There are a lot of companies out there trying to help consumers reduce energy consumption, theoretically to save money AND the environment. The NYT had a long story on a smart thermostat company today: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/technology/at-nest-labs-ex-apple-leaders-remake-the-thermostat.html
Can you discuss whether this can possibly work? As I understand the power industry, such a high percentage of the costs are upfront (with nuclear plants in particular, but with carbon burning plants as well) and the marginal price of producing energy (up to plant capacity) is so low, that falling demand would mostly cause plants to cut prices until they were again operating at capacity.
So “saving” energy at the consumer level won’t really reduce total energy consumption or gas emission.
Is that right?