Jeff Rubin points out one of the inconvenient facts of energy efficiency: the more efficiently we use it, the more of it we tend to use.

From our homes to our vehicles, what do we do when greater energy efficiency lowers the cost of consuming energy? We consume more of it, not less. And the rebound created in demand as the cost falls nullifies all the conservation gains that greater efficiency made possible. Paradoxically, efficiency gains encourage us to consume more of the very resource we are trying to conserve.

With that in mind, I told Buddy I was ordering the old mid-efficiency model. Not only does it cost half as much as the high-efficiency furnace, but I’ll probably end up burning less gas as well.