Save energy, then consider generating it. The first step in upgrading home energy performance should always be sealing air leaks and improving insulation values so that energy losses can be reduced. Dr. Energy Saver photo.
3. It’s best to reduce before we produce. Wind turbines solar panels are green energy engines with real “wow” value. But a bigger opportunity to cut carbon emissions lies in the houses, offices, schools and other buildings where we spend most of our lives. In the U.S., buildings are responsible for 40% of our annual energy consumption. And most buildings are woefully inefficient in terms of energy use. Basic improvements like insulation, air sealing and radiant barriers can be combined with upgrades to HVAC, water heating and lighting systems to make a huge impact on energy use. Sorry, but it’s not really green to clamor for solar power without improving home energy efficiency.