I just read an article on the Empowerhouse, a Habitat for Humanity project in Washington DC that may show the way to the kind of housing that we need now and will need in the future. This house has a greater potential than any I’ve ever heard of to use zero externally delivered energy and still be affordable. If it is durable enough to last at least as long as ordinary homes it represents the kind of hope we need for a future when the fossil fuel we use so much of now will cost perhaps ten or twenty times as much as it does today. And here I’d been wishing for solar shingles for the last decade or so and yet not seeing them anywhere. The Empowerhouse doesn’t solve all our problems – many existing home will need to be retrofitted and moved closer to self-sufficiency – but I hope it will drive more innovation and reduce the sense of hopelessness many people feel when they consider the future of overpopulation and the exhaustion of fossil fuels.
As always, I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading — Tim