Newest Trends in Energy Efficiency
An energy-efficient home means more money in your pocket. As time passes, the focus on conserving energy only grows, and that’s an extremely beneficial thing for the consumer and the environment. Let’s discuss the newest trends in energy efficiency.
One of the most prominent areas in the development of energy efficiency is the research of renewable energy. Many homes and businesses are already hopping on the bandwagon with solar energy, with the cost of solar panel installation going down more and more as time passes.
Though solar energy tends to be the first thing we think of when we hear “renewable energy”, there have also been advancements in wind and water energy as well. Expect renewable energy to continue trending until there is energy parity between renewable energy and that produced by fossil fuels.
Better Energy Storage
A hard-fought battle in the energy efficiency industry is creating a rechargeable battery with a longer overall life. The average lifespan of a rechargeable battery is somewhere between 5 - 15 years. Seeing as batteries large enough to store and power homes and vehicles are extremely expensive to replace, expect the race to create a way to store, keep and maintain energy all with a long lifespan to be forefront in the mind of researchers.
Zero Net Energy
Most newly constructed homes have a definite focus on energy efficiency. Some new constructions attempt to become “Zero Net Energy” homes. The goal of a ZNE home is exactly as the name sounds -- to only expend as much energy as it makes. This is established by installing renewable energy resources, such as solar paneling. These homes have high-efficiency heating, insulation, and ventilation to keep energy consumption as low as possible so that the rooftop solar panels can support the load. Expect more of these homes to pop up as homeowners focus on energy efficiency.
Concentration on Water Conservation
Just about all newly manufactured appliances that use water will continue producing items with energy efficiency in mind. From water heaters, to washing machines, to dishwashers, all the large brands are focusing on creating products that will use less water. The overuse of water can have serious consequences, especially in dry, arid environments. Many cities enact fines for overuse of water. Most newly constructed homes will have many, if not all, appliances with the EPA’s “Energy Star” label.
Carbon Footprint Calculators
Finally, the carbon footprint calculator is expected to have a surge in popularity. Many tools are already available to allow people to get an idea of how big of an impact they are having on the environment.
These tools are already being implemented by construction companies and individuals alike. They are especially valuable to companies lauding themselves are energy efficient builders, as these tools can be used to find out how much energy is used from conception to completion in a construction project. Everyone knows building and expansion are always a source of worry when considering the environmental impact of their development. Expect these tools to become the norm over the next few years.