Home electric use use is down to levels seen back in 2001. Modern appliances, TV’s, air conditioners, CFL’s, and many electronic devices in general use less power to operate than ever. Marking a usage decline that is pretty impressive. Less use of power means less coal burned to make power, which I would think is a good thing.
But…why is it for every gain made in consumption, we see no actual effect from that helping our wallets? Cars get better mileage than ever, but it costs more to drive a vehicle now than it ever has. My light bill certainly hasn’t dropped. In fact they recently just hiked the cost per kilowatt.
Every single gain in effenciency is offset by the consumer cost of that particualr gain. My car gets 3x the mileage of the old gas guzzling tank I used to drive. I also pay 3x the cost per gallon of gas used. We pay considerably more for the cost for electricity that we used to pay, even though we use less of it now than we used to. Hell, I just realized that CFL’s cost around 3x what the old light bulbs do. Who is it exactly that benefits from better effeciency?
Every time I strive to be more efficient, and I do, I never see any gain from my efforts. The way I see it the only thing that benefits from better efficiency is A: the environment, and thats great…and B: the corporate fucks that manage to keep their profits at a steady rate despite the fact they are actually delivering less products and services than they used too. I understand operating costs have risen. I understand that there are more people now using these products, creating in general a higher demand. I understand these things, but that does not make me feel any better about this situation, when I am constantly roaming the house looking for lights to turn off, or turning down the thermostat. Or when I carefully plan my outings around the availability of the econo car, instead of having to use my 3/4 ton truck. My wife works in the next town over, we even buy our gas depending on what town the gas is cheaper in. We do everything we possibly can to lower our power/gas consumption and thereby lower our costs, to no avail whatsoever.
There are days I wonder if it is worth the effort. I have come to see modern society as a machine. This machine is geared to grind us up, and squeeze everything it can get out of us, with no mercy or compassion whatsoever. There is no fighting the machine. Got a speeding ticket? Pay the machine. Using less electricity? Doesn’t matter, the machine requires your light bill to remain steady, or go up, there is no going backwards. All hail the machine. Have a car that gets great mileage? Doesn’t matter, the machine for gasoline is the same machine for electricity. Praise the machine. Did you get a raise or was there an increase in minimum wage? Does not matter, the machine will raise its costs to match. Bow to the fucking machine…
Maybe I will feel better tomorrow.