Less Energy, More Efficiency

by Antonio Pasolini on September 19, 2011

Photo: WSJ

Are we entering a new era of energy efficiency?

That’s what economists Ahmad Faruqui and Doug Mitarotonda of The Brattle Group have told Smart Grid News as a preview of their new white paper. They predict that electricity demand in the United States will fall between 5 to 15 per cent by 2020.

The authors say we are entering a new wave of energy efficiency which they have termed “integrated demand-side management (iDSM).” This type of energy use management incorporates demand response coupled with programs that can tell consumers about their energy spending.

The researchers back up their claims with expert opinions from a range of professionals in several sectors: universities, utilities, research labs, governments and consulting firms, among others.

But not everyone seems convinced. A poll that Smart News created to go with the article indicates at the time of writing this blog post that most respondents (49%) believe electricity demand in the U.S. will increase by 2020 while only 28% believe it will be lower than it is today. 23% believe it will remain the same.

Energy efficiency seems to be getting an increasing amount of attention of late. The Wall Street Journal also has published an in-depth article about new ways to save energy at home. The article reports that new green homes have increased to 16% from 2% in 2006. 93% of builders mention energy efficiency as a major green measure. People can understand energy efficiency because it can be measured easily, said director of green green content at McGraw-Hill, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos., Michele Russo.

Some of the new ways to save energy at home include brown fiberglass insulation, heat pump water heaters and concrete countertops.

Any other ideas? Please chip in through the comment form below.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Steve November 29, 2011 at 10:29 pm

The easiest way to make your home more energy efficient is to seal any air leaks, and one that is often overlooked is the bathroom ventilation fan and exhaust vent. The back-draft flap these units come with do a very poor job of stopping leaks. To address this issue, I use a replacement insert fan from the Larson Fan Company. Their fans has a true damper built in, that does a great job in keeping warm air in during the winter and hot, humid air out in the summer. This product has reduced my annual energy bills by over ten percent. It saves the most when air conditioning is being used.

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