Join the Push to Reduce Energy Use
On Dec. 19, 2007, the President signed into law a new Energy bill
. The bill is expected to reduce energy usage by 7% and carbon dioxide emissions by 9% by the year 2030. Other than the fact that 2030 seems so far away, this is definitely a step in the right direction.
The bill mandates the first increase in federal standards for automobile fuel efficiency in 32 years. By 2020, all automobiles must meet a standard of 35 miles per gallon up from 27.5 mpg for cars currently. Note that SUVs and trucks will need to meet that 35 mpg standard as well up from only 22.2 miles per gallon today.
Other requirements are for more efficient appliances and electronics from dishwashers to computers. Gone will be that old energy hog—the 100-watt incandescent light bulb so familiar to us. In its place will be energy efficient fluorescent bulbs. There will also be more ethanol use.
To put the energy savings in perspective: by the year 2030, we will save 4 million barrels of oil per day or roughly twice our current consumption from the Middle East.
There are also specific labeling requirements to clearly indicate energy efficiency of appliances and the like. This bipartisan law was very long in coming and went through a long process of debate and compromise before it hit the President's desk.
Many individuals are trying to do their part to reduce the country's dependence on foreign sources of energy as well as contributing to the conservation of energy globally. Labs with their instrumentation, air conditioning (or heat) and bright lights are massive users of energy 24/7. What types of measures would you recommend for your home and laboratory to play a part in the push to becoming more energy efficient?