Friday, August 27, 2010

The Great Recession good for drop in U.S. energy consumption in 2009

Never let a crisis go to waste.  At least the United States wasted less energy last year, and significantly increased it's use of renewable energy sources (specifically wind energy).  Too bad it wasn't an enlightened response to a long overdue change in our consumer mentality, but I'll take an economy related behavioral change. 

How much did we reduce our overall energy consumption?  We went from 99.2 quadrillion BTUs in 2008 (British Thermal Units) to around 94.6 quadrillion BTUs in 2009.  That comes out to a drop of about 5%.  According to the article from CNN, "to put that in perspective, the average room air conditioner uses about 10,000 BTUs." 

It appears that the renewable energy incentives Democrats and the Obama Administration pushed for, are working.  This also means that with this reduction in energy consumption (primarily of fossil fuel use), it also means we emitted less carbon dioxide.  Positive steps, but still a long way to go in order to effectively address our lack of a national energy policy. 

Let's see how the public utilities and energy companies respond.  Maybe they'll hold the line on rate increases or reduce them?  Probably not.

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