Consumers and businesses tone down energy consumption to cut costs

The surge toward home energy efficiency in the last decade has been lead by consumers who have expressed concern for the earth, its future and the living conditions that members of subsequent generations will face. But, as is often the case in America, the movement only picked up its pace considerably following the realization that energy upgrades and green habits could help consumers and businesses drastically reduce costs.

And with the country still struggling through a recession, many Americans are willing to embrace new ways of thinking if it means easing the pressure on their bank accounts. As much as the early 2000s were characterized by excess, this next decade should force Americans to learn to live within their means, including how much energy they use each day.

According to the research organization Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions, more than eight in 10 consumers have tried to lower their utility bill in the last year. While some may turn to energy-efficient lighting options, such as LED or CFL bulbs, others may install more wholesale upgrades like new heating units and insulation. Businesses are following suit, as respondents to the Deloitte survey reported planning for an average of 25 percent less energy consumption over the next three to four years.

"The recession is profoundly changing energy habits for both businesses and consumers," survey author and Deloitte energy expert Greg Aliff said in a statement to the press. "Using less may be the new normal, from boardroom tables to the kitchen tables."

Before consumers and businesses can begin to realize the benefits of energy efficiency, they should speak with an experience home or commercial inspections provider that has valuable insights as to the most cost-effective energy upgrades.