100 degrees here yesterday in the Portland/Vancouver metro area. Our third heat wave for the year.
Only a couple of heat related deaths this time, as compared to almost a hundred last year. Tragic even still. A crash program of distributing small portable air conditioning units have saved a lot of lives. Cooling centers have expanded greatly and many people are much more aware of how dangerous extreme weather can be to shut-ins, the elderly, and the homeless. Many are using the rivers (Columbia and Willamette) to cool off in or on.
This kind of weather is unusual here in the Pacific Northwest. Air conditioning has never been a feature in homebuilding here. A small tract of homes(about 30) recently built near me had no AC included in the build.
So, all those families are scrambling to find and install cheap inefficient window or portable units when a modern efficient HVAC system installed at the build out would have saved the entire region in electric consumption.
On a grander scale, such as tens of thousands+ of people in the entire region, much more power is going to be used, and in turn feeding the climate emergency we all are facing. All for the savings of a few bucks to pump the profit line.
Passing the problem on down the road.
I have never been a big fan of government regulation and overreach, but here is an instance where committing billions of dollars (Inflation Reduction Act) can be avoided with simple regulations that require modern efficient HVAC systems installed in all new buildings. The added costs will ultimately be passed on to the end user, but the savings in future electrical costs will be shared by the user, in dollars, and the community as a whole in less consumption/pollution and/or new power plants.
IMHO, conservation and smart building standards trump spending billions of newly printed money.
What do y'all think?
The floor is open.