Persuasive (I hope) reasons to weatherize

17 12 2008

dollarsignongreenbackgroundSeveral of my friends and neighbors commented that after reading the previous post about the cost of weatherizing my house, they considered proceeding with the improvements but then wrote it off as too expensive or couldn’t convince their Co-Op partners to spend the money.

Another interesting phenomenon I noticed is that when there is a government incentive involved, there is this immediate psychological desire to game the system somehow to get something for free. I feel it too but I also realize that there is no “free” in construction (there aren’t even an bargains in construction but that’s another post entirely). When I asked Jimmy how busy they were, expecting them to be booked for months ahead, he mentioned that a lot of people only do the work covered by the incentives, sometimes ignoring safety measures and doing fewer measures than would lead to maximum efficiency (for example, insulating the roof but not replacing single-pane windows).

I’m neither judging nor criticizing those who decide not to weatherize for cost reasons but here’s one last attempt to change your mind.

Here are my top 6 reasons to weatherize.

  1. Weatherization adds value to the house.
  2. Close your eyes and imagine all the heat and air conditioning that you pay for just wandering out of the house. Imagine dollars just floating out the window and through the roof.
  3. While your eyes are closed, imagine your house during the winter, now imagine it with a sweater on. Doesn’t that feel better? A well-insulated house is more comfortable.
  4. The improvements will be paid back eventually via lower heating and cooling bills. The payback period will probably be less than anticipated because energy costs will only rise over time.
  5. The incentives are in place now. Government incentives are a moving target. Who knows how long they will last?
  6. Our electricity comes mostly from coal. Look at these great graphics if you want more detailed information. The less energy we consume, the fewer greenhouse gases and pollutants we emit and the less money we’ll have to pay as a society for new power plants. Conservation can be our newest source of cheap energy!



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