Apartments built in Eugene in the last 20 years are energy efficient. When the outside temperature went down to 35 degrees, my apartment with no heat turned on went down to 66 degrees. I live downstairs. In recent days when the outside temperature is between 50-60 degrees, curse at my upstairs neighbor whose high temperatures made my apartment too hot at 73 degrees.
Jim Kawakami, Nov 4, 2010, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com
Green and Clueless Sharon Begley, Newsweek, Aug 17, 2010,
… weatherizing homes, upgrading furnaces, switching to higher-mpg cars, changing air filters in a furnace, and not wasting power would cut U.S. carbon emissions by 123 million metric tons per year, which is 20 percent of household direct emissions and 7.4 percent of U.S. emissions. …
http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/17/why-we-re-so-clueless-about-being-green.html You could practically hear a collective groan from enviros across the world yesterday, when The New York Times reported on city apartment dwellers who leave their air conditioning running for days and days when they are not even home: with “utilities included” in their rent, these model citizens don’t pay for it, and they want to walk into a nice cool room when they get back from vacation or just a tough, hot slog from the subway. So much for all those 50 Things You Can Do books, magazine articles, and Web sites, all of which patiently explain that it would be really, really helpful if we didn’t run appliances when we’re not using them. Apparently, that message—which green groups have been disseminating for at least 20 years—can’t hold a candle to people’s apathy, ignorance, and selfishness.
But the problem goes beyond the fact that people don’t care about, or perhaps understand, the fact that wasting energy and using it inefficiently accounts for a good chunk of the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause global warming. (In one 2009 analysis, scientists led by Thomas Dietz of Michigan State University estimated that household-based steps—as opposed to national policies like cap-and-trade—such as weatherizing homes, upgrading furnaces, switching to higher-mpg cars, changing air filters in a furnace, and not wasting power would cut U.S. carbon emissions by 123 million metric tons per year, which is 20 percent of household direct emissions and 7.4 percent of U.S. emissions.) Despite the millions of words that have been written on how to save energy and use it more efficiently, people basically have no idea what to do.
Behind every statistic, there's a good story: facts and figures can add up to something greater than themselves.
Scientists led by Shahzeen Attari of the Earth Institute at Columbia University surveyed 505 Americans (recruited through Craigslist), asking them to name the best ways to conserve energy. The most common answers had to do with curtailing use (by turning off lights or driving less, for instance) rather than improving efficiency (installing more efficient lightbulbs and appliances, say). But it is energy efficiency that offers the only possibility for dialing back our voracious consumption of energy and the fossil fuels that generate it. The reason is basic psychology: we are just not going to become a nation of pedestrians, let alone do without all our electronic toys. The only hope is therefore to continue satisfying those materialistic needs but with less electricity and gasoline. … http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/17/why-we-re-so-clueless-about-being-green.html