Energy conservation – making investments or changing behaviors to reduce energy consumption without lifestyle sacrifices – is a critically important energy option, regardless of whether you support broader use of fossil fuels or you support a transition to a low-carbon energy portfolio. Everyone should agree that more conservation is a good thing, and the potential conservation options are vast both in number and in their possible impacts on the environment and climate. Nonetheless, energy conservation presents a difficult paradox. On the one hand, the majority of energy conservation options have a double dividend, saving money and helping the environment all at the same time. On the other hand, convincing individuals and businesses to spend time and money undertaking conservation investments has proven remarkably difficult. (At the very least, you would think that people like to save money.) People make seemingly irrational decisions for all sorts of reasons, and some centralized coordination can help to overcome the energy efficiency paradox. Three examples from the United States have shown how monetary incentives, community outreach, and deliberate planning have all contributed to some form of effective energy conservation.
Reminder - Complete all of the Module 8 tasks!
You have reached the end of Module 8! Double-check the Module Roadmap to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before you begin Module 9.