Earth Day Starts in the Home, With Home Energy Efficiency

Residential Structures Contribute More Carbon Emissions Than Cars

Apr 21, 2010, 17:02 ET from The Building Doctors

LOS ANGELES, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Over one billion people in 180 countries are expected to celebrate Earth Day this year, the biggest to date since its inception 40 years ago. This does not come as much of a surprise given all the recent attention on climate change. What does come as a surprise to many, however, is discovering that passenger cars are not the greatest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions – it's buildings.

When broken down into comparisons of what are America's largest carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion, passenger cars account for 11.5%, while residential homes contribute 21%.*

This lack of education on home-energy efficiency may soon be remedied thanks to legislation and government sponsored programs that are helping bring it to the forefront. AB 811, also commonly referred to as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) allows local government entities to offer sustainable energy project loans to eligible property owners. Homeowners may now avoid upfront installation costs of energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy, mitigating concerns of those who wish to sell their property before recovering the system investment from utility bill savings.

Financial incentives for home-energy retrofitting are also a key focus of some of the major portions of California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) that will go into effect this year through the California Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission.

"Most people think that driving a Prius is the ultimate way to save the environment, but most are unaware how their homes are far more polluting. Utility companies also realize this, and that it's cheaper and faster to offer financial incentives for people to retrofit their homes than it is to build new power plants," says Dan Thomsen, Founder of The Building Doctors, a leading Los Angeles-based company that specializes in home-energy-efficiency auditing and retrofitting.

With both pieces of legislation enabling homeowners to recoup the vast majority of costs associated with retrofitting their homes falling precisely at a time in which Americans are increasingly focused on both the environment and saving money, home-energy efficiency is now positioned as the next big topic of discussion.

"Planting a tree or using a hemp bag are great starts for Earth Day but if you really want to have a long lasting effect on the environment, try retrofitting your home.  The Building Doctors can decrease home energy usage anywhere from 20-50%. Between rebates and financing, the utility rates scheduled to sky rocket in the near future, and California's long-standing concern for the environment, I believe the perfect storm for energy efficiency is about to hit," says Thomsen.

*According to a 2010 study with PEW Center for Global Climate Change

About The Building Doctors

Using state-of-the-art equipment and working with the client's specific needs in mind, The Building Doctors take a whole house system approach and use building science to help diagnose and create a treatment plan that, after retrofitting, increases a home's energy efficiency and comfort, as well as lowers the utility bills, reduces the carbon footprint and improves the indoor air quality.

Founded by life-long environmentalist Dan Thomsen, a licensed California general contractor (CLSB# 932241), The Building Doctors use of diagnostic tools during their comprehensive energy audit lets them test, not guess.  The Building Doctors are one of the few verified contractors with the California Building Performance Contractors Association and the Home Performance with Energy Star Program. They are leaders in the industry and one of the most credible in home performance testing and energy efficiency retrofitting in Southern California. For further information contact The Building Doctors at 323-646-2534, at or at


Jennifer Gooding, Lian Vox Public Relations 310.927.1829

SOURCE The Building Doctors