Electricity generated by fossil-fueled power plants is a leading source of excessive CO2 in our atmosphere which is the cause of most of the glacier retreat in the past 50 years.
Glaciers are disappearing faster than expected and at an accelerating rate. Over the past 20 years, the world’s glaciers lost an average of 267 billion metric tons of ice every year, reducing freshwater supplies and increasing sea level rise.
While this may feel overwhelming, we can all do our part to reduce our energy needs and carbon footprint. Energy conservation in our homes not only helps the planet, it saves money on our energy bills.
At one time, single-pane windows were standard in residential settings. As a result, many older homes still have single-pane glass. Homeowners with single-pane windows should understand how they affect a home’s energy efficiency and their environmental impact.
Energy-efficient windows are an important consideration for both new and existing homes. Heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use, depending on the geographic region and climate.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR program estimates that the average U.S. home can save $101 to $583 a year on heating and cooling costs when replacing single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR certified windows. This also saves the equivalent of 1,006–6,205 pounds of CO2 emissions due to lower electricity usage.
If you are selecting windows for new construction or replacing existing windows, it’s important to choose the most efficient windows you can afford that work best in your climate. To learn more about updating or replacing your windows, visit the Energy Saver section of coalition member ENERGY.GOV.