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July 06, 2007

U.S. energy efficiency

With gas prices high again this year and with the focus on saving energy for personal as well as environmental reasons, the United States is often criticized for using too much energy and not being energy conscious. But the criticism isn't valid, says N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, when you look at our improvements in energy efficiency.

"We actually have become more energy conscious by becoming more energy efficient," says Dr. Walden, a professor of agricultural and resource economics. "Now we are certainly using more energy in our country.
But our country is bigger. We have more appliances. We have more technological equipment.

"But if you look at how much energy it's taking to produce every dollar of value in our economy, actually we are using -– you can hold on to your hat, because I think this is an amazing number –- we are using 50 percent less energy today per dollar of income than we were 40 years ago," he adds. "And our improvement in energy efficiency has been much more than in the rest of the world.

"And it's actually predicted for us to get even more energy efficient and for our lead in the world to lengthen in two or three years.

So I really think that our improvements in energy efficiency are one of the best kept secrets," he concludes, "and it's really one of the major ways we are coping with and addressing energy issues."

Posted by deeshore at July 6, 2007 08:57 AM