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Assess Possible Solutions to the Problem of Rising Energy Costs in Homes

Autor:   •  April 8, 2012  •  Essay  •  460 Words (2 Pages)  •  969 Views

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On a worldwide scale, the past two centuries has seen a steady increase in energy demand. In this growth, energy consumption in buildings makes up a large proportion of global energy use (Sawin, 2004). More specifically, energy use in homes, which contributes to a large share of world energy consumption, is also increasing rapidly, leading to rising household energy bills. To deal with this problem, different governments and individuals have taken a mix of measures and endeavored to reduce energy use, most of which focus on energy efficiency as well as energy conservation. It is widely agreed that most of the projects are generally effective in many countries, contributing to impressive energy savings (Pickering and Owen, 1997; International Energy Agency and Agence Française de Développement, 2008; World Energy Council, 2008). This essay will present three possible solutions to the current problem of rising household energy expenditures, respectively focusing on three parts: building envelopes, lighting and appliances, and finally solar energy. These solutions will be critically assessed in the perspective of technical feasibility, cost, long term or short term effectiveness, and range of application.

Civic buildings account for a huge part of energy use worldwide, responsible for nearly 70 percent of electricity use in the United States (Brown, 2008). The initial possible measure is to raise energy efficiency standards of the building envelope. It is firstly necessary to be clear that the walls, roofs, doors and windows are the major physical elements of the building envelope. According to Randolph and Masters (2008), inefficient building envelopes had led to a tremendous amount of heat loss. Heating, however, dominates the energy uses in residential buildings, which gives the urgent need to designing proper orientation and building form, improving thermal insulation performance, constructing more efficient windows, doors, ceilings, as well as

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