Does Your Second Home Waste Energy?
Two studies in super-affluent Colorado communities show that second homes and condos "use as much energy per square foot per year as fully occupied units," even though second homes remain empty an average of 277 days annually, the Aspen Times reports. The studies were released in 2007 in Aspen (where an estimated 58 % of homes are not primary residences) and this month in nearby Snowmass Village (estimated 61-68 % second homes.)
The head of the local Sopris Foundation, which commissioned the studies, told reporter Scott Condon she'd like to see local officials exert “bold leadership” to cut energy use by such means as banning heated driveways and sidewalks and/or limiting house sizes. One expert also is quoted as saying owners can be taught to save energy with easy steps like "drastically" turning down hot water heaters when not using a home.