How to cut energy consumption without breaking the bank
“We are trying to change the way energy is consumed,” said Andrew Wessel, a consultant who helps companies manage their energy consumption.
“Energy is so expensive.
You have to use a lot of it.”
He and other experts say that as companies cut costs and start producing more energy, they will find themselves on a collision course with the government.
They worry that as their companies ramp up production, their own carbon footprint will be rising, too.
“The question is: Are we going to be able to maintain our current levels of energy consumption or are we going back to a time when people are relying on coal, oil, and gas?” asked Wessel.
“We can only go so far before we hit a tipping point.”
But the energy crisis may be making it hard to get rid of the fossil fuels altogether.
“I think the world is going to continue to move away from coal, toward gas,” said John Haug, who runs the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. “There’s a huge amount of new gas that’s being developed in the U.S. and around the world.
And I think that the next decade will be one where the amount of gas that will be produced is going up.”
The energy crisis will likely drive governments to seek ways to curb the consumption of coal and oil, as well as natural gas.
Some are already taking action, including a recent deal between China and India to limit coal consumption.
But Wessel says it is important that governments step up efforts to curb energy consumption, so they don’t have to resort to draconian measures to control the greenhouse gases.
“It is the government that is the ultimate regulator of this issue,” he said.
“If you have a government that’s unwilling to take this step, then it’s a problem.”
The Energy Information Administration estimates that U.K. energy consumption will double by 2030.
“A lot of people are starting to question the need for energy,” Wessel said.