Fireplaces and chimneys have been part of every home and shelter ever since primitive man poked holes in the tops of their caves to let the smoke out,… until about a hundred years ago when central heating became widely available. Conveniences of modern life such as gas lights, closelines, ice boxes, Victrolas and Super 8 movies have all been replaced with successive generations of new, better and cheaper technology.
We live in a society that is more energy intensive than ever before. This trend is likely to accelerate, and apply to every “system” in our living spaces. Split system heat pumps will replace polluting natural gas furnaces, LEDs will replace incandescents, grey water recovery and water storage systems will cut back our water usage, batteries will store rooftop solar energy and provide grid support services, and the IOT (Internet of Things) will become a convenient (hopefully also simple and secure) way for us to control all of these systems.
I don’t expect us to use less energy, just less polluting sources. In other words, our per capita usage in all forms will go up. On a unit basis we’ll use more kwh of electricity, but fewer gallons of gasoline and therms of natural gas. Please Listen Up on this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy world as we talk about how these new technologies are being deployed as standard features in new buildings as our society’s energy intensity increases and pollution declines.