Energy myths are persistent, in spite of the fact that energy experts spend a good deal of time performing debunking duty. Many energy experts collect misguided energy-saving tips as a hobby, and pick the myths apart with the dedication of an 18th-century amateur scientist.
In a previous blog, I presented my own list of ten energy myths. My collection included these old chestnuts:
Two other myth-collecting hobbyists are Rick Diamond and Mithra Moezzi, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They presented their list of energy myths in a paper, “Revealing Myths about People, Energy and Buildings.” Here are some myths they shared:
While many writers have assembled similar lists, one myth debunker stands head-and-shoulders above his peers: Michael Blasnik. A researcher and statistician with a steel-trap mind, Blasnik takes nothing on faith. His approach is always the same: “Show me the data.”
A featured speaker at many conferences, Blasnik has presented different versions of his energy-myths collection over the years. Although GBA has highlighted Blasnik’s myth list before (see, for example, Rob Moody’s August 2009 blog, “How Not to Save Energy”), the myths that Blasnik mentions keep popping up regularly and therefore bear repeating.
Here’s a selection from Blasnik’s myth list:
Blasnik has several other examples of energy-saving recommendations that result in zero or trivial savings. These include:
At most of his presentations, Blasnik balances myth-debunking with a list of energy retrofit measures that are actually useful. He recommends:
Some energy-saving tips are simple actions that don’t require any retrofit work. According to Blasnik, the following actions are well worth considering:
Calling all myth collectors: if you have some myths you’d like to share (and debunk), post them below.
[Author’s note to classical scholars: Yes, I know that the word “myth” is not synonymous with…