Study: Gadgets Are Killing Energy Efficiency Gains Study: Gadgets Are Killing Energy Efficiency Gains

Study: Gadgets Are Killing Energy Efficiency Gains

by Ben Jervey

April 2, 2011


Why do American homes consume as much electricity now as they did three decades ago, despite the massive gains made in energy efficiency over that time?

Over at Fast Company, our old friend Morgan Clendaniel dug up these Energy Information Administration graphics that perfectly illustrate Jevon's paradox, the tendency for all efficiency gains to be offset by higher energy use. Basically, the energy required to keep our appliances, gadgets, and entertainment systems powered has almost perfectly offset efficiency gains in heating. Has anyone out there found a really good solar cellphone charger?

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
Join the discussion
Recently on GOOD
Sign up to receive the best of GOOD delivered to your inbox each and every weekday
Study: Gadgets Are Killing Energy Efficiency Gains