One way to destroy the planet: “heat a McMansion”

Heating a McMansion is part of a list of 12 ways of “how to destroy the planet”:

The easiest way to waste extra energy in a large home is to keep the air conditioning and the heater on all the time, and adjust them both up until you’re comfortable. Space-heating makes up nearly half of the average home utility bill.

Heating water uses up more energy than anything other than heating air. For the profligate, that means long showers and always setting the washing machine for whites.

Perhaps this is why there is more interest in energy efficient homes or even net-zero energy homes. This argument would be even stronger if there were some numbers to compare larger and smaller homes. How much more energy does an average 3,000 square foot require compared to an average 1,800 square foot home? Or a 5,000 square foot house versus a 2,5000 square foot home?

One way around this would be to have home sellers include average utility bills as part of the documentation or listing of the property. Think of it like a MPG rating for a car – homeowners should also have the ability to assess the energy usage. Going further, home sellers might also list comparisons to other nearby homes. I’ve seen reports that using smart energy meters that give homeowners comparisons to their neighbors helps reduce usage so why not also make it part of the real estate process?

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