Appreciating Energy Category Explained:

We owe everything to the sun and other stars.

Oil, gas, wood and coal are all stored sunshine.

Our planet and bodies are made from stardust.

I have chosen articles for this section from writers who agree with me, such as:

“Hence, the creation of ever more efficient ordered flows in American society, the removal of constraints, has accelerated the winding down of American potential, which is exactly why a Wal-Mart economy will bring us to grief more rapidly than a national a collaboration of diverse independent small-town economies. Efficiency is the straightest path to hell.”

Important Notice about Energy Efficiency

By Andrew Rudin
Jan 23, 2015

Please read this summary carefully before adopting energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency has become very popular. Before adopting It, please read these details.

What is energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency describes the ratio of benefits derived from an end use of energy to the input of energy to obtain those benefits from that end use. When applied in specific products, the one with the same or more benefits is deemed more efficient than a similar one with fewer benefits, given the same or less input of energy into each.

if you are dissatisfied with the energy end uses in your life, such as comfort, light and/or motor power, energy efficiency may be able in provide you with the same or more end uses with the same or less energy input.

Who should not adopt energy efficiency?
Do not adopt energy efficiency:

if you are satisfied with your life
if you use less than average energy, or if you enjoy a low energy lifestyle with more time to do what makes you, your family and friends happy.

What should I tell my health care provider before becoming energy efficient?

Explain to your health care provider any problems you have with obesity, muscle atrophy, dissatisfaction with your life, lack of friends and poor family relationships.

These are all symptoms of a high-energy lifestyle. Energy efficiency will do little to solve these problems and may even increase their severity.

Human Behavior: The Hot Spot in Energy Efficiency

By William Pentland

All electrons are not created equal.
8/31/2012 @ 11:33PM 

The average “uninformed” consumer will reduce the amount of energy they use at home by less than 7% when the price of electricity rises. By contrast, the average “informed” consumer will reduce his or her energy usage at home by more than twice that amount, according to a new study by economists at the University of California, Davis.

In “Knowledge is (Less) Power: Experimental Evidence from Residential Energy Use,” Katrina Jessoe and David Rapson report the results of empirical research they conducted on how residential electricity customers responded when they were given access to real-time information on electricity usage and prices.

The conclusion: most people make rational economic choices if they have the wherewithal to do so. For better or worse, the overwhelming majority of consumers do not have this wherewithal.

The study is the most recent addition to the rapidly accumulating body of evidence supporting the idea that “energy use is not determined just by the equipment we purchase, but how we use it,” as the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy puts it.

How The Culture Of Inefficiency Is Outfoxing LEED®, ASHRAE, And Efficiency Programs

By Peter Kleinhenz, MS, P.E.,
Greg Raffio, MS, P.E.,
Charlie Schreier, MS, P.E.,
John Seryak, and Franc Sever, MS

October 1, 2012

Momentum is building behind energy-efficiency programs throughout the Midwest thanks to emerging government mandates and rising popularity of building certifications like LEED® and Energy Star. This mounting enthusiasm for energy efficiency comes with growing pains as the desire to implement it can outpace the ability of the region’s building designers, installation contractors, efficiency program managers, and building owners to understand it and correctly apply it.

Not only are energy-efficiency implementation mistakes being made, but these mistakes are being adopted as common practice and slipping past overseeing groups, such as the USGBC. In 2009, the USGBC realized that 53% of buildings it certified through 2006 were not achieving Energy Star label status, based on measured energy consumption.

Furthermore, 15% of these LEED certified buildings were actually performing in the bottom 30% of the comparable national building stock on an energy-per-sq-ft basis (Navarro 2009). As an energy efficiency consulting company that conducts building commissioning, energy auditing, and efficiency measurement and verification work, we feel we have a perspective from the front lines of why buildings are not performing as intended, and how they are outfoxing standards and checks put in place by organizations, such as USGBC, ASHRAE, government, and utility programs.

How much can energy efficiency really improve?

From: Growth Isn’t Possible
Andrew Simms and Victoria Johnson
Schumacher College
January 2010

Pages 102-116

One hundred years ago, electricity production, at best was only 5-10 per cent efficient. For every unit of fuel used, between 0.05 and 0.1 units of electricity were produced. Today, the global average efficiency for electricity generation is approaching 35 per cent and has remained largely unchanged for the past 40 years.344 This may come as a surprise given the often-held view that technology has continued to improve less and will continue to do so in the future. Whilst this is largely due to the current mix of the global energy system, rather than individual technologies, it highlights two problems associated with the assumption that we can expect a steady increase in energy efficiency/decline in carbon intensity of the global economy. First, as a general rule of thumb, in a given technology class, efficiency normally starts low, grows for decades to centuries and levels-off at some fraction of its theoretical peak.345 As described earlier in the report, the second law of thermodynamics, is one of the most fundamental physical laws; it states that energy conversion always involves dissipative losses (an increase in entropy). As such, any conversion can never be 100 per cent efficient.

Getting nowhere fast

How having more stuff is eating up all the gains from being more efficient

Lloyd Alter
Feb 13, 2015


Our houses are better (but bigger), and we keep burning more energy. (Graphic: U.S. Energy Information Administration)

It’s really quite remarkable, how much more energy-efficient everything is these days. Our houses are built to higher standards; our fridges use a fraction of the power they used to, our cars get better mileage — yet we are using more energy per capita than we ever have.

I am loath to bring up good old Stanley Jevons here. His theory, also known as the rebound effect, was that if things become more efficient, we use more of them. Even as our houses get more efficient, they get bigger and we fill them with more stuff, pretty much negating the efficiency gains. A few years back the Jevons Paradox became the darling of climate skeptics and others who wanted to kill the drive towards greater efficiency, so I am on dangerous ground here. However it just keeps coming up again and I fear they might be right. Amory Lovins argued against the point years ago using the fridge as an example:

After all, there is a maximum size to the refrigerator you can easily put in a kitchen and a limit to the number of refrigerators you need in your house. In short, improvements in efficiency have greatly outpaced our need for more and larger fridges.

And we know what happened there — fridges just got bigger and bigger.

Energy Efficiency, the Rebound, and the Steady State Society

Horace Herring
The Open University
July 12, 1012

Paper for 2012 Green Economic Conference, Oxford

Failure of energy efficiency

It is a truth universally acknowledged by green campaigners that improving energy efficiency will, by reducing energy use, lower carbon emissions. Thus article of faith as been adopted by most European governments as the cheapest (and most poular) way to tackle global warming. Hence over the last 20 years there have been many programs to improve energy efficiency in our buildings, appliances and cars. But what if this was all a delusion, and that improving energy efficiency had little, if any, impact on national energy use?

Dealing with Rebound Effects

Horace Herring
Design Innovation Group
The Open University
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jan 6,  2011


Energy efficiency has failed to deliver its promised savings. This is mainly because of the rebound effect. Whilst there has been some energy savings on the micro level (rebound is less than 100%), on the macro level energy use has continued to increase despite large increases in energy efficiency. This is because we choose to convert the financial savings from energy efficiency into greater consumption. However energy efficiency still has an important role, in that we can use its financial gains to fund renewable energy sources. This requires an integrated approach, whereby consumers are sold a package of efficiency and domestic renewable energy measures, often termed micro-generation.

Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver?

Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program

Meredith Fowlie
Michael Greenstone
Catherine Wolfram
June 2015


Conventional wisdom suggests that energy efficiency (EE) policies are beneficial because they induce investments that pay for themselves and lead to emissions reductions. However, this belief is primarily based on projections from engineering models.

This paper reports on the results of an experimental evaluation of the nation’s largest residential EE program conducted on a sample of more than 30,000 households.

The findings suggest that the upfront investment costs are about twice the actual energy savings.

Does Energy Efficiency Reduce Emissions and Peak Demand?

A Case Study of 50 Years of Space Heating in Melbourne

Graham Palmer

Paltech Corporation, 8 Kingston Park Court Knoxfield, Victoria 3180, Australia
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Tel. : +61-3-9212-7744; Fax: +61-3-9212-7788
May 29, 2012


This paper examines the relationship between space heating energy efficiency and two related but distinct measures; greenhouse mitigation, and peak demand.

The historic role of Melbourne’s space heating provides an opportunity to assess whether improvements in energy efficiency lead to sustained reductions in energy consumption or whether rebound factors “take back” efficiency gains in the long run. Despite significant and sustained improvements in appliance efficiency, and the thermal efficiency of new building fabrics, the per-capita heating energy consumption has remained remarkably stable over the past 50 years.

Hard habit to break - getting out of our energy wasting ways

Jennifer Boldero
Associate Professor in Psychological Sciences at University of Melbourne
Geoffrey Binder
Casual tutor/lecturer in ESD, Planning and Social Sciences at RMIT University

Feb 1, 2013

"Campaigns to switch off won’t work until they fit in with the ways we already behave". Andrew Huff

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires behavioural change. But how do we get individuals into this habit or, for that matter, any habit that reduces energy consumption?

Two academic disciplines concern themselves with habits – a branch of sociology, practice theory, and social psychology.

Practice theory argues that routine behaviours (such as cooking, showering) are enacted in particular ways that are shared across people, time, and space. As a result,they are maintained and reproduced. For example, showering in the developed world has includes the use of a modern bathroom, a reticulated water supply, and particular norms regarding cleanliness that “demands” daily showering. It also argues that practices change when people become fully aware of them.

But awareness does not guarantee behaviour change: only some individuals consciously change them.

Is There an Energy Efficiency Gap?

Hunt Allcott and Michael Greenstone

January 2012


Many analysts have argued that energy efficiency investments offer an enormous “win-win” opportunity to both reduce negative externalities and save money. This overview paper presents a simple model of investment in energy-using capital stock with two types of market failures:

first, uninternalized externalities from energy consumption, and second, forces such as imperfect information that cause consumers and firms not to exploit privately-profitable energy efficiency investments. The model clarifies that only if the second type of market failure cannot be addressed directly through mechanisms such as information provision, energy efficiency subsidies and standards may be merited.

Green Illusions:

The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism

Ozzie Zehner
University of Nebraska Press
Lincoln: 2012
ISBN 9780803237759
Ozzie Zehner is a Visiting Scholar at Berkley’s Science, Technology and Society Center at the University of California

Page 154

Massive multinational firms control the bulk of media operations. These multinationals own other companies in diverse sectors such as defense, logging, real estate, oil, agriculture, banking, manufacturing, and utilities. Media boards typically reserve spaces at their weighty hardwood tables for these business leaders. Start to see the issue here? These relations assure that the majority of stories, as fair and balanced as they may sometimes seem, are ultimately conceived and developed within the womb of corporate, not public, influence. This may be good, bad, or neutral, depending on your perspective. Regardless, it should hardly come as a surprise that the aggregate of media cover· age contains more news segments and articles on alternative energy technologies, which can be bought and sold, than on conservation and simplicity efforts, which are not as involved in the market mechanism and could in some cases threaten to reduce the very consumption patterns multinationals rely on to achieve quarterly sales forecasts.

Page 155-6

We have all witnessed these pit fights: wind versus coal for electrical production, ethanol versus petroleum for vehicular fuels.

For the Plugged-In, Too Many Choices

Stephanie Rosenbloom
Aug 10, 2011

When Jessica H. Lawrence left her job with the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council in Redlands, Calif., to pursue a new life in New York City, she arrived in late January without a job, an apartment or someone to keep her warm through the winter nights.

But in less than six months, she found all three — and all because of Twitter.

The job came after a friend’s tweet inspired her to attend NY Tech Meetup, where she applied for a job and became the managing director.

She found her apartment after sending a Twitter message to the founder of the Midnight Brunch supper club. That scored her an invitation and — after meeting the owners of the brownstone where the meal was held — the cellar apartment, too.

As for the boyfriend, a founder of the Noble Rot wine club, she discovered him when she began following the Rot’s Twitter feed. Next week, they’re moving into an apartment in Williamsburg.

Energy - Will Efficiency Lead to More Consumption?

Bryan Walsh
Sept 30, 2010
Time Magazine

In the polarized realm of climate and energy politics, energy efficiency has always been the common ground. The concept is so attractive—we clearly waste far too much of our energy, whether that means driving a car with that gets low gas-mileage or living in a poorly insulated house. If you’re worried about climate change and are looking for a way to cut carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency is a no brainer. And even if you think climate fears are overstated, there’s a logical business case for upping your energy efficiency: energy wasted is money wasted. (See this report from the UN Foundation to set a sense of the hopes being placed in scaled-up energy efficiency.)

But what if the environmental faith that increasing energy efficiency means decreasing carbon emissions isn’t perfect? What if by improving the efficiency of our lightbulbs (or our cars or our thermostats), we actually pave the way for increased energy consumption—and as long as most of our energy is provided by fossil fuels, increased carbon emissions as well? What if energy efficiency rebounds on us?

Energy Emergence

Rebound and Backfire as Emergent Phenomena

Breakthrough Institute
Feb 2011

A review of the Literature
Jesse Jenkins
Ted Nordhaus and
Michael Shellberger

The authors are grateful Dr. Karen Turner, Dr. Terry Barker, Dr. Taoyuan Wei, and Dr. Horace Herring for their review of this report, as well as their pioneering research in the field. We are particularly indebted to Dr. Harry Saunders for his guidance and assistance through multiple drafts of this document.

We would also like to acknowledge Dr. Christopher Green, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., and Robert Nordhaus for offering helpful comments and edits on early drafts.

This literature review attempts to summarize the work of dozens of economists and analysts, without which our efforts would not have been possible. Prior literature reviews by Steve Sorrell, Jim Dimitropoulos, Horace Herring, Blake Alcott and others were particularly helpful in guiding and informing this work.

Finally, the authors of this document are solely responsible for its content and conclusions (including, of course, any errors or inaccuracies within).



Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs May Have Dark Side When It Comes To Health

Aug 8, 2012
Ted Burnham

Everybody knows that one good way to prevent a sunburn is to stay inside, where you're safe from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Right?

Well, that may not be true anymore if your house is lit with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Last month, researchers from the State University of New York at Stony Brook showed in a paper that tiny defects in the bulbs can let through UV light that can damage skin cells and lead to cancer.

The researchers' data, published in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology, is preliminary, and based on experiments in a lab. In other words, there aren't any known cases of sunburn from light bulbs yet. The researchers say it's also not that hard to avoid the dangerous rays; they recommend putting the light behind glass or keeping a few feet away from the bulb.

Energy efficiency rebates under scrutiny as cost effectiveness is questioned

Ted Sickinger
The Oregonian/OregonLive
August 01, 2014

Oregon's utility regulators are struggling to determine whether ratepayers should continue to subsidize some of the most common and popular home weatherization measures, even when those measures are no longer considered cost effective for homeowners.

Blame the low price of natural gas. Blame the historical success of Oregon's energy efficiency efforts, which have already captured much of the low-hanging fruit. Or blame – as many energy efficiency advocates and contractors do – the cost benefit formulas that regulators use.