The Snackwell phenomenon is being applied to energy efficiency these days as consumers are jumping on the band wagon of energy efficiency upgrades. Commercial energy retrofits can save commercial buildings nearly 50% on their energy costs, and residential homes can save about 40% or more. But this assumes that a consumer's behavior does not change, at least for the worse. For example, studies show that people who install efficient lights lose 5%-12% of the expected energy savings by leaving them on longer, said Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez of the non-profit American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. People who buy an efficient furnace lose 10%-30% of their savings, probably from raising the thermostat. An energy upgrade still requires people to be conscientious consumers of energy resources, and to turn off lights, appliances, and HVAC when not in use, and reduce phantom loads as much as possible.
To assist consumers in this effort, you can invest in a electricity monitor
that will tell you the electricity usage of your appliances. It is easy to use, and provides immediate feedback.
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