Do you turn out the lights when you leave a room?If you answered "yes," your actions are quite commendable, but it has virtually no effect on energy savings. To actually save energy, buy an energy-efficient light bulb--keeping it on will actually save more energy than flicking off a regular bulb when you walk away.The takeaway from the study is that people are, as we sorta, kinda knew already, much more inclined to go with a quick fix than a long-term solution.“Relative to experts’ recommendations, participants were overly focused on curtailment rather than efficiency, possibly because efficiency improvements almost always involved research, effort and out-of-pocket costs (e.g. buying a new energy-efficient appliance), whereas curtailment may be easier to imagine and incorporate into one’s daily behaviors without any upfront costs,” said the study, which was published in the most recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.But the real surprise?“Participants who reported engaging in a greater number of pro-environmental energy-related behaviors had less accurate perceptions” about how "green" their lives were than the participants who didn't fancy themselves environmentalists.Me? I'll be printing out the study on paper milled from virgin wood pulp and settling in to read it under an incandescent bulb in front of a central AC set to the highest setting possible. Then, maybe I'll buy a carbon offset and plant a tree. Or not.
Meanwhile, check out these Home Energy Conservation Tips from Minyanville
While our homes are more efficient today than they were 30 years ago, considerable opportunity remains for greater home energy efficiency and the associated benefits. To help households across the country reduce their home energy bills, Minyanville has prepared the following guidelines: