Why People Aren't Sold on Energy Efficiency in their Homes

By Brad Tuttle in TIME, February 15 2010

How many residents of Boulder, Colorado, does it take to screw in a light bulb? 100,000: Taxpayers foot the bill for teams of techies to go door-to-door and caulk windows, swap old light bulbs for compact fluorescent ones, and install programmable thermostats, all in the name of energy efficiency. Should saving energy—and money—be this difficult to achieve?

Even in an exceptionally progressive, environmentally sensitive town like Boulder, it seems nearly impossible to get residents to lift a finger, spend a buck, or change their habits to save the planet. From a WSJ story over the weekend:

"What we've found is that for the vast majority of people, it's exceedingly difficult to get them to do much of anything," says Kevin Doran, a senior research fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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