To take advantage of the energy-saving opportunities, some product standards would have to be tightened and some policy incentives changed. Current regulations and fuel subsidies, for example, often favor consumption over efficiency. But many steps are not taken, the report said, because energy users lack information or do not value efficiency enough to change their buying habits.
“The opportunities are huge and yet they are being left on the table,” said Diana Farrell, director of the McKinsey Global Institute, a research arm of the McKinsey consulting firm. “Standard economics would say that energy prices would work their way through everything. But that’s not really the case, particularly in the consumer market.”
If you haven’t made the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs, now would be a good time.