Sustainable energy will soon be the new normal
WASHINGTON – July 31, 2017 – The United States is going through an energy revolution, experts said at the National Association of Realtors®' (NAR) 2017 Sustainability Summit in Washington, D.C., last week. Within 20 years, this revolution will reshape people's homes and communities.
However, most people aren't aware of the revolution yet, but it will become more obvious as the cost of alternative sources of energy – such as solar panels, plummets and the use of smart technologies, particularly LED lighting – goes mainstream.
"Smart cities are already here, but they're unevenly distributed right now," said Geoffrey Kasselman, executive managing director of commercial real estate advisory firm Newmark Knight Frank. Kasselman and other experts attended the summit to give real estate professionals a better understanding of the ways sweeping changes in energy use and technology will impact what people want in their homes and communities.
"Consumers are already telling us they want sustainable features in their home," NAR President-elect Elizabeth Mendenhall said at the meeting. "What consumers don't know is how to make their home more energy-efficient and what to ask for– and that's where Realtors can help."
Among developments speakers talked about at the summit:
- Innovation districts. These are already in place in some parts of the country. They use alternative energy sources and digital technologies to manage energy use in homes, commercial properties and infrastructure to create sustainable live, work and play clusters.
- Micro homes. These are typically between 250 and 450 square feet, and help make housing affordable in high-cost urban areas so people in modest-paying jobs can live where they work.
- LED street lighting. These are more than lights. They double as digital sensors so cities can manage traffic, parking and infrastructure needs more efficiently.
"We're transitioning from a petroleum- to a solar-based global economy," Kasselman said. "We might never see a barrel of oil over $50 again. A new world order is emerging."
Source: Robert Freedman, Realtor® Magazine
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