What is your personalised energy consumption? Saul Griffith and Wattzon.com

Posted by Ian on Jan 13, 2009 in blog | No Comments
The challenge of global climate change is so immense that often we can feel that we are at a loss of what we can actually do in our day to day lives to meet it. As Al Gore has recently argued, we must take direct action in changing our governments’ policies in order to shift the standards of industrial energy consumption towards more sustainable levels. 
Given the increasing demands for energy in developing countries, we in ‘developed’ countries will also need to take a practical look on our day-to-day usage of energy – to reduce our personal usage, allowing for increases in the personal usage of people in other countries.
Saul Griffith has provided a revolutionary tool to help us do just that. Wattzon.com allows you to enter in the details of your day-to-day life to get a sense of how much energy you use on a daily basis. The global average is roughly 2,290 Watts per day. The average in the United States is roughly 10,000 Watts per day. My personal usage is 4,297 Watts per day (2,000 less than the average Wattzon.com member but still not as close to the target average as I’d like to be). 

What Wattzon.com has shown to me that my major usages are government policy (per capita) in Ireland (2,632 W), housing (821 W) and flying (487 W). The major changes I can focus on then are government lobbying and working to limit my housing needs for heating. For some reason, just seeing the numbers in comparison to other parts of my life helps me get an extra sense of focus and motivation. (It also gives me one extra reason to keep being vegetarian – it makes  a 200-400 Watts per day difference!)
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