This piece from FastCoExist puts the onus on educating consumers rather than building new facilities.
As it turns out, it’s much cheaper to train consumers to conserve energy than it would be to build new power plants to meet our needs; it goes without saying that it’s also much cleaner. Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studied energy efficiency programs from 2009 to 2013, collecting data from 36 states. The awareness programs they included were not just limited to the stereotypical pamphlet-in-mailbox variety: The researchers examined a whole range of consumer-targeted efficiency programs, from rebates for buying more efficient appliances, to assistance for low-income consumers, to home energy reports, which show how your power use stacks up to your neighbors’ in similar homes. The use of these reports tripled between 2011 and 2013, the authors noted in the study; they’ve made consumers more sensitive to how much energy they’re using (and consequently, how much money they’re spending).
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