Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SMH: Carbon won't cost the clever consumers

Alan Pears is an adjunct professor at RMIT University and an expert on things like energy efficiency. Last year I saw him give an interesting talk to the alternative technology association. Today he has an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald " Carbon won't cost the clever consumers" explaining how, with a bit of thought, most people could cut their energy use and keep their power bills down by moving to more energy efficient appliances and avoiding wasteful products.

"Consider a typical annual household electricity cost of $1500. If you've bought a new fridge in the past few years, your bill is up to $200 lower than it would have been if you still had the old fridge. Improved energy efficiency has cut running costs.

On the other hand, if you have those trendy halogen downlights, your bill is probably $200 more than it would have been with traditional lighting, because you are running many more lights."

He also points out that, with a bit of thought, many business's can cut their energy use too, cutting their carbon emmissions while actually saving money.

"The top 200 energy-consuming industries in Australia have been required to look for energy-efficiency measures under the Energy Efficiency Opportunities program. So far, they have identified 8.3 per cent savings at an average carbon cost of minus $100 a tonne avoided. These measures will slash their carbon costs - and make them handsome profits."
These examples, plus more in the article, remind me that, when we talk about behavioural change and using less electricity, we don't mean sitting around in the dark. We mean people taking advantage of better, more efficient technology and manufacturers making products that take less energy to create and less energy to run. We mean inventivising behavioural change that is goood for your wallet and the planet.

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