Post tagged with "efficiency"

Our Thinking

Are solar panels and energy efficiency 2 sides of the same roof? A new research report says yes.

  • By Barry Fischer
  • August 28, 2014

solarEE

A new research report from sunny San Diego uncovers some interesting connections between two major forces in the residential energy space: rooftop solar and energy efficiency.

The report, “Energy Efficiency Motivations and Actions of California Solar Homeowners,” presents survey findings from 2,300 San Diego homeowners who had installed a rooftop solar system prior to June 2012, specifically looking at these households’ perspectives on energy efficiency.

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Our Thinking

New McKinsey study finds that small behavioral changes can slash home energy use by 16-20%

  • By Barry Fischer
  • November 12, 2013

The next big wave of residential energy efficiency improvements in the US may not require installing efficient lightbulbs, putting insulation into walls, tuning up your air-conditioner, or even investing in quadruple-paned windows. Instead, a large chunk of the nation’s energy savings in the coming decades may come from a decidedly less technical resource: human behavior.

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Outlier

Giving credit where credit is due: between 1973 and today, energy productivity has been USA’s largest energy resource

  • By Barry Fischer
  • October 18, 2013

How does a country vastly grow its economy without using heaps more energy? Let’s examine the case of the United States over last forty years – courtesy of a recent annual study published by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Since 1973, the US economy has grown by 287% (from $5.4 trillion to $15.5 trillion). You’d expect that energy consumption would also have correspondingly increased, to fuel that growth. But it hasn’t. Annual energy consumption has ticked up by less than 50% over the same period.

Zooming in on the years 1999-2012 provides additional color to this tale of energy-lean growth: US economic output in 2012 was 25% bigger than in 1999, but the nation’s energy consumption was actually lower in 2012 than in 1999. A related and equally astonishing energy fact about 2012: US oil consumption was even lower than it was 1973.

This eye-catching trend – namely that the economy has grown rapidly while energy use has stayed relatively flat, as shown in the chart below — suggests that the country has made enormous strides in “energy productivity.” In others words, America has become better and better at doing more with a given amount of energy.

Source: NRDC (October 2013)

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