Recently I ran across an Australian newspaper article that featured a poll about energy and saving money. The poll, conducted by Galaxy research Galaxy Research, considered a “savings service” called Make It Cheaper savings service. One factoid really caught my eye. It wasn’t the same old results I’d expected to see. It wasn’t just the usual “set the thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter.” No sirree Bob; not at all.
Instead it says that some adults are purposely gaining weight in order to keep warm and save money on heating bills during the winter months. (Remember, Australia is entering the winter season right now, while North America is readying for the summer season.) The poll stated that one in 50 Aussies, or 300,000 people, are doing this.
I’ll bet that’s not something you’re likely to see the energy-efficiency experts start to advocate.
Now, I’m not sure how much gas, electricity, or other forms of energy cost in Australia, but one has to wonder how much those energy sources really cost, that people would choose to gain weight rather than pay a little more for heat. Or, perhaps, the countrymen could put on a few extra layers of clothes.
If Australia was one of my siblings, my parents would have told the whole continent to put on a sweater. It shouldn’t be that difficult for them, after all. Australia is known for having an abundance of sheep, thus wool, so it certainly is not at a loss for material.
Another result from the research said that men waste power by leaving lights and TVs on in rooms where nobody is, as well as heating and cooling rooms unnecessarily at twice the rate that women do.
And children do not entirely get off the hook in the poll either. It said that kids under the age of 12, with all their gadgets, wasted the most electricity in families.
I don’t know if Americans are gaining weight to keep warm, but ways of wasting energy sound all too familiar, and are something we all should keep working on.
One easy way for people to not waste energy is to use a programmable thermostat by actually programming it around specific heating and cooling uses, or getting one of those new thermostats that figure out what your household’s schedule is and decide when the appropriate time to start to turn up the heat or turn down the a/c.
Maintaining energy use is a lot easier than some people may think, and, to me, the solution certainly doesn’t solve itself with a larger dinner helping.