Bigger Houses: An Energy Choice We’ll Be Living With for a Long Time
Americans still haven’t lost their taste for living large, at least when it comes to housing.
The latest Census Bureau statistics show that the average new American home got a little bigger in 2011 — just by 88 square feet over 2010, but still a surprise given the poor housing market. Housing experts say this may be a little misleading, because the housing market is so bad that only rich people are building houses — and rich people are more likely to build big.
Still, this underscores one of the biggest challenges we face on energy: We’ve spent decades building bigger and bigger houses, and more space means more energy.
Residential use accounts for roughly one-fifth of all the