US would consume roughly 20 percent less energy if it moved to Europe's work hour model
While advocates of work-time reduction have highlighted the potential ecological benefits for many years, empirical evidence has emerged recently to support these claims. A study by two American economists found a significant association between work hours and energy consumption.2 Their economic model showed that if European nations adopted American work hours, they would consume some 25 percent more energy (putting their Kyoto Protocol targets out of reach); meanwhile the United States would consume roughly 20 percent less energy if it moved to Europe’s work/leisure balance (putting it within close striking distance of its original Kyoto target).
SOURCE: Rosnick, D & Weisbrot, M. Are Shorter Hours Good for the Environment? A Comparison of U.S. and European Energy Consumption (Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, DC, 2006). From - http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/11-5