I believe that energy is a national security issue. We import too much energy and are too dependent on that imported energy. What we pay for energy is much lower than other places in the world and we have grown accustomed to having all we want when we want it. This fact puts us in a precarious situation with regard to international policies. Do we want to be at the mercy of other nations to meet our energy demand? It is in our best interest to produce our own energy through alternative sources and we need to do this sooner than later.
President Obama also recently talked about energy as a national security issue on a podcast that he syndicates every week. He also discussed a company in the Mojave Desert that will produce solar energy to power 140,000 homes in California. This is progress. Wind farms are also being built in many parts of the country. Alone they won’t replace fossil fuels but over time we will identify and perfect these alternative sources to minimize our dependence on fossil fuels.
Given my recent blogs on both the Energy Star Pledge program and the Green Power Community Challenge it is clear that the educational component is kicking into high gear and we are all being encouraged as individuals, communities and businesses to assess our energy consumption and make changes to our lifestyles to lower our carbon footprints. Things will not change overnight but if we are all focused in the right direction we can make quicker strides to ramping up alternative energy sources.
The two key areas where we can have a significant impact on energy reduction is to create a federal building code and changing our lifestyles with regard to home energy use. If you are making changes or upgrades to your home, consider solar reflective shingles, adding insulation or using programmable thermostats.
Make Energy Awareness Month 2010 your energy independence month and develop a plan to reduce your carbon footprint.
Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation