It is not uncommon to walk into your local appliance store and see numerous pieces of equipment advertising low energy rates. Even the government has jumped on board offering rebates on purchases that are energy star rated. While everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon to reduce energy consumption, research shows that energy consumption has actually increased rather than decreased. If appliances are now using less energy, then why has our energy consumption increased? To understand the answer, you have to move out of the aisles with the larger appliances and move toward the small electronic gadgets to get a better grip on what the problem is.
Increase in Small Gadget Energy
According to some experts, our energy consumption from small gadgets like laptops, iPads, and cell phones will likely double by the year 2022 and could triple by the year 2030. While all in all, their electrical consumption is seen as relatively small, the energy needed to create these devices and supply many users is forced to increase. As you can see, the problem does not lie in the gadget itself but in the magnitude of the use
of the gadgets. As more and more people get technologically savvy and begin to rely on small gadgets to function, the energy consumption will increase.
Changing Our Behaviour
As you purchase energy rated appliances and research gadgets that conserve energy, you may feel like you are doing your part in reducing the overall energy usage, but could there be more? The problem we face is that people are not changing their behavior. Sure, it is great to opt for the low energy consumption appliance over the one that uses more energy, but we are still using much more than we should. To better combat the issue, we need to change our behaviour on usage altogether. This can be done by understanding just how much energy is being used and how. Even if you are not using your electronic gadgets at the time, it is still using energy. The key is to place your devices on standby when not in use. Unplugging your devices and shutting them off completely is the only way to avoid using energy when you are not using the actual device.
What Utility Companies Can Do
Utility competition can be a huge benefit in reducing the overall energy consumption consumers continue to use. In fact, as competition grows, utility companies are forced to keep their prices low and their services tailored to meet their customer’s needs. With a little due diligence, you can find lots of information on utility companies and what they have to offer.
When a utility company has a one size fits all package, this does not create the most efficient use. Not all households will use the same amount of energy. In essence, having a tailored package to meet the household’s needs can help reduce energy consumption overall. Consumers will be more likely to spend on packages that work for their usage needs. Additionally, utility company competition is also beneficial in that it spurs innovation.
As companies try to compete for more market share, they are forced to get creative. This has helped develop more green energy. It is the job of the consumer to shop around for the right utility company that offers them the best utility rates and services. In doing so, it can help create healthy competition in which everyone wins.