From the 12/29 NYTimes (Focus on Weatherization is Shift on Energy Costs):
... energy experts armed with mostly low-tech tools but strong sleuthing skills, finding flaws that let the air inside a house go through a full exchange with the outdoors twice an hour, instead of once every two or three hours.
Correct those flaws, and heating and cooling costs are typically cut by 20 percent to 30 percent, a saving of more than $1,000 annually in some households. In addition, carbon dioxide emissions and the strain on the national electric and gas systems are reduced.
"Win-win" (i.e., zero cost), right? Ahem, it might make good economic sense to weatherize your home and the reduction in negative externalities might justify government spending, but:
Mr. Obama’s choice for energy secretary, Steven Chu, told a group in Washington in June that an extra $1,000 could make a new house energy efficient “but the American consumer would rather have a granite countertop.”
The opportunity cost of weatherization is a granite countertop.