Companies like Purple Air and IQAir, with air pollution sensors that cost under $300, have brought air quality monitoring to the masses. But when Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientist Tom Kirchstetter looked at Purple Air’s map last year during wildfire season, he noticed a big hole in Richmond, a city of 110,000 to the north of Berkeley.
Since buildings consume 75% of electricity in the U.S., they offer great potential for saving energy and reducing the demands on our rapidly changing electric grid. But how much, where, and through which strategies could better management of building energy use actually impact the electricity system?
Windows make up 7% of the envelope area of a home but can account for 47% of the envelope heat loss. High-performance windows thus represent a significant opportunity for consumers to be more comfortable and save money – and help reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions while doing so.