It’s been a while since you’ve heard anything from us at Energy Literacy, but rest assured, our minds are still on energy issues. Lately, we’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about methodologies for doing reasonably accurate whole-picture energy audits using limited data (Think Saul’s energy project, but for any scale). Working with something as complex as the total set of energy flows through the city of San Francisco, for example, we’re bound to rack up all kinds of uncertainty in our estimates. We’re convinced, however, that these calculations are still helpful, even if only to determine the relative orders of magnitude of sources of energy consumption. Just these ballpark estimates can have a remarkable effect on policy conversations, directing focus towards the lowest-hanging fruit and dispelling arguments that have little long-term relevancy.
In that vein, today we talk about the embodied energy of buildings, a topic which is understood [...]