From the community

On the Evergreen Bookshelf: Before the Lights Go Out

Posted July 10, 2012, at 11:52 a.m.

At Evergreen Home Performance, our passion for energy efficiency inspires us to keep close tabs on energy policy, and on the resources that help us all understand our energy future.

Maggie Koerth-Baker’s intensely readable Before the Lights Go Out is the perfect way to get up to speed because it makes sophisticated concepts accessible. From peak oil to Passive Houses, from electricity to emissions, Koerth-Baker explains the state of our energy system – past, present, and future – in prose that is clear, calm, and constructive.

She suggests that America’s energy future hinges on our ability to balance the tripod of efficiency, infrastructure, and alternative energy generation. We need to lower our energy needs with efficiency measures that slash waste and get the most bang per BTU; we need natural gas, cleaner coal, and nuclear power to keep the system stable while we build the grid of the future; and we need alternative sources of power to feed into a smart grid with enough storage capacity to decouple supply and demand. Koerth-Baker’s great accomplishment is making this future sound exciting rather than terrifying.

Readers interested in the national energy landscape can find a complete review of Koerth-Baker’s book on Evergreen Your Home: an energy efficiency blog.

Homeowners interested in how our energy future will play out at home can schedule a free one-hour consult with Evergreen Home Performance. Every consult includes free infrared analysis to help you understand the building science behind your home’s efficiency challenges.

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