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Consider A New Measure of Carbon Footprint

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We have become accustomed to measuring carbon emissions reductions in terms of taking so many cars off the road.

We know cars are responsible for carbon emissions. We are used to sneering at hoggy cars that wastefully emit so many tons of carbon per year.

Measuring carbon footprints in these terms is by now such a cliche that the measure:  carsofftheroad will become a metric kids learn in school, just like feet and pounds are now.

Phrases like I took 15 carsofftheroad last week installing 3 kw of new solar will be as readily understood as I lost 15 pounds last week running the marathon.

But, doing energy efficiency analysis for apartment complexes – I have uncovered a surprisingly huge source of wasted energy that has thus far escaped notice and ridicule:

One of the hoggiest sources of absolutely stupidly wasted energy is the apartment pool. More than half the gas bill goes to take the chill off a huge, usually empty pool.

Municipal pools are typically covered at night to keep the heat in. Home hot tubs are the same. But apartment complexes simply leave the whole thing exposed to the chilly night air. Even when the cost of keeping pools and hot tubs warm go to well over half the energy cost of the entire complex, the marketing people simply won’t allow the pool to be covered at night.

So here it is for your consideration. It’s the new pig on the block. We have the carsoffthe road. We have the lightbulbsreplaced. Next we should look at apartment pools and see them as a similar measure of pigginess. Worse in some ways, as the solution is simple.

Apartment pools should be covered at night. It’s the climate-friendly thing to do.

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2 Comments so far to “Consider A New Measure of Carbon Footprint”
  1. Zero Energy Prefab Homebuilder Takes LEED | Home Design Find Says:

    [...] In a move showing real understanding of where energy can be stupidly wasted in building now: all the plumbing and the wiring is routed through completely airtight insulated channels to eliminate heat gain/loss.This can be an absolutely staggering amount; see Consider a New Measure of Carbon Footprint [...]

  2. Low Carbon Cooking: Use Gas Only for the Stovetop | HomeDesignFind Says:

    [...] broil their beloved steaks well on an electric stovetop.  (Eating steak has its own heavy carbon footprint, but putting that [...]

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