Do enough with less inputs

What is needed, at a minimum, is for rich nations to stop redirecting efficiency gains into production and consumption growth. Instead, efficiency gains must be used to reduce overall energy and resource consumption. For example, technologies that increase labour productivity should generally lead to decreased working hours, not increased production; technologies that increase energy efficiency must not be used to ‘do more with the same inputs’ but to ‘do enough with less inputs.’

The original 23 page Article in pdf Format is below:

Definition of PER

1 by the means or agency of : through <per bearer>
2 with respect to every member of a specified group : for each
3 according to —often used with as <per instructions> <as per usual>

See per defined for kids »
1 : by means of
2 : to or for each <$10 per day>
3 : as indicated by

Usage Discussion of PER
Per occurs most frequently in business contexts; its use outside such contexts is often criticized but is quite widespread, especially in sense 2. Its most common and natural nonbusiness uses always involve figures, usually in relation to price <$150 per performance>, automobiles <32 miles per gallon> <55 miles per hour>, or sports <averages 15 points and 9 rebounds per game>.

Is efficient sufficient? (no)

The case for shifting our emphasis in energy specifications to progressive efficiency and sufficiency

Chris Calwell
eceee workshop
May 18, 2010

In an Era of Climate Constraints, We Need Wiser Energy Policies to Ensure That Total Energy Use Drops, Even as Products Get Bigger, More Powerful, and More Numerous

The volume of the atmosphere is fixed. So, increasing annual carbon emissions lead to rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere that persist for a century or more. Those, in turn, lead to higher global temperatures, which trigger major environmental impacts

It will be expensive and slow to convert the multi­?trillion dollar global energy infrastructure to energy sources that do not emit CO2. So, we face a near-term limit on absolute energy consumption.

Can Energy Efficiency work?

Jon Anderson
Environmental Policy Examiner
Aug 8, 2010

After 35 years since the first Arab Oil Embargo, two reports claim the U.S. can achieve its 2020 Carbon reductions with no energy growth cut backs all through improved efficiency. The McKinsey report and the U.S Academy of Sciences, National Research Council each claim rosy efficiency gains in the next decade. McKinsey claims a 23% energy reduction by 2020 while the National Research Council projects a 15% reduction by 2020. More likely, given past and current Federal investment, is a mere 5% energy efficiency gain.

Why the skepticism? 40 years ago it was Wind and Solar after the first Energy Crisis in the 1970's. Then in the 1990's the electric car raised hopes, along with alternative fuels. What does the U.S. government have to show for it? Not much. While energy conservation in homes and commercial buildings has proceeded for the past 4 decades, at best they stave off demand in energy growth and new power plant construction.
This is no small impact and should be praised. But energy conservation and efficiency will never actually reduce energy consumption, just simply offset growth.

Beware Energy Efficiency Overpromises

Jesse Jenkins
Aug 5, 2013

This essay was co-authored with Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger and originally appeared in Ensia

Over the past decade, energy efficiency has come to be seen as a fast, cheap and even profitable way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing the efficiency of buildings, vehicles, appliances and industry plays “a key role” in climate mitigation scenarios created by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As governments face political opposition to costly climate policy measures, energy efficiency offers a tantalizing promise of a win-win for both the environment and the economy.

Detailed reports from energy analysts and consulting groups — including the International Energy Agency, McKinsey and Company, and the Rocky Mountain Institute — lend legitimacy to bullish efficiency prospects. IEA’s latest World Energy Outlook touts energy efficiency’s potential to “realize huge gains for energy security, economic growth, and the environment.” It claims an $11.8 trillion global investment in efficiency through 2035 would yield $18 trillion in higher economic output while allowing global carbon dioxide emissions to peak by 2020. An influential 2009 report from McKinsey analysts argued that the U.S. could cut its annual energy use by 23 percent through 2020, abating one-sixth of U.S. carbon emissions and yielding a net savings of roughly $700 billion. And Reinventing Fire, an efficiency-centered roadmap for the U.S. authored by Amory Lovins and published by RMI in 2012, promises to cut projected energy consumption 40 percent while delivering $5 trillion in net energy savings by mid-century.

What Changes Energy Consumption and for How Long?

New Evidence from the 2001 Brazilian Electricity Crisis

Francois Gerard (UC Berkeley)

January 2013

This paper is part of the UC Center for Energy and Environmental Economics Working Paper Series.
UCE3 is a joint venture of the UC Energy Institute and the UC Santa Barbara Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. UCE3 fosters research and collaboration at all UC campuses in the area of energy and environmental economics.

UC Center for Energy and Environmental Economics
2547 Channing Way, # 5180
Berkeley, California 94720-5180

Residential energy conservation is notoriously diffcult to incentivize. In fact, there is littleevidence from impact evaluation studies of large conservation programs, especially in developing countries where energy demand is growing rapidly and shortages are common. In this paper, I investigate the short and long term impacts on residential consumption of the largest electricity conservation program to date. This was an innovative program of private incentives and conservation appeals implemented by the Brazilian government in 2001 2002 in response to supply shortages of over 20%.

I find that the program reduced average electricity consumption per customer by 25% over a nine month period in affected areas.

Behavior Change and Energy Efficiency

Jan 26, 2015

Lea Lupkin, of the Clean Energy Finance Forum, discusses insights on behavior change and energy efficiency gleaned from a recent ACEEE conference.

Proven strategies for encouraging customers to use new technologies and seek financing are critical to the diffusion of energy efficiency solutions. Even with financing, energy efficiency programs face significant hurdles in driving customer demand, particularly in the small- and medium-scale markets. The recent Behavior, Energy & Climate Conference (BECC) 2014 offered insights on customer motivation.

Some studies explored at the conference identify what factors drive or impede consumer demand for energy efficiency. The presenters described opportunities to incorporate these findings into marketing programs.

Prepayment for Electricity

Nat Treadway, managing partner at Distributed Energy Financial Group (DEFG), said prepayment for energy services in the United States could change the way many customers interact with energy.

Automobiles on Steroids:

Product Attribute Trade-Offs and Technological Progress in the Automobile Sector
Christopher R. Knittel
August 18, 2009


New car fleet fuel economy, weight and engine power have changed drastically since 1980. These changes represent both movements along and shifts in the “fuel economy/weight/engine power production possibilities frontier”. This paper estimates the technological progress that has occurred since 1980 and the trade-offs that manufacturers and consumers face when choosing between fuel economy, weight and engine power characteristics. The results suggest that if weight, horsepower and torque were held at their 1980 levels, fuel economy for both passenger cars and light trucks could have increased by nearly 50 percent from 1980 to 2006; this is in stark contrast to the 15 percent by which fuel economy actually increased.

Automated electricity bill payments cause people to consume more energy

Megan Treacy (@mtreacy)
Energy / Energy Efficiency
April 30, 2015

A new study from Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy says that something as simple as how we pay our electricity bills is causing Americans to use more electricity and, in turn, increasing our carbon emissions.

Published in the journal “Review of Economics and Statistics," the study of 16 years worth of billing records from Santee Cooper, a publicly owned South Carolina utility, showed that residential customers that used automated bill pay consumed 4 to 6 percent more electricity than those who didn't and that commercial customers used 8 percent more. The most disheartening statistic was that low-income people who had enrolled in an automated budgeting program that helped spread the cost of their electricity use throughout the year, used 7 percent more electricity, meaning they spent even more than they would have if they had stuck with a typical billing program.

Asthma could be worsened by energy-efficient homes, warns study

Lack of ventilation caused by better insulation could create spike in indoor pollutants, research warns

Denis Campbell Health policy editor,

Sept 19, 2015

The report predicts there may be an 80% rise in the number of people suffering from asthma by 2050.

The number of Britons with asthma could almost double by 2050 because the air inside homes is becoming more polluted as they become more energy-efficient, a new report warns.

The trend towards airtight houses could also worsen allergies as well as breathing problems, and even exacerbate lung cancer and heart problems, according to a leading expert in indoor air quality.

Airborne pollutants created by cooking, cleaning and using aerosols such as hairsprays will increasingly stay indoors and affect people’s health as homes are made ever more leak-proof to help meet carbon reduction targets, a report by Professor Hazim Awbi claims. Small amounts of chemicals found in detergents can stay on the fibres of washed clothes, be emitted into the air and combine with particulate matter from logs burned in a real fire, for example.

Are American homes more energy efficient? Not exactly.

By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sept 30, 2010

The amount of energy that the average American requires at home has changed little since the early 1970s -- despite advances in technology that have made many home appliances far more energy efficient.

Dishwashers use 45 percent less energy than they did two decades ago, according to industry data. Refrigerators use 51 percent less.

But on a per-capita basis, Americans still require about 70 million British thermal units a year to heat, cool and power their homes, just as they did in 1971. (One BTU is the energy required to heat one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.)

A key reason, experts say, is that American homes are getting bigger, which means more space to heat and cool. And consumers are buying more and more power-sucking gadgets -- meaning that kilowatts saved by dishwashers and refrigerators are often used up by flat-screen televisions, computers and digital video recorders.

These trends "have balanced each other out. It's been a wash, basically," said Lowell Ungar of the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy.

A Luxury the World Can’t Afford

Stan Cox is the author of "Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer)."

June 21, 2012

The economist Thorstein Veblen once quipped that "invention is the mother of necessity." That was before the age of air-conditioning, but no technology better illustrates Veblen's point. Having developed efficient cooling, we've designed homes, businesses and transportation systems that are completely dependent on it, while the resulting greenhouse emissions create the need for even more air-conditioning.

There's little we can say to the developing world about its pursuit of air-conditioning until we end our own society's dependence on it.

Cooling of America's buildings and vehicles has the annual global-warming impact of almost half a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. (Three-fourths of that is attributable to fossil fuels, the rest to refrigerants.) We consume more energy for residential air-conditioning than do all other countries combined, but that's about to change. Home-cooling demand worldwide is projected to increase tenfold before 2050, stimulated by rising incomes and rising temperatures in already-warm regions. Such staggering growth will swamp out efficiency gains, outstrip renewable energy and accelerate warming.

9 in 10 homes failing to cut energy bills

By Paul Scanlon

Nov 14, 2013

The vast majority of households are struggling to keep on top of rising energy prices, despite having taken steps to reduce their gas and electricity consumption.

In fact, according to new research, just one in ten households have been able to cut their bills by carrying out energy saving measures such as fitting energy saving lightbulbs, boiling less water or turning their central heating down.

In comparison, nine in ten of those households polled by the website said that their bills have continued to rise even though they've done all they can to reduce the amount of energy they use.

More specifically, one in three of those questioned said that their bills have still gone up even though they've turned their heating down, while almost half are now being charged more for electricity despite fitting energy-efficient bulbs around the house.

John Polimeni, Kozo Mayumi, Mario Ciampietro, and Blake Alcott,
The Jevons Paradox and the Myth of Resource Efficiency Improvements
Earthscan, 2008,
ISBN 978-1-84407-462-4

Page 3

Certainly, one would think that improvements in energy efficiency will reduce energy consumption and increase the effect of a given supply. Yet the point we want to make in this book is that this is not always the case. We aim to show that increased energy efficiency leads to increased demand and consumption of energy…. We have written this book to provide a warning that relying on energy efficiency and technology as a solution is foolhardy.

Barboza, Steven. The African American Book of Values: Classic Moral Stories
New York: 1998

ISBN 0385482590
Page 9

Be saving. Don't burn lights unnecessarily. Be sure that the hot water faucet is turned off. Don't leave the hose on too long in the back yard. Don't drive the automobile around the corner when you can walk. Don't turn the radio on in the morning and let it run all day. Don't leave the outside doors wide open when the furnace is going full blast.

Henry Fountain,  “But the Air Was Clean
The New York Times
June 22, 2004

[S]ure, it disrupted the lives of millions and cost the North American economy billions, but last summer’s blackout had one benefit, University of Maryland scientists say. Briefly, at least, the shutdown of more than 100 power plants cleaned up the air.

The scientists say air monitoring conducted over central Pennsylvania on Aug. 15, the second day of the blackout, showed sharply reduced concentrations of ozone and sulfur dioxide, which contribute to haze and smog.

Lloyd Stone,  Efficiency Expert ( Poetry )

Through dreamy eyes she gazed into the night

And murmured this, "Some day I'll buy an isle
Out there...." (The sweeping gesture of her arm
Took in a generous portion of the world.)
"Some place that you and I can call Our Paradise;
Where life will be as simple as
In Eden; where all things will be --"

Smil, Vaclav. Energy: A Beginner’s Guide
One World Publications, Oxford, 2006

ISBN 3:9781851684526
Pages 161-2

High-efficiency conversions clearly benefit economies and the environment, but they reduce overall energy use only on an individual or household level, of for a single company, particular industrial process, or entire production sector.

On national and global levels, the record shows the very opposite; there is no doubt that higher efficiencies of energy conversion have led to steadily greater consumption of fuels and electricity. This paradox was noted for the first time by Stanley Jevons (1835-1882), a prominent English economist, in 1865. In his words, “It is wholly a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuels is equivalent to a diminished consumption.

Chris Calwell,  Is efficient sufficient?
European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
March 22, 2010
Page 36

Efficiency policies and programs should therefore be measuring and judging their success by the extent to which they reduce the total energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions resulting from a given end use, not by the extent to which they reduce energy consumed per person, per unit of service delivered, or per unit of GNP. The climate, alas, does not know or care how many of us are being served how well or made how wealthy by our energy use – it only keeps score on the basis of total greenhouse gases emitted into a fixed volume of atmosphere.


Stobaugh, Robert and Yergin, Daniel, editors. Energy Future
New York
, Ballentine Books, 1979
Page 176

In November 1973, shortly after the Arab oil embargo went into effect, the DWP [Los Angeles Department of Water and Power] realized that 11 million barrels of already contracted North African low-sulphur oil (more than half its annual consumption of oil) would not be delivered. Early in December, newspapers ran stories with panic headlines like “What to Do When the Lights Go Out.”