Ars technia just did an article about energy efficiency that shows consumers are still very confused about saving energy (and money). Here is an example that they mention:
- Researchers found that 55 percent of the participants thought the most energy could be saved by trying to curtail the amount of energy they used—turning off lights, adjusting the thermostat, and so on. But this answer, for the most part, is incorrect. Much more energy can be saved by pursuing efficiency and installing energy-sipping appliances, since there's only so much we can or are willing to shut off.
- The gap between curtailing inefficient appliances and using efficient ones can be large, so it shocked the researchers how many people underestimated it. An example: a 100-watt bulb that is on for six hours uses 600 watt-hours. By leaving it on for one hour less, you save 100 watt-hours. On the other hand, a 15-watt fluorescent bulb could be left on for all six hours and only use 90 watt-hours, saving 510 watt-hours over the incandescent bulb.