Sexy vs. Smart: Is Human Nature a Waste of Time, Money, & Energy?

Sexy vs. Smart in Energy Efficiency

The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2014

In energy as in life, people tend to act with their hearts rather than with their heads.

So people who resolve to be more conscious about their energy consumption often choose the solutions that are sexy rather than those that are smart. It’s human nature, and it’s a waste of money.

Study after study has concluded that the most economically efficient and environmentally meaningful way to reform energy use is to minimize energy waste before maximizing energy production. On a consumer level, that means plugging energy leaks in a house’s or apartment’s walls before putting solar panels on the roof. It doesn’t take an engineering degree to understand that it’s loopy to invest in whiz-bang ways to gin up more energy that’s then going to be frittered away.

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