Energy efficiency

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Supreme Court ruling allows consumers and businesses to make money by reducing power and other grid services. wilks_photography/flickr

The Supreme Court saves the smart grid, but more battles loom

An obscure Supreme Court ruling paves the way for people and businesses to earn money with distributed energy technologies.
Energy efficiency has driven the recent fall in electricity demand. Michael Smith/Flickr

Rising electricity demand could be here to stay

In June this year, forecasts revealed residential and business demand has risen for the first time in five years. The trend could be here to stay, according to a report released today from the Australia Institute.
While the higher gas mileage may lead people to drive a green car more often, its other attributes may be less appealing. Green car via www.shutterstock.com

Do greener cars lead consumers to hit the road more often?

Some worry that efforts to reduce energy consumption by increasing fuel efficiency cause a so-called rebound effect that eats into the expected savings. We tested the theory.
Conventional forecasts have consistently overestimated energy use, leading to increased investment in energy infrastructure.  Indigo Skies Photography /Flickr

Inaccurate energy forecasts are costing us the Earth: here’s why

Electricity forecasts just 4 years ago predicted strong, uninterrupted growth in electricity demand. In reality, demand has fallen for the past four years. Why?
Take that extra hour off work. Just don’t spend it burning coal or petrol. Rawpixel/Shutterstock.com

Want to help the environment? First fix your work-life balance

Being time-poor makes it harder to be green, says a study which shows that people who work long hours are more likely to fall short on taking real action to address their environmental concerns.
Batteries to store excess solar power will be a game-changer. But energy-efficient appliances will mean you can use a smaller battery. AAP Image/Raoul Wegat,file

Energy storage is crucial, but it’s not the only piece in the puzzle

The unveiling of Tesla's Powerwall home battery has been hailed as a huge moment in renewable energy. But don't forget the other innovations that can help you use that stored power more efficiently.
The long view: Australia is bidding to boost energy productivity by 40% by 2030, but other countries are already doing more. Mattingbn/Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s energy productivity plan: great idea, but is it ambitious enough?

Australia's federal government wants to boost 'energy productivity' by 40% by 2030. A good idea, but the plan needs to cut energy use, not just deliver more economic bang for the energy buck.
Car makers pay close attention to the emissions regulations in the countries they export to. Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA/AAP

Could Australia become a dumping ground for high-emission vehicles?

Unlike many countries, Australia does not have mandatory greenhouse emissions standards for cars - meaning that manufacturers are free to sell their least efficient, most polluting vehicles here.
Money spent on helping consumers reduce demand means less money spent on substations and other infrastructure. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

A simple rule change can save billions for power networks and their customers

Incentives for cutting peak power demand are cheaper than building ever more infrastructure and sending power bills ever higher. The industry has a chance to embrace this new approach - but will it?
Switching to alternative energy sources, such as renewables, and using more electric cars could double Australia’s energy productivity. NRMA Motoring and Services/Flickr

Australia could double its energy productivity by 2030: report

A new report shows Australia can and should double its energy productivity, increasing economic productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Rising gas prices, driven by the development of Queensland’s exports, could end up driving domestic customers away. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

A crash in gas use is more likely than the forecast ‘shortage’

Gas developers have been ominously warning of impending gas shortages in New South Wales, with official forecasts from planning authorities pointing to steady or rising demand. Yet our analysis suggests…

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