Nice Work: Your Lightbulbs Have Changed an Economic Metric

Electricity use is no longer a great metric for economic activity.

Here's a small victory: Partly because of your new lightbulbs and because you're wearing a sweater instead of cranking up your heat, American electricity use isn't a great metric for economic growth anymore (subscription required). So says the Wall Street Journal:

For decades, electricity use was viewed as a barometer of economic growth, but the link has become less clear cut in recent years, partly because of a big push to make major appliances and other products, such as compact fluorescent lightbulbs and high-efficiency motors, that use less electricity.


That's not to say it's no economic metric at all—some of the drop in electricity use, the story continues, is due to a serious reduction in U.S. manufacturing, a huge energy user.

Sometimes it's hard to point to signs of success or progress when you're asking people to adopt easy eco resolutions, for example. I just thought to point one out. There are more people like you than you might think.

Photo via Flickr (cc) user Paul Keller.