I've lived in both cold and now hot parts of this country and can confirm that it's expensive to operate a typical American home in either location. In the north it's heating oil, gas, and electricity; while here in the south is electricity for cooling. Insulation, better windows, proper shading, air tightness, and controlling thermal bridging are just as important in either location.klapauzius wrote:Yes, for heating/warm water which is by far the biggest portion of our energy consumption, we are at about 80 kWh per sq m per year.
And that is with basically a 20 year old gas furnace and a tankless heater.
The dilemma is this:
New windows and a hybrid heatpump/gas heating system would probably cut the energy use down by 50%, to the tune of (hold your breath) ~400$ savings annually.
The cost to implement these savings is ~ $ 20000-25000.
The good new is:
Without spending a lot of money you can get upretty efficient already.
I suspect in colder parts of the US the cost/benefit ratio will much better, especially when you factor in incentives as well.
Wrapping the house in a layer of insulation and closing the leaks will reduce the cost of either a heating or AC upgrade. A solar thermal collector is the least expensive and most efficient type of solar to implement - it should be done before a single PV panel is installed. Efficiency first kills the "cost to implement these savings" problems. We know this to be the case in Alaska, Austin, and the midwest.
http://www.greenenergy-money.com/case_s ... ive_house/
- High Air Quality-Ventilation Systems
- High-Performance Building Insulation-Envelope
- 1.5 ton HVAC System (50% smaller than conventional system)
Energy Savings $1,307