NRJ (energy)

We came home to a HOT house after an afternoon out at a picnic. It was probably only a sunny 80F today. Forgot what that felt like after living in superinsulated splendor for 3 years. 🙂

So that got me pondering the MASS-SAVE proposal for insulating (some) of our house — The walls. And part of the attic. Areas that can be done easily with either cellulose or foam board. It’s something like $5000+ for which their is a $2000 subsidy. Plus I believe an option for a 0% loan. With an estimated payoff of something on the scale of 5 or 6 years.

But as an exercise, I think it’s important to consider what that $3000 (after rebates and tax credits) could pay for in other energy-savings or green-house gas reductions:

1) Pellet stove
2) More solar PV panels
3) The up-charge on buying a hybrid like a prius vs a civic or something like that.
4) A nice trailer to make grocery-shopping by bike easier perhaps
5) Windows/doors upgrades — not all, just some

Probably a good deal of insulation wins in dollars. Certainly it wins in comfort. And our IAQ would clearly be better with some better air-sealing of our attic.

This is also a reminder to go back to basics for a moment with a simple heat-loss calculator like Marc Rosenbaum’s excel or’s web app. I have some similar “payoff” numbers from Mass-Save, but better to do it myself to really get it.

**NRJ is a fun way to say Energie in French. Since recall… a J sounds more like G in English.
And click the speaker to hear it.


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