Energy Efficiency: World’s First Fuel

The substantial, and growing, contribution of energy efficiency to world energy is the focus of a new series of monthly reports by International Energy Agency (IEA), Energy Efficiency Market Report.

The first report states that:

  • From 2005 to 2010, efficiency measures saved the energy equivalent of $420 billion worth of oil in a group of 11 IEA member countries.
  • Had it not been for energy efficiency measures implemented in past years, consumers in those 11 IEA member countries would now be consuming – and thus paying for – about two-thirds more energy than they currently use.

The report credits high energy prices as well as significant efficiency gains, especially in appliances and information communication technology for the changes.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)  reported in October that “…over the past 40 years Americans have found so many innovative ways to save energy that we have more than doubled the economic productivity of the oil that runs our vehicles and the natural gas and electricity that runs almost everything else. Factories and businesses are producing substantially more products and value with less energy.”

An easy statistic to remember: US energy use in 2012 was below our 1999 level even though the economy grew 25 percent in the same period.

Refrigerators are a good example of the impact of energy efficiency, as reported by NRDC: in 1972 the average household refrigerator used almost 2 000 KW-hours of electricity per year and cost over $1,500 (2010 dollars). In 2009, the average household refrigerator used about 500 KW-hours and cost $550.

About the picture above: use a power strip for your phone charger and other gizmos that pull power even when turned off, then just turn off the strip to save energy.

Last 5 posts by Edie Allison

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