Ed Begley Jr.’s energy lesson

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Tina Haubert
Energy and Sustainability

No matter how energy-efficient you think you are, there’s probably room for improvement. For me, that message was reinforced at the NeoCon show by keynote speaker Ed Begley Jr.

Begley may be best known as a TV and movie actor, but he is also a long-time environmentalist with a show on green living that runs on the Planet Green channel. At NeoCon he related a story about a friend who was starting up a home energy audit business and wanted Begley’s help. Begley expected to connect him to some energy-hog Hollywood types, but the man wanted to conduct the audit on Begley’s own house, which probably uses half the energy of most houses that size. Begley agreed, but he was sure the auditor wouldn’t find anything.

He was wrong. Despite the actor’s intense focus on energy efficiency, there were actually a lot of stones left unturned. Begley was shocked to see the results of the energy audit – the audit found ways that Begley could cut the carbon footprint of his house in half. I almost stood up and applauded him when he said that every home and business ought to have an energy audit. No excuses!

We have found similar results in conducting audits in commercial buildings across the country. Even a fairly new building with a strong property management staff doesn’t often realize that a fair amount of energy is wasted. We strongly recommend at least an energy audit on virtually all existing buildings where we typically uncover enough energy savings opportunities to pay the cost of the audit within two years or less. Maybe it’s time to have an energy audit done on my house.

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