Indiana & Yoga Magazine Summer 2016 Issue 1 | Page 26

CONSCIENTIOUS LIFE Going Green: Home Energy Solutions What if you could cut your home’s energy requirements for heating and cooling by up to 90%? Not only would this positively impact our environment, but also your personal economy. One relatively new method to achieve these aims is for homeowners to build a Passive House. Other methods might be to add renewable sources of energy to your home, such as solar power. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Indiana produces three quarters of its energy needs by means of coal-fired power plants, the “dirtiest” form of energy production. This is much higher than the national average of 33%. 24 Natural gas, wind and hydroelectric make up the remaining sources of electricity in the state. While some may claim natural gas is a “cleaner” energy source procuring and burning natural gas has many environmental concerns as well. According to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commissions 2015 annual report, Indiana enjoys relatively low-cost electricity. However, because of the requirements from the Environmental Protection Agency, “by the end of 2016 Indiana will need to retrofit or retire and unprecedented wave of coal-fired generation units and replace them with a combination of new resources.” It is predicted the By Candice H. Baggett primary replacement fuel will be natural gas but the building of new generators, decommissioning of outdated coal generators, and retrofitting existing units will drive the cost of energy to new highs. As individual citizens our highest energy usage comes from our homes second only to our means of transportation. Heating and cooling being the largest electrical draw for the average home. Builders and architects have long been interested in how to produce a more energy efficient home. Now there are techniques and standards for building the most energy efficient buildings possible and it’s called the Passive House. INDIANA & YOGA MAGAZINE ISSUE I