The Energy Wasted By 75,000 Homes In A Year Equals the Gulf Oil Spill


With all of the media covering the oil spill (which it should rightfully due) there has been a piece of legislation that has been lost in the calamity of the Gulf Oil Spill. The Home Star legislation passed last month by the House but pending Senate approval, will spur the retrofit of 3.3 million homes, enough to save the energy floating in the Gulf 44 times over, at roughly 1/40 the cost of mopping it up. As we speak the Senate is languishing for a bill to help this situation and there is one sitting right next to their feet. The Gulf Oil Spill does need to be handled correctly however at the same time it seems a little odd not to move on a piece of legislature that is readily available and could make a major impact on our environment and our wallets.

Here’s Energy Savvy’s logic to the graphic above.

• The energy contained in the biggest oil spill in U.S. history is equal to the energy that just 75,000 homes waste in a single year.

• The estimated cost to clean up the oil spill ($40 B) is many times greater than the cost to retrofit 75,000 houses ($1 B) and save the energy equivalent of the gulf oil spill every year.

• 75,000 houses = mid-sized U.S. city or large suburb of a major city, like Chattanooga, Tenn. or Providence, R.I.

• The oil spill, since it began in April 2010, has leaked between 25 – 50 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. We’re using a conservative estimate of around 30 million gallons for our calculations.

• A typical house wastes 30 percent more energy than an efficient one does. On average, that means that 51 MMBtu’s are being wasted by a typical home every year.

• A typical home energy retrofit costs around $10,000 per house — before any utility or governments energy rebates are applied. A home energy retrofit doesn’t just save energy for a single year — it prevents waste year after year on an ongoing basis once it’s done.

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