It is well documented that natural gas conversions save money and reduce emissions. It is also well documented that programs that increase energy efficiency by offering financial incentives to homeowners who invest in things like energy-smart appliances or improved insulation do, as well. However, U.S. households were still spending approximately $65 billion on natural gas in 2018 compared to $1.3 billion on energy efficiency programs.
A recent study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory questions the wisdom of this policy. The authors reveal that the energy efficiency programs are more cost-effective than conversions to natural gas and that, in effect, investing in this “resource” is the cheaper option.
For additional commentary on this report, we recommend reading Sheryl Carter’s recent post on the Natural Resources Defense Council site. Carter is the Director of the Power Sector of the Climate & Clean Energy Program, and notes that these programs do more than just save money and cut emissions: They also ease housing affordability problems, create high-quality jobs, and will bring us closer to a net-zero future.
To read her post, click here.
[Photo courtesy of Tom Bassett-Dilley Architect. Image depicts the retrofit and addition of the Carroll Center Passive House in Oak Park, IL.]