A recent report by Time magazine observes that when it comes to the next big thing in energy, Americans may not have to look much further than simple efficiency.
The report cites figures from the Alliance to Save Energy, which estimate that without existing energy efficiency efforts, the U.S. may be using 50 percent more energy than it currently does. That said, a separate report has found that a worldwide push for energy efficiency could actually cut global energy demand 20 percent by 2020.
“We’ve hit rock bottom in our addiction to fossil fuels. We need an intervention, and energy efficiency is it,” Massachusetts energy official Ian Bowles told the magazine.
The report notes that the incoming Obama administration is expected to focus more on energy efficiency, and has also promised to cut federal energy use by 15 percent.
Other relevant details in the article note that U.S. power plants waste enough energy each year to power Japan, and that the latest consumer electronic products often involve heavy energy usage. Efficient new products such as washing machines and refrigerators are now on the market, but have yet to find their way into most American households.
Still, for those interested in making their lives more energy-efficient, a wide range of products are available, some of which offer state and federal tax incentives. These products range from efficient new household appliances to home improvements and new heating systems powered by natural gas or renewable energy sources.