environment-energy-bulb1"The Conversation" (an independent source of analysis, commentary and news from the Australian university and research sector) points out that electricity demand in Australia has fallen by more than 5% over the last 6 years. This is more than expected, and their conclusion is that estimates of energy savings tend to ignore "technical, social and institutional" effects that amplify savings.

One example they give is that "when governments make regulations, such as requirements for more energy efficient buildings, innovation is accelerated, supply chains made more efficient, and profit margins reduced: these reduce the cost of compliance" making it easier for perhaps more cautious people to follow suit. Another example is that someone who installs a solar electricity system becomes more interested in energy savings at home, and will often informally 'market' the benefits to friends and neighbours.

This argues for more intervention by government to accelerate adoption rates of energy efficient technology; the knock-on benefits to the whole community are likely to be larger than calculated.

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