Weatherizing every home in the U.S. would save the country $33 billion a year in energy costs, according to a new Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory study.
Most current weatherization methods tighten homes' leaks by 20 to 30 percent, said the report, but even those numbers can be improved upon. The savings estimate in the report is based on meeting the International Energy Conservation Code, which is more achievable than some tighter standards but yields most of the energy-saving results. Meeting that standard would reduce airflow in residences by a median value of 50 percent.
The 113 million homes in the U.S. account for about 23 percent of the country's energy consumption when their burden on the power grid is factored in. The study was funded by the Energy Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the California Energy Commission.
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