Fuel prices in the U.S. fluctuate on a daily basis and, as Americans, we can adjust to change in a relatively short period of time. In the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, we saw natural gas, gasoline, fuel oil, and electricity rise and fall.
If you live in Europe, things are different. The pressure to conserve energy is never off the inhabitants there. Energy prices have always been much higher than in the U.S. and, as a result, they have always had a need to continuously strive to improve equipment performance so that they could conserve energy.