Wasted Electricity Can Be Prevented and Redistributed
Energy efficiency is extremely important for the economy and a green future. However, that statement seems to be undervalued in the U.S. for the amount of energy efficiency estimates to around 43.8% whereas the amount of wasted electricity is estimated at 56.2%. In other words, Americans are wasting more energy than their actual usage. A fifth of the wasted energy actually comes from commercial and residential buildings.
In residential buildings, the most common type of wasting energy is people leaving their light on when they are not at home, keeping their computers running when they are not in use or simply leaving appliances plugged in. In commercial buildings, companies leave their lights on to showcase the offices and keep companies on standby.
Even in educational buildings, computers in the libraries and computers in media labs are kept on around 12 to 16 hours a day. When computers are on standby, they consume less energy, but the large amount of computers causes the huge waste in electricity.
Saving on energy is saving money. People can reduce their energy cost and spend in more useful ways. To illustrate one instance, reducing energy cost for companies can mean more profitability, higher pay for employees or passing the savings down to the consumers.
Saving energy is not difficult, and it is an effective means of saving money. By reducing electric consumption by only 1.7 TWH — or 0.002%of total residential energy consumption — people can save more than one billion dollars each year.
Around the world, more than 1.6 billion people are living without electricity. Saving energy might be an interesting solution that contributes beneficially to such urgencies.
Consider how the saved income from prevented energy waste can be distributed to aid a cause ending global poverty: Lets say one billion dollars saved from saving energy, 17,000 farmers can be trained, 10,000 hectares of land can be under protection and almost 600 kilometers of road can be built to offer better transportation and facilitate the world economy. One billion dollars is also equal to one-fifth of the United Nations Development Program’s budget and one-fourth of the World Food Program’s annual budget.
– Phong Pham
Sources: Oil Price, MN Energy Challenge, Tree Hugger