I glanced at my natural gas bill today while cleaning up the house and was a little shocked at myself. I pride myself on being better than most on conservation (at least cognizant of it) and my usage was quite high. That was last month and I can only imagine this month will get worse. And yes, I do live in a rental house right now (with an energy efficient house in my near future), but that’s the case for a lot of people, especially lower income. So I got to thinking, what will stop people from using so much energy in their frosty, great northern homes?
The answer is, of course, money. It always has been. But now we’re in a climate where the costs are beginning to rise so fast that people who sat dormant before will begin to take action. In fact, this will also likely move people in all economic groups to take action; the most important of these being the middle- to lower-income groups. Why? Because costs like heating are a larger percentage so there will be a more voluminous cry from the masses for cheaper energy (not that we don’t love our green friends, pushing the renewable energy agenda and buying recycled elephant dung paper as Christmas gifts for family). Hopefully more people clamoring for energy efficient devices and alternative fuels will push us towards a tipping point (which I incorrectly identified as a singularity), where renewables become the norm and cost of energy will drop due to the abundance of natural energy, waiting to be converted. So as prices continue to increase–and the temporary drop in gas prices is undoubtedly temporary–the push from most people will be towards a more sustainable future.
How about you? Have you felt the need to push for more conservation lately solely on energy costs? Let me know in the comments.
Photo by nothern green pixie
Damon Hart-Davis says
No, not energy costs, just primary energy O2 footprint which we’ve cut by maybe a factor of 3 over the last year or two in spite of adding to our family.
But for those unwilling to be motivated any other way, a pricing signal to represent the external costs is a nudge in the right direction. The politicians will have to decide whether to make that a nudge to all of us or a penal slap in the face to those who are idle and profligate or some combination for example. That’s what they’re for I think… B^>