According to Amory Lovins and other energy analysis, reducing energy waste is one of the planet’s best and most important economic and environmental bargains. It…
o Makes nonrenewable fossil fuels last longer.
o Gives us more time to phase in renewable energy resources.
o Decreases dependence on oil imports (55% in 1997).
o Lessen the need for military intervention in the oil-rich but politically unstable Middle East.
o Reduces local and global environmental damage because less of each energy resource would provide the same amount of useful energy.
o Is the cheapest and quickest way to slow projected global warming.
o Saves more money, provides more jobs, improves productivity, and promotes more economic growth per unit of energy that other alternative.
o Improves competitiveness in the international marketplace.
According to Amory Lovins, if the world really got serious about improving energy efficient, we could save $1 trillion per year. A 1993 study by economists estimated that a full-fledged energy -efficiency program could produce 1.3 million jobs in the United States by 2010. If such a program were implemented, a panel of technology experts that global energy efficiency could increase by 50% between 1997 and 2016.
Why isn’t there more emphasis on improving energy efficiency? The primary reason is a glut of low cost, underpriced fossil fuel. As long as such energy is artificially cheap because its harmful environmental costs are not included in its market prices, people are more likely to waste it and not make investment in improving energy efficiency.
Another cause is the use of huge government subsidies and tax breaks to promote the use of energy wasting power plants, motor vehicles, and buildings and few economic incentives for consumers to invest in improving energy efficiency even if it saves them money.