Sunday, 11 March 2007

The next unsociable habit?

Having drinks and then driving away in the car, second hand smoking... at one period of time all quite accepted behaviour however nowadays either illegal or at least frowned on social behaviour... Will our usage of energy in the future be so viewed?

Keeping up with Jones has been a quite typical past time in many countries - not only in the UK! However could we be about to see this extended in to monitoring of carbon footprints in the future? In the past an outward sign of "we're doing well" would be the number of cars parked on the drive and the size of their engines - this could well be reversed with the neighbour hiding his gas guzzling engine away in the garage rather than proudly polishing it on the drive at the weekend... In the winter time look to your neighbour's roof - if the snow's still sitting there then they have insulation if it comes off then obviously then do not... you can just imagine where this new one up man ship could go... "How much recycling do you do?" brings Neighbourhood Watch in to a whole new ball game! And think about those annual Xmas light competitions - will the behaviour picture about be acceptable?

Or is this all a fashion statement with the icons if the media tootling around in their Prius cars? My feeling is it is here to stay... In Italy the idea has caught on as households publish how good their energy efficiency rating was for their property .. with the home buyer's pack requirement coming in in the UK the need for the seller of the property to announce this in the future to all prospective buyers begins to give the householder a reason, other than "mere energy saving", to think about investing in insulation and other energy saving devices. In the past the owners may have thought they would not recoup their investment before they potentially move along the housing ladder this in the future means a quicker sale or better price.

No doubt when this does become the next big craze rather than just the minority investing in wind turbines and such like then we will all grumbling and moaning eventually catch up and maybe, just maybe, it will all become acceptable behaviour to think about energy usage or carbon footprint size as we decide our future actions.


Bill said...

Interesting point and yes from the photo our extreme usage of energy has become brash and extreme. But who wants to live in place that legislates for this? Is that a step too far?

Trudi said...

How else can we control energy usage other than to legislate/ provide financial incentives from government? I am sure that this was the reaction about the drink drive ban - and yes the outcome is not as quickly visible but the potential long-term effects are far greater and larger?

Helen said...

I think we can safely assume that it will take legislation for the majority to act.
I also think that on this issue, the government should lead by example to minimise the impact legislation may have.