This is the time of year when a lot of otherwise sane people get out their crystal balls and tell us what's going to happen in the coming year. Well, I don't have a crystal ball, so instead I got on a plane and flew to India for the holidays, where I found this mystic to help me see what's coming at us in 2012. (It took me a long time to find the right one because I insisted on using a mystic in a green turban.)
Now, I don't speak Urdu, and he didn't speak English, so it took a lot of imagination to interpret what he was saying, but I think I figured it all out. Based on these predictions, 2012 is going to be quite a year.
- BPI and RESNET get ANSI certified, develop ASTM standards, sign MOUs, and team up to start an all-out acronym war with ASHRAE.
- Electricity rates continue to climb, with the national average reaching $14 per kilowatt-hour (from $0.11/kWh in 2010).
- Jugglers from the International Jugglers Association, which signed an MOU with RESNET earlier this year, stage an Occupy RESNET protest at the national conference in Austin because they are the 1% of HERS raters who are jugglers and will no longer tolerate domination by the 99%.
- The federal government never even discusses extending the energy efficiency tax credits for home builders and homeowners but does spend a lot of time debating the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Simon Cowell convinces Congress to approve his idea for turning the Presidential election into a nationally televised contest fashioned after American Idol and Dancing with the Stars, calling it Dancing with the Presidential Idols. Sarah Palin wins it all and takes Nancy Grace as her Vice President.
- Michael Anschel changes the focus of his remodeling company to do only Deep Energy Retrofits.
- The big new housing trend: Photovoltaic-powered, egg-shaped pods that you can put on the sidewalk and live in.
- Joe Lstiburek opens up Building Science Summer Camp to anyone who wants in. The result is reminiscent of the original Woodstock concert, only without the drugs, sex, and mud but with plenty of heated discussion over vapor retarders, multi-point Blower Door tests, and Deep Energy Retrofits.
- Andy Kaufman will remain dead through the entire year. No word yet on whether he will emerge from hiding in 2013.
- A black market in 100 Watt incandescent light bulbs grows, with rogue militia groups setting up micro-factories for the banned bulbs in basements and barns all over the US.
- ENERGY STAR Version 3, which recently underwent revision 4, undergoes revisions 5, 6, and 7. 8 of the 9 homes that attempt to qualify couldn't figure out the 10 pages of footnotes for each checklist. ENERGY STAR decides to go back to square 1.
- Guardian Building Products requires any contractor installing their fiberglass batt insulation to get special certification, and each project must pass rigorous inspections. Their legal department sends threatening letters to contractors who don't do it right.
- CRESNET, the Canadian Residential Energy Services Network will expand its scope to include Advisers and Manufacturers. By the end of the year, the Canadian Residential Energy Advisers and Manufacturers Service Network will merge with the Institute for Cold Environments to create ICECREAMSNET.
- The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) introduces Manual Rt, which describes the proper procedures for applying rules of thumb.
- The stock market loses 31,000 points...but gains 31,271 and ends the year with a net gain.
- Famous people will continue doing stupid things. Whether it's on the scale of Alec Baldwin on a plane or down there with Bob Vila and vent-free gas fireplaces, you can rest assured that several famous people will make fools of themselves in 2012.
- Naked people, upon discovering that they need building science, start signing up for HERS rater classes in droves.
- The Green Curmudgeon, frustrated by endless torrents of eco-bling, leaves the green building industry and becomes a big hit speaking and writing about success and positive mental attitudes. By the end of 2012, disillusionment creeps in, and he becomes even more popular as The Positive Curmudgeon.
- Georgia Power continues going to the dogs.
- Steve Byers is ousted as CEO of Energy Logic by the Energy Avenger, who shows up to work every day in red tights.
- Dr. Wolfgang Feist asks Martin Holladay to start a new American chapter of the PassivHaus program.
- After adding commercial buildings to its purview last year, RESNET expands to cover industrial and institutional buildings in 2012. The organization changes its name to INDRESCOMINSTNET, after many heated board discussions on the other possibilities: RESINDCOMINSTNET, INSTRESINDCOMNET, COMINSTRESINDNET...
- Brett Dillon shaves his handlebar moustache and goes unrecognized for three days at the RESNET conference in Austin.
- In August, Rick Perry remembers the third branch of government he plans to eliminate, but by that time, he's already been voted off of Dancing with the Presidential Idols.
- The US Green Building Council (USGBC), seeing that its programs, conferences, and publications continue to be wildly popular, doubles all of its fees. Members cash out their retirement plans and hold yard sales to stay involved, and the USGBC quadruples its revenues.
Photo at top by Meanest Indian from flickr.com, used under a Creative Commons license. Energy Avenger photo by Stephen Davis.