Usually, you think of government as the opposite of efficiency and innovation. Instead of creating policies that lead to growth and forward movement, government invents bureaucracy, which stymies growth, creativity, and innovation.
However, the US Department of Energy is one part of government that bucks this trend. At least, in one way anyway. Together with private companies, they’ve helped our modern homes be far more efficient than those built as recently as 2000.
Here’s what they claim they’ve played a role in inventing. Do you have these innovations in your home? If not, you should consider adding them because they do boost your energy efficiency and save you money:
1. Loose-Fill Fiberglass Insulation
This insulation actually used to be highly inefficient. In some cases, research found it used to lose up to 50% of the heat it was supposed to keep in. Through testing, the Department of Energy found ways to make this insulation more effective. And now it is a necessary method for keeping heat in your home that most homes in the United States use.
2. Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters
ENERGY STAR helped to spark demand for more efficient water heaters. In 2009, the Department of Energy brought to market the first electric heat pump water heater, which uses 62% less energy than the conventional 50-gallon water heater. This could save the average homeowner around $300.
3. Energy-Efficient Refrigerator Compressors
Due in part to help from the Department of Energy, today’s refrigerators use 25% less energy than they did in 1975. And today’s fridges are larger and have more features.
Not only have fridges gotten more efficient, but policy has helped encourage them to do so too. And in fact, new regulation goes into effect this year that requires refrigerators to be even more energy efficient.
4. Low-E Window Technology
Today’s triple-pane windows can be just as effective at insulating your home as a highly insulated wall. Low-emissivity coatings, along with krypton and argon gas between the window panes, make this possible. It’s a huge barrier that reduces energy loss in homes and commercial buildings alike.
Let’s hope the Department of Energy can keep up the good work. These innovations have been key in energy savings in the US.
Who knows what they’ll come up with next?