When the economy of this great nation came to a crashing halt just a few years ago, unemployment and rising natural resource prices forced many homeowners to take a long look at how we are consuming energy. Gone were the purchases of gas guzzling vehicles, and everyone wanted to change the world one Toyota Prius at a time! Enter high tax incentives for energy improvements to homes, with some even making it to today. Utility Rebate Programs continued to "chug along" with business as usual, just a significant growth regarding consumer awareness and genuine participation. Now, I am not blaming any sort of economic collapse on our stubborn waste of natural resources in America, or even the recovery being tied to efficiency measures. What will happen if we see gas prices fall again, or Tax Credits reduced to $0? Can there be an economy recovery without efficiency in the forefront? Now that we have reached a level of awareness, doesn't this now become the status quo?
In the HVAC trade, we see changes in efficiency come in cycles. They almost always align to the mandates coming down from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). Over the last few decades, an increase in minimum efficiencies have brought forth great strides in technology. Long gone are the days of high efficiency being 10 or 13 SEER, yes I am old enough to remember this! The 13 SEER model marks the economy choice on the industry's job proposals now. I am glad to see the push on the heating side as well, with minimum efficiencies hitting the 90%+ point for most heating dominated states. The increase in the minimum efficiency makes the current "high-efficient" choice just the economy model. What will be next in innovations? Variable Capacity equipment cannot alone be it...can it?
Let's take a look at Mr. Disraeli's entire quote:
"Economy does not exist in the reckless reduction of estimates. On the contrary such a course almost necessarily tends to increase expenditure. There can be no Economy where there is no Efficiency." - October 3, 1868
Does the year surprise you? I can actually think of a couple of more present day representations, mostly surrounding Government/Commercial work and their bid process!