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Technology And Internet Hold Key To Energy Efficiency, Report Says

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An energy efficiency advocacy group is challenging preconceived notions of relying on other energy sources, such as natural gas and nuclear power, for efficiency.

“Twenty-two percent of current U.S. consumption could be replaced by what experts are calling ‘intelligent efficiency,'” states a report released Tuesday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

"Intelligent efficiency" requires consumers to think of complex systems connected through the Internet and computer technologies -- such as cities, factories and transportations systems -- instead of individual devices, including cars, appliances or light bulbs, according to the report. 

Under the council's vision, weather forecasts could be used to pre-cool buildings and sensors could lower air conditioning and lighting if a building is vacant. 

"This report is further evidence of the real revolution happening in our industry, the convergence of energy management and information that's allowing companies to achieve significant savings of 30 percent or more," said Paul Hamilton, vice president of government affair for Schneider Electric, in a statement. "It's time for businesses and government to get involved and engaged in the partnerships and programs that will make this more of an everyday reality."

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