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California Leads in Energy Efficiency
While many gripe about California’s government, the state is doing at least some regulation right: Thanks in part to its regulations, the energy consumption of California homes is among the nation’s lowest.
California uses 62 million BTUs of energy per home, according to a recent blog post by Calvin Nicholson at the Server Tech blog. That’s 31 percent less than the average for U.S. homes.
“California’s electricity use has basically stayed flat for the past four decades, which is in stark contrast with the rest of the United States. Some argue that this ‘flat’ rate of consumption is largely related to their big push to be more efficient,” noted Nicholson.
The reduced consumption means that California households spend 30 percent less on energy that the average.
“California has been very aggressive in crafting their own appliance and building codes to promote greater power efficiency and to my point both the federal government and other states have followed these same codes,” he wrote.
Now maybe these gains are not all due to strict regulations. Other factors such as a mild climate, demographics and other factors can help explain the difference in power consumption.
But two things are clear: California has plenty of regulations, and it also has less energy use.
California leads the way in terms of LEED-certified projects. In 2012, the state won top honors for having both the most LEED-certified building projects, 540 in total, and the most square feet of LEED-certified space--54,252,993 overall.
“Whether we are talking about a LEED certified building, a house in California or a data center, the day is quickly coming where everything (like power and water usage) is going to be monitored, measured and tracked as a direct result of the desire for greater efficiency,” Nicholson predicted.
He added: “Efficiency standards appear to be at the center of US climate policy, so we better figure out and have a better understanding of their effectiveness!”
California may be infamous for its government, but apparently there’s a lot we can learn from its energy policy.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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