Guest Post: It Is Easy Being Green – How Austin Can Increase Its Energy Efficiency

Following up on an interview we published back in May on green building in Austin, Texas, today we have a guest post by Lauren Carlson.

By Lauren Carson of Software Advice

For a city so progressive in its views on the environment and being eco-friendly, Austin has a surprising number of old, energy-efficient buildings. But why are so many of Austin’s buildings overdue for retrofits?

We talked to Kyle Ashley of Green Building Energy Services, a “green” contractor here in Austin to help answer this question.

According to Ashley, nearly 80 percent of the buildings in Austin are due for a green retrofit. Currently, buildings contribute to 40 percent of energy use in the state. This represents a great opportunity for Austin to step it up and become more energy efficient. And it couldn’t come at a better time. This summer was the hottest summer ever for Texas. Literally. Which translates to sky-high utility bills.

Ashley and his team work on both residential and commercial properties. He says the most common projects they do are focused on ventilation and insulation.

“There are so many homes with traditional atmospheric vents. Often, they don’t have enough air intake into the attic. The air becomes stale and heats up like a conduction oven. This is common among older homes built out in the hill country, or those in downtown Austin that were built in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.”

Going green is not a new concept, and most people agree it’s a step in the right direction. However, as with most things, it comes down to the money. Building owners want to know what the ROI of these improvements will be. Ashley points out three:

1. Financial improvements. Investing in a more energy efficient building can reduce utility bills 15 to 30 percent.

2. Energy conservation. Owners that have implemented these greening improvements have noticed a 20 percent reduction in both heat and AC use during the corresponding months.

3. Increased comfort. With the proper ventilation and insulation, home and business owners will find their environments much more comfortable. Buildings are cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Ashley also gave some great take-aways for business and home owners that want to make an immediate change. For those, check out the rest of post from the Software Advice website over on their blog.

Lauren joined Software Advice in 2010. She writes about various topics related to CRM software, with particular interest in sales force automation, marketing automation, and customer service. She has a background in the music industry, and when she isn’t writing about software, you can find her running at Town Lake and singing at local venues. She is a graduate of the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.