A false sense of energy accomplishment

I have been struck recently by the focus on how to save energy, especially electricity.  Our radios and televisions carry messages about how much electricity is wasted by leaving our cell phone chargers plugged in when not in use.  My local electric supplier has been stressing how we should unplug appliances, such as toaster ovens and coffee pots.

Are these steps really effective, or are they giving us a false sense of accomplishment.  Here in Pennsylvania, our electric rates are about to increase significantly on January 1 as price controls expire.  I would like to suggest that we are fooling ourselves into thinking that we have done all the right things to save electricity and that we will just have to accept these higher utility bills.

Unplugged chargers and disconnected appliances are a trivial pursuit.

Think about this: One of the biggest energy hogs in our homes is the electric clothes dryer.  How much energy is wasted underloading or overloading it?  What about the lint buildup in the exhaust pipe?  Here’s one: when that hot air is blown outside, the dryer must suck in make-up air – cold air.  You would have to unplug a LOT of cell phone chargers to make up for that energy loss.

My point is this, lets make the real thing, the real thing.  Focus on what can really make a difference and avoid the hype.  For most of us, there are many more effective things we can do to save energy – think it through and take responsible action.

Your thoughts?

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