I don't know how CNN did the math, but I come to a similar conclusion with my Perpetuity Math for energy conservation. Most of the lowered cost of living is with energy conservation; say it is two thirds, $1000 per year, $83 per month. Lowering energy cost in any home by $1000 present dollars, growing apace with increase of energy costs at 10% per year, is like getting a present fortune of $44,000 if benefit persists for only twenty years. If it persists sixty years, the present worth is more than $One Million. Investment in energy conservation absolutely is better than having a pile of money set aside at interest.
Say $500 per year of your cash-in-hand is from simple energy conservation. It is easy to do. The energy independence achieved by whomever, yourself, a previous owner, your landlord, yet, is yours. I have many concrete examples of the promise in weatherization, including this touching only part of the potential in a home:
I believe three quarters of our homes have gotten none of this treatment, while failed weatherization sponsors cruelly say there is little more to be done . In fact we have only begin to weatherize our homes. And, we have allowed much that is done, to be dishonest and ineffective. This element of independence can be offered to all equally regardless of wealth, with low-cost up-front financing and partial forgiveness of the debt.
Money From The Sun
We need to account for another $500 of the cash in pocket, due to perpetual energy conservation. It will be money delivered by the Sun. We should all hope to get free hot water and lighting from the Sun, not letting solar power, with large public subsidy, greatly widen our prosperity gap. A fair use of the opportunity with photovoltaic arrays on homes, is that it be for all of us with equal opportunity, to provide free most-efficient LED lighting, and all other loads that are naturally delivered as direct current, including a highly efficient DC refrigerator . In this we gain off-grid security , where millions of us on America's West Coast might better survive our impending Earthquake. Let operators of the Grid get their product from PV Arrays on parking lots and freeway medians, again equally benefiting all. In this, there is a portion of that wealth in independence for every home.
Say the average disaster-preparedness PV array gives 300 watts peak, with local battery storage to give full use for the household. Say one gets 1200 watt-hours per day from that array, annual average, 440 KWH per year, at $0.11 per KWH, value $50. It is more security and independence than money, but very satisfying.
Free hot water of the limited volume any home may generate, is the much greater fortune. Say a solar hot water system saves on average 4000 kwh per year (Sol-Reliant, Home Power Magazine) . That is the $440 per year majority of the $500 savings sought.
I think we should just print the money to get this done. Ellen Brown is looking out for us . We can do this. It is better to create money as payment for vital work done of perpetual good results, than to issue money as loans from bankers, who never owned the money.
This writing exercise is preparation to offer suggestions to the Federal Housing Finance Authority, that are due by March 17, 2016 . The need is expressed here, in the Federal Register:
Get back to the $1500 per year added cash in pocket. Say the $500 from something other than energy conservation, is from a $42 per month elimination of cost to be a connected citizen, now with at-cost municipal broadband; offered everywhere on Earth, not just in creative Estonia . You need at-home connection by wire. Your smart phone is a necessity but now phone function is a low-cost app. Your phone works everywhere there is wifi, with your existing number. It is a much better world, and achievable mainly by kicking down roadblocks of greed.