Thursday, May 28, 2009

Austin City's Energy Audits & White Roofs

From the City of Austin's Dept of Finding-Ways-to-Make-your-Life-More-Expensive and the Green Mafia: As of June 1st, City of Austin requires Energy Audits when you sell your home.

City of Austin also now requires white roofs for commercial buildings. It may be a good idea for saving money on energy bills to have white roofs that will be cooler in Austin's summer, but I grate at the eco-nanny-statism involved. If it makes economic sense, people will do it naturally. Energy Audits don't require anything yet, but someday they will.

Further, the eco-idealists never seem to know where to stop. In this article, Obama Energy Dept head Professor Steven Chu says "paint the world white to fight global warming". He wants to color not just roofs but also roads to reduce global albedo. It's a nutty idea to think that 0.00001% of our earth surface being a lighter color will do any good or make any change. And what about in northern climes where darker roofs save on heating?

1 comment:

William said...

People won't always do something that makes economic sense b/c pure economics isn't necessarily an end. Plus lots of people are lazy, uneducated, ill informed, or too busy to be proactive to learn about certain things. Getting home efficiency upgrades does make economic sense in many cases as the ROI is in many cases less than 5 years, but information does not flow absolutely free and people need some prodding to get informed sometimes (energy audit enters from stage left). Not to mention the argument of negative externalities and the tragedy of the commons.

Check out to learn more about home energy efficiency, city rebates, and the ECAD ordinance.