Ed White, vice president of customer and business strategy for National Grid US, summed it up in a recent interview by relating a vignette from a colleague with a 13-year-old son. The boy ran from the house one day shouting, “We don’t have Internet. We don’t have Internet!” It turns out there was a power outage.
Switching to less power-hungry light bulbs is relatively easy, and the payoff relatively swift. But replacing furnaces or boilers or reconfiguring the building’s shell involves sinking millions of dollars into an asset that the owner may want to get rid of long before the investment has paid off.