December 10, 2009
| by Steven Castle
A more energy-efficient lifestyle is coming for us all.
But even if you don’t believe in climate change and the potential effects of global warming, there are compelling reasons to be more energy efficient in your home. And not just with your heating and cooling systems, but with your electricity consumption as well.
There’s no reason not to embrace energy efficient technologies, except because of higher prices. But costs are coming down, and those premiums can often be justified by the energy savings that result.
Here are five reasons to embrace energy efficiency.
Electricity Costs Will Go Up. A possible global climate treaty being negotiated in Copenhagen will be costly for developed countries, especially the United States, which will have to make more changes to be energy efficient than most countries.
Add to that the EPA’s recent declaration that carbon dioxide emissions constitute a health threat, climate change legislation due from the U.S. Congress in 2010, the strong likelihood of moving to more expensive alternative energy sources like wind and solar, plus our increasing electricity demands—and you don’t need an economics degree to know that our electricity costs will rise.
Smart grid services coming in the next few years may help us save some money at home, but we’ll need energy monitoring systems and home control systems tied to energy monitors to help us automatically turn appliances and electronics on and off as needed, without wasting energy.
The smart grid services are still in the works, but the energy monitoring and home control systems are already available.
You’re Wasting Electricity. Nobody likes wasting money, but nearly all of us do it every second of every day when our home’s electricity is on. An average home can contain 40 or more energy “vampires” that continue to use electricity when they’re idle or “off.” This includes everything from TVs to computers to microwave ovens to battery chargers to hard-wired smoke detectors and motorized garage door openers.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates