated appliances are those that exceed standards set by the federal agency for energy efficiency and decreased resource usage.

Consumers who consult with a guide or website that lists Energy Star certified appliances are likely to find the equipment that will result in the least environmental impact and will help them to save money in energy usage over the life of the appliance, as well.

Latest Activity

Daniel Baur-McGuire replied to David Meiland's discussion Air gap above floor insulation--how big is the impact?
"Im specifically thinking of floors over garage. Builders here often use rigid insulation under the…"
8 minutes ago
Robert DV replied to David Meiland's discussion Air gap above floor insulation--how big is the impact?
"Why Charles!   How do you really feel??"
32 minutes ago
Robert DV replied to David Meiland's discussion Air gap above floor insulation--how big is the impact?
"David, Assuming the band / rim is sealed what benefit is there to direct contact with the sub…"
34 minutes ago
Sean Lintow Sr replied to David Meiland's discussion Air gap above floor insulation--how big is the impact?
"2018 IECC --- just think, you do have 6 sided encapsulation unlike an attic which see's more…"
14 hours ago
Mick Lane replied to David Meiland's discussion Air gap above floor insulation--how big is the impact?
"There are a few things going on here. First, if you want an idea of the effectiveness of the…"
15 hours ago
Daniel Baur-McGuire replied to David Meiland's discussion Air gap above floor insulation--how big is the impact?
"Where is this written? please and thank you. As, its written you would have to do cont. insulation…"
15 hours ago
Charles Buell replied to David Meiland's discussion Air gap above floor insulation--how big is the impact?
"Of course---and fiberglass is garbage in this application and many others"
15 hours ago
David Butler replied to David Meiland's discussion Air gap above floor insulation--how big is the impact?
"Bruce wrote: "What if they where 16" deep "I" joist? Further to tell the…"
17 hours ago

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service