Oil and natural gas are the lifeblood of our economy, accounting for more than 60 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. To meet projected demand, our Nation has a vital interest in ensuring that competitively-priced domestic natural gas and oil remain part of the U.S. energy portfolio for decades to come.

Are you familiar with the concepts of Peak Gas and Peak Oil? It is the point where the global production curve peaks and the supply starts declining until it eventually bottoms out…. for good!

Experts say we have already hit Peak Gas (CLICK HERE ). This occurred somewhere between 1960 and 1970. Meanwhile, Peak Oil is looming somewhere around 2025. Conversely, domestic natural gas consumption for power generation is projected to increase from 5.0 trillion cubic feet in 2003 to 9.4 trillion cubic feet in 2025. Similar trends are happening with oil as well.

In a recent article in Science Daily entitled “World Oil Reserves at Tipping Point,” Dr. Oliver Inderwildi, Head of the Low Carbon Mobility Centre at the Smith School comments, “The common belief that alternative fuels such as bio-fuels could mitigate oil supply shortages and eventually replace fossil fuels is pie in the sky. There is not sufficient land to cater for both food and fuel demand. Instead of relying on those silver bullet solution, we have to make better use of the remaining resources by improving energy efficiency.” (CLICK HERE to view the full article )

Recent legislation has been designed to help us do just that! The Home Star bill, which was introduced into the House and Senate recently, seems to have a lot of support in Congress, so it is a hopeful to pass. (CLICK HERE for the House story and CLICK HERE for the Senate story from DWM magazine.)

This is a short term program lasting only two years. The REEP bill, a.k.a., HR1778, outlines a longer term program that would continue after the HOME STAR incentives expire. REEP, which stands for Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance, is a bill that reportedly has 60 cosponsors in the House, which is quite a bit of support. REEP could really make a difference by facilitating retrofit projects designed to maximize cost-effective energy efficiency improvements at the individual building level by authorizing state and local governments to offer free or low-cost building energy audits, incentives, technical training and incentive financing. It touches all the pieces of the puzzle required to complete a picture of success in terms of building energy-efficiency transformation. This proposed legislation has been sitting idle since March of 2009 and so has not been voted on yet, but now that health care has finally been completed it should stand a better chance of getting through the system.

So, as the demand and supply curves for energy consumption head in opposite directions, we, as a nation need to protect ourselves from a future of financial catastrophe by working feverishly on reducing the slope of the energy demand curve.

This is why, this current energy legislation that we are seeing like the 30-30 tax credits, Home Star, a.k.a., “Cash for Caulkers” and REEP are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you will probably see in terms of future legislation designed to make our nation more energy efficient so that we can, over the course of time, slow down our consumption of non-renewable energy sources.

Manufacturers of fenestration productS … if you play your cards right, you have much to gain from this legislative trend. So, as a fenestration manufacturer deciding on what technologies upon which to stake the success of your business upon in the years ahead, superior energy efficiency should be number one on your list. Future market opportunities will certainly favor fenestration products which do much more than fill an opening. The name of the game will surely be cost effective energy transformation!

1 Comment

  1. Coming from a manufacturer that has always used “superior energy efficiency” as the standard when making decisions on parts and processes, rewarding this is long overdue. What the stimulus tax credit did, and this subsequent potential legislation could do, is to begin to require manufacturers of lesser quality products to invest in making their products more energy efficient…This helps everyone.

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