Fortunately for the rest of us, some people missed the message, the one that says we’re in an economic slide so slippery there is no climbing back up.

I had a chance to speak to several of these optimists recently. No, they are not members of the Pollyanna Club; they are green energy entrepreneurs, those who are innovating and growing companies as the rest of the world downsizes. (See Energy Entrepreneurs Flock to Renewables Bonanza in Renewable Energy World magazine.)

These are folks that can’t stop creating no matter how mucky our outlook. In fact, problems seem to incite their inventiveness.

Their inventions are diverse; as are they, but their activities are converging into some trends.

  • Silicon Valley and the energy industry are teaming up more and more. “You can’t throw a softball around here without hitting another solar company,” said Dan Shugar, Solaria’s chief operating officer, from Silicon Valley.
  • Energy is producing its own crop of rising Mark Zuckerbergs and Steve Jobs, who I suspect will be the next generation of business legends.
  • Perhaps most significant, a lot of today’s innovation focuses on bringing consumers and businesses greater efficiency and control over energy in their homes and businesses, whether through cell phone apps that let you adjust your thermostat while miles away, financing mechanism that make solar affordable to the rest of us, orwindows that generate electricity on two sides, using a form of artificial photosynthesis that takes advantage of both the sun outside and the electric lights indoors.

These are just a few of the new energy innovations that focus on what’s right here in my home or even in the palm of my hand. Getty Images, which studies how energy companies speak to consumers through pictures, calls this new trend “Homing in on Green.”

“While pictures of wind turbines and oil rigs remain popular, Getty Images has seen a marked 40 percent increase  in images that showcase  efforts to ‘go green’ on a smaller scale – for example, images of people swapping old light bulbs for energy efficient counterparts, neighborhoods with solar paneled roofs, families drying laundry outside, rather than relying on technology,” said Getty Images in announcing the third edition of its research report, The Curve.

Are these images actually getting through to people? Do consumers have any sense of the magnitude of change occurring in energy and how it will affect their day-to-day lives? It seems not. Most people are not even aware of federal and state financial incentives they can receive if they integrate new energy technologies into their lives, according to a survey sponsored manufacturer Emerson. Among the 1,007 US adults who participated in the September 2011 poll, 61% were unaware of the financial assistance available.

So, while big things are happening in energy; consumers by-in-large don’t know it yet. But the changes are coming, this time right to our doorsteps – and even if we’re not at home, we’ll be able to let them in, using probably just our cell phones.

Elisa Wood is co-author of the report, “Energy Efficient Lighting Explained: A guide for business people who aren’t lighting techies.”

Views: 86

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Deman PT shared their blog post on StumbleUpon
2 hours ago
Deman PT posted a blog post

5 Home Energy Savings for Homeowners

Home energy savings are very important when you have a new year’s resolution which is saving your…See More
2 hours ago
John Nicholas commented on Jamie Press's blog post How to Choose the Right Solar Panels
"How much power do you need?  The looking up appliances and electronics usage, assigning time…"
13 hours ago
Rick Karg replied to Carly@AirCycler's discussion The (Small) Cost of Ventilation Without Recovery
"As a member of the ASHRAE 62.2 committee (and president of Residential Energy Dynamics, the author…"
Friday
Bradford E. White replied to Elizabeth Guinn's discussion ERV in need of backflow preventer.
"I would use an in-line backdraft damper such as Artis Industries or the ones made by Fantech and…"
Thursday
Kim Tanner posted a video

Wireless Air Leakage Testing

This webinar will discuss the use of WiFi technology to conduct and document blower door and duct leakage tests for compliance with local energy codes. The s...
Thursday
Profile IconPerry Grossman, Daniel Pate and Ottawa Furnace Filters joined Home Energy Pros
Thursday
Kirsten Richnavsky added a discussion to the group Building Performance Institute (BPI)
Thumbnail

Breaking the link between unhealthy homes and unhealthy kids

Listen in on IAQ Radio to a discussion on reducing the household triggers that cause asthmaattacks…See More
Thursday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service