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Energy use could drop by 73% with Energy Efficiency

Japan Replaced Half Its Nuclear Power With Energy Efficiency. Could The U.S. Do Something Similar? Climate Progress,

“………Several years ago a team of researchers at Cambridge University estimated that the world could save 73 percent of its energy through efficiency measures. Changes like using thicker building installation, installing triple-paned windows, and lowering washing machine temperatures could help demand-side efficiency efforts supplant the slower pace of supply-side implementation of clean energy sources.


The U.S. residential sector consumes about 37 percent of the total electricity production in the country, at a per-household rate of more than double the U.K. does. Andrew Tarantola at Gizmodo recently published a thorough breakdown of why we’re so much more inefficient than our British counterparts:

It’s not just clothes dryers and A/C units. British appliances are also quickly outpacing their U.S. counterparts in terms of efficiency. In the U.K., chest freezers now consume 66 percent less energy than they did in 1990, upright freezers use 59 percent less, and new freezers use 55 percent less. Similarly, wet appliances like dishwashers and washing machines consume 39 percent and 32 percent less power, respectively, than they did in the 1990s.

U.S. appliances, while certainly more efficient than they were in the 1990s, cannot match these gains. Energy Star certified refrigerators, for example, only have to be 15 percent more efficient than non-qualified models or 20 percent more efficient than models that simply meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard.

We live in bigger houses, we use more air conditioning and, a surprisingly significant factor — our cable boxes are always on. According to Gizmodo, a cable box and standalone DVR can use as much as 446 kilowatt hours a year, far more than those in the U.K. which go into sleep mode for the two-thirds of the day they’re not being used. However at a certain point the issue is not energy efficient options, but a will to utilize them. Studies have shown that when services get less expensive via gains in efficiency, Americans use more of them, offsetting much of the electricity savings. It took a natural disaster of epic proportions in Japan to change habits. What will it take here?

April 11, 2014 - Posted by | ENERGY

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