On April 23, 1970, The New York Times wrote of the original Earth Day: “Conservatives were for it. Liberals were for it. Democrats, Republicans, and independents were for it. So were the ins, the outs, the executive and legislative branches of Government.”
Today, I’m not sure you could write the same sentence. But you could about energy efficiency. Why? Because our behavior as energy consumers is nearly universal. We don’t like waste. We don’t like throwing money out the window. We want to be good neighbors and good citizens. As it turns out, these things mean as much to people in red states as they do to people in blue states.
There’s plenty of data to prove the point, but it’s easier to look at our statehouses. Even at a time of profound political division, energy efficiency laws have quietly swept across more than half the union – from North Carolina, to Texas, to California. Everyone agrees we shouldn’t be wasting energy, and nearly everyone agrees we should be doing something about it.
Alex Laskey is president and founder of Opower, which provides cloud-based software for the utility industry. He was featured in Fortune's “40 under 40,” has been a Technology Pioneer at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and serves as a commissioner on the Alliance National Commission on Energy Efficiency Policy. Mr. Laskey also serves on the board of the Conservation Lands Foundation.