CALGARY, Dec. 11 /CNW/ - Canadians are concerned about the environmental impact of producing and consuming energy, but economic factors still influence our environmental choices.
In Attitudes and Behaviour Shaping Energy Demand, the latest Energy Briefing Note by the National Energy Board (NEB), the report looks at the behavioural factors shaping the Canadian demand for energy, along with the patterns that motivate our energy use.
Finding a more sustainable energy path implies that individuals must take a hard look at how energy is used. "Trying to reduce the impact of energy use, while pursuing our economic interests, will require new technology and individual action," said Gaétan Caron, NEB Chair.
New technology will open up new and cleaner options of energy supply. It will also reduce the impact of energy use. "However, one of the most accessible, effective, and lowest cost options for energy savings and lower environmental impact is simply an adjustment in individual attitude to energy use," said Caron.
Some behavioural shifts to reduce energy demand are already noticeable and tend, for the most part, to be easy to do. According to Statistics Canada, over 50 per cent of Canadians surveyed conserve energy by recycling and lowering the thermostat and by using low-flow shower heads and compact fluorescent light bulbs.
As homeowners, business operators or corporations, we generally live and work in buildings that were constructed years ago and we depend on industrial processes that have been in place for decades - much of which was built before energy cost or environmental concerns were a big priority.
During the five-year economic boom ending in 2007, gasoline consumption increased in spite of a 45 per cent jump in price. But when the recession set in, commuters began opting for public transit and carpooling or have chosen to purchase more energy efficient vehicles. It is clear that, in the future, ongoing energy education will help inform behavioural choices.
Celebrating 50 years of regulatory leadership, the NEB is an independent federal agency that regulates several parts of Canada's energy industry. Its purpose is to promote safety and security, environmental protection, and efficient energy infrastructure and markets in the Canadian public interest, within the mandate set by Parliament in the regulation of pipelines, energy development and trade. As part of its mandate, the NEB monitors the supply of all energy commodities in Canada and reports its findings. The NEB Internet site is regularly updated with new energy information for the Canadian public.
This news release and the Energy Briefing Note entitled Attitudes and Behaviour Shaping Energy Demand are available on the Board's Internet site at www.neb-one.gc.ca under What's New!
SOURCE National Energy Board
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