from Carpe Diem.
Bottom Line: These significant increases in energy efficiency for both our homes in general and also for the appliances that we have in our homes have happened gradually, but steadily, for many decades, and many of these improvements in energy efficiency probably took place without any government intervention, stimulus or rebate programs. The incentive to save money ensures that there will always be an incentive to become more energy efficient out of pure self-interest, since increased energy efficiency translates directly into monetary gain.
Listening to Obama, one might get the impression that we have become less and less energy efficient over time, and we energy gluttons now need nanny state hectoring to become energy misers. The truth is just the opposite - we have become more and more energy efficient over time, not less.