Insulation installer

Living in an energy-efficient home does not just save money on utility bills. A well-insulated, weather-tight house holds heat longer than one that’s poorly insulated and drafty.

Ryan Colker is executive director of the Alliance for National and Community Resilience. He says that if you lose power during a winter storm, the energy efficiency investments that you’ve made can help keep you in your home.

A 2014 study from the Urban Green Council found that during a winter blackout in New York City, the temperature inside a typical single-family house would drop to 35 degrees Fahrenheit after just three days. But a high-efficiency house would stay above 60 degrees.

An efficient house can also stay cooler during a heat wave, even without air conditioning, so it can reduce the risk of heat-related illness.

And Colker says if people can remain safely in their homes, that reduces the burden on a community’s limited resources for emergencies.

“If you can stay in your house, you don’t need to go to a shelter, which then reduces the impact on the community,” he says.

So he says that as damaging storms, heat waves, and other extreme weather events grow more common, prioritizing energy efficiency can help communities keep their people safe.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.