Americans on an energy diet


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Don’t let the headlines fool you; Americans are on a diet — an energy diet, that is. The majority of consumers (83%) said they took extra steps to reduce their electric bill over the past year, and 93% said they will use the same amount of electricity or less in the future, according to a survey from Deloitte.

Regardless of whether they wanted to help the environment or not, consumers were forced to cut back because of the recession. But, rather than seeing that as a bad thing, 61% of those surveyed said the difficult economic times made them more efficient and reminded them of what is important.

When it came to reducing their energy use, consumers took the following actions:

  • Turning off lights (56%), shutting down electronics not in use (48%) and adjusting thermostats by a few degrees (41%);
  • More than one-third (35%) said replacing old appliances with newer, energy-efficient models is among their top five future  energy conservation actions;
  • Using a ‘smart’ power strip (20%) that senses when appliances are off and cuts ‘phantom’ energy use; and
  • Getting a smart energy management application (12%).

But consumers weren’t the only ones to cut back on their energy use; many businesses also saw the benefits of reducing their consumption. According to the survey, nine out of 10 companies have set goals regarding electricity usage and energy management practices, with 66% identifying cost-cutting as their primary motivation.