Monday, July 11, 2011

Let's Legislate A Weaker Gravity To Save On Energy Use: Energy Efficiency Mandates Do Not Work

My Comment to the New York Times Green blog, "House to Vote on Light-Bulb Repeal" by John M. Broder:
US households use the same energy per person today as they did 40 years ago in 1970 despite mandates for energy efficiency in appliances, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, air conditioners, hot water heaters, etc. Many household appliances use about half the energy they did 40 years ago, yet household demand for energy per person has not declined.

The use of more efficient light bulbs will not decrease any household's electricity use, nor reduce our need for power generation. Efficiency means the thing is cheaper to use and when things are cheaper we use more to offset the savings from the extra efficiency.

It is a well know known effect, known since at least the mid 1800s, and is called the Rebound Effect, Jevons Effect or Jevons Paradox.

Low flow water devices have not decrease water use, Increased MPGs has not decreased gasoline use and energy efficiency has not decreased energy use.

When lighting went from relatively expensive oil and candles to less expensive gas and electricity, people used more lighting in the home and other places.

Any plumber will tell you that when a household puts in a more efficient hot water heater, the household uses more hot water and does not use less energy than they did with the inefficient hot water heater.

It is a shame that the article is so one-sided and only uses data from the NRDC [Natural Resources Defense Council], which is a biased entity with its own political objective.

The only ways to reduce electricity use is to raise its price or cap its use per person. Each of these alternatives has many negative consequences.

The same people who are proponents of any efficiency law and think it will accomplish anything useful, probably also believe we can pass a law to make gravity half as strong to save on the energy used to carry things.

1 comment :

  1. A brilliant post. Too bad the mainstream media never picks-up on this sort of information.