Should you bring a lie detector to your home energy audit? Well, no, but you should count on putting some research and initiative into the project. Unfortunately, with more investments in energy efficiency being made every day, it has attracted an unwelcome element into the market: greenwashing.
Greenwashing, the practice of making unsubstantiated or misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product, seems alive and well in the energy efficiency markets. Take Tyvek ThermaWrap as an example: Originally launched by DuPont in 2006 as a high-efficiency insulation product, it now appears that that original claims of its insulating properties were exaggerated.
A recent article by Martin Holladay at GreenBuildingAdvisor.com reveals that DuPont bragged that the insulating properties of Tyvek ThermaWrap were due in part to its low emissivity. However, Martin’s investigations revealed that the product’s emissivity is actually pretty average and that DuPont’s previous claims of the insulating value of this products have been exaggerated. Other products identified as making exaggerated claims of energy savings include passive fresh air inlets, powered attic ventilators, and vent-free gas space heaters.
To avoid falling victim to such claims, spend some time doing your research. Make sure you feel confident that the products you’re considering will achieve the energy and economic savings that you expect.
Recent investments to develop energy efficient technologies are resulting in a wide range of products and services that can dramatically cut your home’s energy costs. However, the heightened interest in energy efficiency has also created an environment where exaggerated or even blatantly false claims can lead to poor investments and lost opportunities.
Don’t let yourself be scammed. A little time reading up on the products you’re considering can maximize your investment and minimize your carbon footprint.