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Proof That It Pays

Higher prices create hesitation, for some, to invest in energy saving equipment, worried that they won’t see the payoff soon enough. But, U.S. energy news may provide the extra push to change their minds. Rebecca Smith of the Wall Street Journal reported that “Slack demand for electricity across the U.S. is leading to some of the sharpest reductions in power prices in recent years…” A drop in electricity demand has helped reduce daily market prices by 40% during the first half of the year.

For decades the demand for electricity has had steady growth. In fact, 45 of the last 58 years have seen growth exceeding 2% per year. The significant decrease in demand has come with the economic downturn, but there is at least one bright spot in the dark state of the economy: It has forced consumers – both commercial and private – to buckle down on their consumption.

It’s unfortunate that it takes a massive crisis to force us to make responsible changes. Reduced productivity, employee cutbacks and job losses have all contributed to the diminished demand. Whatever the stimulus, the result has been positive for power prices and energy conservation.

All consumers can’t expect to reap the benefits of energy price cuts right away as some people have locked-in price contracts. Over time, however, we expect to see a softening effect for everyone. For businesses, the savings could amount to just enough to keep them from making further cuts in employment and production. For private homes, reduced power prices will help take the edge off already overwhelming costs.

What does this mean? It means that the changes we’ve made since we’ve been forced to cut back have really worked. Not only are we saving by consuming less but we’ve actually lowered the price of the goods. Kudos to all who have contributed. Whether its switching to CFL bulbs, turning off the a/c or building a more energy-efficient home, everyone has come together to create change. For those of you who haven’t made the changes, this should sway you to consider the investment. Simple conservation can lead to a more universal form of savings.


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