The Smart Citizens Guide to Saving Energy in Buildings- Watt Footprint
A whole new language has emerged to describe how our buildings need to be assessed and upgraded to help meet globally agreed carbon-reduction targets. The baseline statistics and target efficiencies may vary from country to country, but the overriding need for carbon-emissions reductions and fossil fuel energy savings is the same. Today you cannot buy a car, a washing machine, or new window for your home without knowing the carbon-emissions effect of its production, use, and demise. Climate change policy has silently embedded itself in legislation worldwide, and everyone needs to quickly come up to speed with these developments because the price for not doing so will be detrimental to our very existence. We have one world and one problem, where energy waste and carbon emissions in one region can result in consequential detrimental effects elsewhere.
The book watt Footprint outlines a simple seven-step approach to saving energy in buildings by combining energy efficiency and renewable energy systems and explaining simple payback periods.
- The first step relates to mind change because a failure to accept that this small planet has limited resources and to recognize the extreme consequences of ignoring climate change will result in a failure to fully embrace the transformation needed.
- The second step examines measurement because “you manage what you measure.” An inability to measure means you cannot monitor, and monitoring is the only effective way to address our climate change challenge and develop systems of measurable accountability.
- The third step explores the importance of making buildings airtight and draught-free.
- The fourth step describes the readily understood concept of insulation.
- The fifth looks at temperature control and renewable heating methods.
- The sixth investigates electricity demand, including the role of renewable energy.
- The seventh and final step is the crucial issue of water efficiency: too much water, too little water, water in all the wrong places and at the wrong times, and, of course, no water where and when it is needed most.
Watt footprint also aims to help you to navigate the rules, to understand the genesis of regulations governing energy efficiency in buildings, and to make sensible decisions about some very basic issues that significantly affect the quality of our modern lives. I have avoided as much technical jargon as possible and only introduced it where it is essential to explain a subject or a detail.