Friday, March 05, 2010

Energy Efficiency and Human Behavior

As this Ars Technica article mentions, in energy savings it matters more to change people's attitude than basic technology. Current technology, when assisted with proper incentives, can be used by people to lower their energy usage.

What incentives: layered energy costs, tight monitoring of power usage, rewards (subsidies) to those who use energy efficient bulbs/ systems, punishments (taxes) on less efficient systems. Governments are decreed to have this as their main function, instead Indian government focuses on caste-/ religion-based quotas, blanket subsidies to the rich (petrol), criminal waste of tax-payer money supposedly on 'employment of the poor' (NREGA) etc.

Let us see what all can GoI do in this regard:
  1. tax petrol/ diesel
  2. yearly tax on cars depending on their energy/ fuel efficiency (higher tax for SUVs e.g.).
  3. tax fluorescent light bulbs, subsidize efficient ones
  4. tax ACs on yearly basis (pay yearly tax based on their energy usage and efficiency)
  5. offer cash for tree plantation and growing programs
  6. encourage and build public transport (not take bribes from Kinetic/ Honda to encourage 2-wheeler traffic on the road)
  7. subsidize energy efficient cooking ranges (taxes are based on the energy efficiency)
  8. buildings with ecologically friendly structures (more cross-wind, green areas, indoor water cooling, etc.)
and more on these lines.

What are your suggestions in this regard?

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