Chevron’s willyoujoinus campaign rubs me the wrong way.  What is the message here?

  • I will use less energy
  • I will bike to work 3 days a year.
  • I will leave the car at home more.
  • I will use solar power.
  • I will reuse things more.

To me, this seems to be saying:

  1. Taking small steps is enough (3 days a year!!!?)
  2. Sacrifice is required (leave the car at home, use less energy, spend a lot on solar panels.)

These types of messages undermine energy efficiency.  There are many ways to save energy which don’t involve inconvenience, and help your bottom line.  For instance, you can now buy a power strip for your TV or computer which switches off all the peripherals when the main electronic device is switched off.  If you just set it up to turn off your VCR and DVD players when the TV is off, that will probably be a savings of 50 watts.  If the TV is off 18 hours a day vor a year, that’s over 330 kW, or a savings of about $60 in the Northeast, $47 in California, or $33 in Colorado… but the powestrips cost only $25-$40, depending on which version you get… more than a 100% return in one year.

Saving energy does not need to be about sacrifice.  I ride the bus out of choice… I’m less likely to get in an accident, and I can get work or reading done in the process.  One day they were doing maintenance on the standard diesel that serves my route, and instead the bus was one of the newer hybrids.  The ride was much smoother… so RTD saving energy by using a hybrid not only saved the transit district money, it made the passengers more comfortable.

Energy Efficiency is a win-win.  When Chevron equates it to sacrifice, everyone loses.

1 Comment

  1. I like the power strip idea… or even wall switches that completely shut off entertainment systems. CFL’s really help, but I am even more optimistic to see LED’s come down in price and be an even better light alternative.

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