Print 34 comment(s) - last by lightfoot.. on Sep 29 at 11:28 AM

The conclusions come from a survey of 50 government, academic and industry experts

It's common to walk into stores and see certain appliances with the Energy Star label, meaning these refrigerators and washing machines are energy efficient. Efforts such as this are made to reduce our energy consumption, and while the International Energy Outlook 2011 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that worldwide energy will increase 53 percent by 2035, two economists say otherwise.

According to a paper written by economists Ahmad Faruqui and Doug Mitarotonda, who work for consulting firm The Brattle Group, the consumption of electricity will decrease 5 to 15 percent by 2020. The conclusions come from a survey of 50 government, academic and industry experts, according to MSNBC.

Faruqui and Mitarotonda say that the drop will occur due to Energy Star appliances, less usage of incandescent light bulbs, incentives that encourage users not to consume as much energy during peak hours (such as tiered pricing and smart meter technology), and other programs that raise awareness of people's energy consumption.

"The survey results clearly repudiate the notion that the age of energy efficiency has come to an end," wrote Faruqui and Mitarotonda in the paper. "On the contrary, they herald a new beginning for energy efficiency."

Faruqui and Mitarotonda referred to this age of energy efficiency as integrated demand-side management, or iDSM. This era, according to the economists, encompasses the above-mentioned practices taking place to lessen energy use.

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RE: Not a good thing
By Solandri on 9/27/2011 3:06:49 PM , Rating: 3
I disagree, I doubt very much that anyone will think, "Hmm, my washing machine is more efficient. It must be time to buy new things to use more energy!"

That is, in fact, exactly what happens.

RE: Not a good thing
By Kiffberet on 9/28/2011 7:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
'Gadgets' aren't the items that heavily use electricty. Having 6 iPads in the house isn't going to use nearly as much as a 100w light bulb.

With newer houses being built with proper insulation, and energy efficient lightbulbs 15% reduction sounds reasonable to me.

RE: Not a good thing
By rolodomo on 9/28/2011 9:33:00 AM , Rating: 2
You assume incremental increases in efficiency will lead to significantly lower consumer utility bills, despite increasing energy costs. Why?

If consumers to see a significant reduction in their utility bill, they won't buy that extra washing machine.

RE: Not a good thing
By lightfoot on 9/29/2011 11:28:01 AM , Rating: 2
Why would you assume increasing energy costs if demand was actually falling?

The primary force that drives energy prices up is demand. If increased energy efficiency actually reduces demand, we should expect stable or falling prices. The only way prices would continue to rise is if energy demand continues to increase. That is an assumption that directly contradicts the article.

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