All those cfl\'s are making a dent!

A couple of interesting things in the news this morning as regards to energy use.

Energy conservation is making headway
First, it seems we may actually be making headway when it comes to conserving energy. Now, exactly who “we” are remains to be clarified, but according to a report on Marketplace this morning, “Strides to save energy are working.” Marketplace’s Dan Gretch says that:

The report found it takes half as much energy today to create one dollar of economic output as it did in the 1970’s. The energy savings in 2004 alone were enough to run 40 mid-sized coal or nuclear power plants.

That’s a lot of juice! So don’t think you can’t help make a difference by changing out lightbulbs and cutting back on power usage.

Energy efficiency is the key here, and their source from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez, suggest we begin changing our focus from increasing our energy supply to increasing our energy efficiency.

From a small business standpoint, that makes a lot of sense. And in most cases its something small businesses interested in cutting costs and saving energy are already doing, because it’s much easier to save energy and be influential in that realm than to make more energy.

General Electric shedding some pounds
Again, as heard on Marketplace this morning (but you can find it in a variety of places like BusinessWeek, and as far away as The Australian, or you can just Google it) General Electric has hired Goldman Sachs to auction off their lagging appliance sector.

According to the BusinessWeek story, GE is in the middle of the most active portfolio shake-up in that company’s history. I have to wonder if this is part of a larger effort to remake the company and move toward better energy efficiency. That said, one would think there could be a real opportunity to make a dent in the energy efficiency department by making the most energy efficient appliances they can. And the numbers seem to tell this story for them: The appliance division brought in only 4% of the $173 billion GE raked in last year.

You could pick up their appliance division for a cool $5 – $8 billion. Let’s just hope whoever does pick it up takes the opportunity to further build energy efficiency into the plethora of appliances in the portfolio.