The Health Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Presented by Ellen Tohn, Tohn Environmental Strategies, Wayland, MA

What’s the impact of energy efficiency on occupant health? Some say, if we tighten up buildings, we can create more indoor air quality issues. Others argue that well planned and executed efficiency projects can create healthier homes. A new report by E4TheFuture takes a look the existing research on the potential health benefits of residential energy efficiency, and documents: fewer asthma symptoms and respiratory related Emergency Department visits; added health benefits when efficiency programs added health related client education; health improvements after installation of ventilation systems. Energy program designers should take these health benefits into account in program cost-effectiveness screening — the report concludes that important health co-benefits of efficiency exist, and their value is not $0. Come discuss how we use these results to promote added resources for energy efficiency, partner with the health sector, and ensure energy work is done using best practices.

About Ellen Tohn

Ms. Tohn is an environmental health consultant with over 30 years of experience. She is the founder of Tohn Environmental Strategies and a nationally recognized expert in housing based environmental health threats, green and healthy housing, and indoor air quality. Ms. Tohn works with housing developers, owners and managers to create green and healthy housing and developed the nationally recognized “One Touch” approach.  She has assisted health advocates catalyze policy solutions; designed energy efficiency programs incorporating health protections; and managed environmental health research studies.  Ms. Tohn served as an advisor on health issues to the US Green Building Council’s LEED program, Enterprise Green Communities, Delos Living, EPA, Department of Energy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and numerous green building programs. Ms. Tohn is a nationally recognized trainer, providing professional development to over 7,000 individuals.  She received her BA from Cornell University and a Masters from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Ms. Tohn is Co-Chair of the Wayland Energy Initiatives Advisory Committee and a member of the Cornell University Alumni Sustainability Advisory Board.