Energy Efficiencies Can Reduce Consumption by 70%

New Study Suggests Energy Efficiencies Are Key to Reducing Our Energy Demand

Solar panel on rooftop with sunshineAn intriguing study, recently published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal entitled Reducing Energy Demand: What Are the Practical Limits?, suggests that by improving efficiencies in everything from cooking habits to vehicle manufacturing we could reduce energy consumption by as much as 73%.

This study was conducted by Julian M. Allwood, the director of the Low Carbon Energy University Alliance and a team from MIT and the University of Cambridge in London. 

Allwood contrasts the need for increasing the supply of renewable energy from things like solar, wind, and geothermal with the significant opportunities for reducing our demand for energy. The assumption he makes is that we’re a long way from being able to supply a significant portion of our energy through renewable energy sources, so reducing demand is necessary if we’re going to make any progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are some of the suggested energy efficiency improvements that could have significant impacts in lowering energy usage:

  • Triple glazing on residential and commercial windows
  • 300 mm thick cavity wall insulation for all buildings
  • Putting lids on saucepans when cooking
  • Replacing hot water tanks with more efficient options (like solar thermal and tankless water heaters)
  • Turning the temperature to cold on the washing machine
  • Reducing the weight of new vehicles to a maximum of 300 kilograms (661 pounds)
  • Designing all homes and buildings with PassivHaus concepts
  • Reduce the hot water settings on dishwashers

Some changes would require widespread simultaneous changes and will take time to transition into, for example driving light weight vehicles, where safety could be compromised it had a collision with a much heavier vehicles. Nevertheless, the prospect of being able to make serious headway on energy and climate change problems gives credence to the importance of the collective good created by millions of small improvements.

The take-home message, if you ask me, is that we should be encouraged to continue take action individually, living more efficiently and reducing our energy demand as much as feasible. A great place to start is by calculating the energy you consume and setting goals for reducing that figure a little every month.

What can you do today to start reducing your demand for energy? We’ve got a wealth of home energy saving tips as well as ideas for reducing the fuel consumption in your car, but here’s a quick list to get you started.

If you have a great idea on how to reduce energy consumption in everyday life send us a note.  


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