It’s fun to focus on saving the environment through new green technologies and design, but did you ever wonder what kind of environmental impact we could have if we focused on fixing what’s already been built?
Here are some surprising facts about the environmental impact of existing homes in the U.S.
- Homes use 22% of energy consumed in the U.S.
- Your car uses less energy than your home–even if you don’t have a Prius.
- Home energy costs average $2200 per year.
- There are 58 million homes with no insulation.
- There are 130 million existing homes in the U.S., half of which were built before 1972.
Those are just some of the reasons we should be shifting our focus from building new green homes, to retrofitting the 130 million homes already wasting their unfair share of energy.
In honor of National Preservation Month, Matt Grocoff and his family are taking this year’s them “Old Is The New Green” and leading by example in their community. They are restoring their 110 year old Victorian home so that is becomes an energy producer, rather than an energy consumer–and without sacrificing design or functionality. Grocoff calls it “Mission Zero:”
“We want to prove that, even on a limited budget, you can have a home of unparalleled comfort and style while spending less on utilities than your neighbors who live in less comfortable homes.”
It turns out that Matt’s Victorian was one of those 58 million old houses that didn’t have any insolation. In Ann Arbor!
The Grocoff’s goal is for their house to become the oldest house in America to achieve net zero energy.
You can read more about Grocoff’s old house restoration mission on OldHouseWeb.com where he will be sharing his story through a series of mission zero home restoration blog posts and videos. Matt also produces videos about greenovation at Greenovation.TV.
Disclosure: Tracy Viselli works for OldHouseWeb.com but really wanted to share Matt Grocoff’s story with you because it’s important for us not to forget that restoring old homes is also about our green energy future.
Photo to Matt Grocoff