Listen Up: Energy in the Home of the Future

Fireplaces and chimneys have been part of every home and shelter ever since primitive man poked holes in the tops of their caves to let the smoke out … until about a hundred years ago when central heating became widely available. Conveniences of modern life, such as gas lights, closelines, ice boxes, Victrolas and Super 8 movies, have all been replaced with successive generations of new, better and cheaper technology.

We live in a society that is more energy intensive than ever before. This trend is likely to accelerate, and apply to every “system” in our living spaces. Split system heat pumps will replace polluting natural gas furnaces, LEDs will replace incandescents, grey water recovery and water storage systems will cut back our water usage, batteries will store rooftop solar energy and provide grid support services, and the IOT (Internet of Things) will become a convenient (hopefully also simple and secure) way for us to control all of these systems.

I don’t expect us to use less energy, just less polluting sources of energy. In other words, our per capita energy usage in all forms will go up. On a unit basis we’ll use more kWh of electricity, but fewer gallons of gasoline and therms of natural gas. Please Listen Up on this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World as we talk about how these new technologies are being deployed as standard features in new buildings as our society’s energy intensity increases and pollution declines.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

energyBarry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone. Credit: Shutterstock.


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