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Some final thoughts about energy efficiency. Back in my academic days, I did research on energy usage of appliances in the residential sector. With the proliferation in recent years of consumer electronics, this category is now the largest and fastest-growing area of residential energy consumption, using (as a whole) more energy than a home’s refrigerator. At the same time these devices are very diverse; electronics, and their energy consumption characteristics, are as varied as the tasks they perform. A cell phone and a set-top box use vastly different amounts of energy. But how are these devices used, and which are really the important ones for in terms of overall energy use? This is an area in need of study, not just in our area but more broadly in CA and beyond as we look for the opportunities to reduce energy use.

One idea I’ve had is to ask for participation from San Diego area residents in quantifying the ownership and usage patterns of their various electric and other devices. CCSE could provide an electricity meter (potentially a bunch of them hopping from home to home), and residents could catalogue and meter the devices they own, returning the information (and the meter!) to CCSE. Over time, done right, we could all work together to get a nice picture of this important and growing residential energy use. Any thoughts?

 Cheers, it’s been fun! 

ANDREW McALLISTER

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