US carbon emissions rose for the first time in 3 years, according to a Reuters report. And electricity prices have continued their annual increases to record highs. Since 2002, electricity prices have only gone in one direction – up – by over 38% during this period. According to the EIA, carbon emissions were up almost 4% in 2010, the largest annual increase since 1988. As the economy recovered from the global recession, manufacturing and consumption picked up – increasing emissions of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Economic recovery is good – but we think energy efficiency measures can play a larger role in both reducing monthly energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions to support cleaner growth strategies.
As we calculated a few weeks ago, if Americans switched to more energy efficient microwaves, they could cut carbon emissions by 2.5 million metric tons per year and reduce the need for a new power plant somewhere across the US. At the average price Americans pay for electricity, that would save over $322 million on electric bills, and that’s just for microwaves – already considered an efficient appliance. Across all kitchen appliances, the total impact could be huge – all while saving consumers money on their electricity bills. Many of the most talked about solutions to reducing electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions (carbon capture and sequestration, solar power, reforestation) cost money to implement. Energy efficiency has among the fastest payback periods of any of these investments. While nobody can predict future energy prices, one thing people can do is shield themselves against future rises by buying energy efficient appliances. Savenia Labs can help. Keep an eye out for our revolutionary appliance energy ratings this Fall.