Posted on December 4, 2009 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Unlike governments in Germany and the U.K., the U.S. government hasn’t yet enacted an energy policy aimed at addressing global climate change. As a result, prices for carbon-based fuels in the U.S. are far lower than in most European countries.
If Americans continue along our current energy path, wrenching climate change is almost inevitable. That’s why many energy experts advise Americans to prepare for the eventual implementation of steep carbon taxes on heating fuel and electricity.
One prominent environmental organization, the Union of Concerned Scientists, has called for an 80% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and two states (California and New Jersey) have adopted that target as a state goal. The 2030 Challenge, a program endorsed by the American Institute of Architects, sets a goal of implementing energy retrofits designed to reduce energy use by 50% at 1.5 million U.S. homes annually between now and 2030.
In other words, meeting the carbon reduction goals that are necessary to avoid a global climate catastrophe will require almost every U.S. home to under a deep-energy retrofit. In most cases, the work will require walls and roofs to be covered with a thick layer of rigid foam.
The logical time to do this work is when siding or roofing is replaced.