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Energy Efficiency Marketing Hype You Can Ignore

American business has done some amazing things for the average citizen. We live in a country with one of the highest standards of living in the world.

You have a smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet PC, and you can practically live your entire life without ever leaving your home.

But some businesses indulge their products and services a little too much. They begin to make promises they know their products and services can’t deliver.

Take a look at some of these energy savings marketing myths that don’t give you the full truth:

This one depends slightly on how you look at it. When you drive the car itself, you are saving energy (compared to driving a standard gasoline car). However, the company also notes that production of the Prius actually emits more carbon dioxide than the production of cars with gas engines.

And how much carbon dioxide does the entire life cycle of the Prius emit, beginning with manufacture, and ending with demolition and recycling?

We don’t have the data on that. But it would be interesting to know if it results in a net energy savings over its entire life.

Again, this one is kind of a half-truth. Old windows do leak. Replacing them does seal those leaks and save you energy.

However, new windows don’t lead to as great of energy savings as often advertised. In fact, it routinely takes at least 20-30 years for windows to save enough energy to pay for themselves, and in some cases up to 70.

Want to guarantee your energy savings? Use insulation, weather stripping, or repair your windows instead.

Again, there is debate and partial truth here. Some maintain that the amount of energy it takes to produce solar panels far offsets any energy savings you might experience. However, manufacturing processes are rapidly advancing, so this may soon no longer be true.

The other catch is that installation costs of solar panels are still high. You’ll save energy once you have them installed. But it may take 20-30 years for your solar panels to pay for themselves.

Businesses, contractors, and the media routinely use energy savings and helping the environment to promote their own agendas. So, when you make any decision to purchase a product or service that “saves you energy,” make sure you do your research first. Check out highly reliable sources like Consumer Reports, which truly do operate in the best interest of consumers.

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