Renewable energy sources like wind and solar are getting a lot of attention these days as a way to reduce the impact of energy use on the environment, The New York Times reports (via Stop Global Warming). But even enthusiastic supporters of alternative energy agree that the easiest way to cut carbon emissions and air pollution is to focus more on efficiency, less on pollution-free generation.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, for example, spends $150 to $200 to install more efficient blowers to cool lasers that carves the date and batch number into cups. That move cuts Green Mountain’s annual electricity bill for each laser by about $200. That might not seem like much, except that the company has 40 such lasers.
Green Mountain Coffee was persuaded to undertake such improvements in efficiency through an unusual effort by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, which is under contract with the state to find thousands of such energy savings.
“Efficiency is the steak,” said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. “Renewables are the sizzle.”