Energy-Efficient: What are you doing to conserve energy?

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Fewer Americans Are Turning Out Lights

Americans are less apt to turn out lights when not in use — or seek out energy-efficient appliances — than they were just a few years ago, according to a new poll.

The poll, from Harris, found that majorities of Americans still do basic things to save energy, but the percentages have dropped since 2012. For instance, 79% do things like turning off lights, televisions or other appliances when not in use. But that’s down from 82% in 2012.

Only 50% say they seek out Energy Star-rated appliances these days, versus 55% in 2012. Meanwhile, the number who say that replacing incandescent bulbs with fluorescent ones is important has dropped from 58% in 2012 to 55% today.

The numbers get more dismal when the conversation moves toward energy efficient practices, such as taking shorter showers and using the cold water option on their washing machine’s rinse cycle, which only 45% of the poll respondents say they do.

What could account for this diminished enthusiasm for saving energy? Perhaps one “culprit” is the improving economy, which has allowed many Americans to be a bit less frugal than they had to be in recent years.  Also, gasoline prices have dropped a bit, which has had the effect of making overall household energy costs a bit less in recent years.

Whatever the reason, a return to the gluttonous energy habits of the past would not be a good thing. Energy production is way up in the U.S., but we’re not out of the woods yet in terms of energy independence. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to pass on energy independence to future generations? That can only happen if we make the best use of our energy resources today.


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