The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports buildings account for roughly 40 percent of energy consumption in the U.S.
According to numerous studies, improved insulation is the most cost effective and efficient approach to improve energy efficiency in buildings, and slow climate change.
Pete Ielmini, Executive Director of the Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT), joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss climate change and how mechanical insulation can cut greenhouse gas emissions and save money, effectively paying for itself within six months to two years.
Insulation improvements pay for themselves
Organized labor should be in the middle of the climate change discussion, Ielmini said. Addressing global warming can create a tremendous amount of jobs in the construction industry, particularly when it comes to infrastructure needs.
Studies show 10 percent to 30 percent of America’s buildings lack proper insulation. By addressing mechanical insulation, boilers and air conditioning systems become more efficient and contribute less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that contribute to global warming, he said.
Any insulation improvements made to building systems should pay for themselves within six months to two years, said Ielmini. After that, one could consider the efficiency savings to be pure profit.
Mechanical Insulation is an overlooked tool in the climate change fight
Unfortunately, mechanical insulation is often not properly installed, Ielmini said. The trouble is most people do not see a lack of efficiency as a problem if a building stays at a comfortable temperature — not too hot or cold — despite the waste of energy that results in achieving those temperatures, Ielmini said.
Climate change is a global problem that needs to be addressed by society on a universal level. Improving insulation is one of the most overlooked but effective approaches to curb greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously accruing substantial cost savings, he added.