Energy Efficiency Group
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Are we doing enough when it comes to energy efficiency?
- May 22, 2023 3:12 pm GMT
Earlier this year the Department of Energy updated the energy efficiency standards for window air conditioners and air purifiers. The changes are expected to save consumers $1.5 billion annually.
The air purifier standards kick in next year and the A/C standards take effect in 2026. Since 1990 efficiency standards have helped lower the electricity consumption of air conditions by 39% and air purifiers by 27%.
This is a baby step in the right direction. But there needs to be an increased sense of urgency on energy efficiency because it’s an area where effective leadership can pay significant dividends.
Regardless of how much money we throw at solar, wind, and EVs, we simply are not going to end the use of fossil fuels any time soon. The goal shouldn’t be to attempt to make dramatic societal changes. There is no precedent that indicates that’s possible. The goal should be to identify areas that can pay big dividends with only small changes. Energy efficiency is one of them.
According to the University of Utah if everyone in the U.S. changed their thermostat by 1 °F, carbon emissions would be reduced by 7.2 teragrams. That’s the equivalent amount of carbon released by 1.4 million people in a year.
That’s one example of a small behavioral change that I believe most people would make if properly encouraged. And there are many similar things that would have a significant cumulative effect like transitioning to programmable thermostats and not leaving computers on all day.
Little things that most people could easily adapt to if the benefits were effectively and consistently communicated. Such a campaign might also get people more engaged in climate change and foster additional benefits.
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