It’s not surprising to hear people speaking about energy efficiency in businesses, marketing departments, boardrooms, homes, schools, and even educational institutions!
The amount of energy used directly impacts the environment, your wallet, and future generations. You can easily save more money and reduce the carbon footprint by engaging in a few simple tweaks. Becoming aware of your own energy use trends is the first step!
But what is the real meaning of energy efficiency?
Why is energy efficiency important? And how can the global landscape become more energy efficient?
What is Energy Efficiency?
At the basic level, energy efficiency refers to minimizing gas and electric energy sources’ consumption using a reduced amount of energy to achieve a similar output. Quite simply, being energy efficient is the direct opposite of wasting energy. For instance, an energy-efficient 8 watt LED bulb will use about 80% less energy than a higher-watt light bulb but will provide a similar amount of light.
The acts of energy efficiency have been on an upward trend in the global landscape because of the increasing energy costs and the environmental challenges attributed to greenhouse gas emissions. The call for energy-efficient operations has increased from workplaces to manufacturing industries to homes as stakeholders in these spaces have begun to request energy ratings before making the end decision to engage in property purchases.
There has been a nominal decrease in residential energy consumption rate per housing unit over the years globally. But thankfully, people can take various actions to reduce their energy bills, improve energy utilization, and get more value out of each energy use. A few moderate changes can help conserve power, contribute to a more holistic environment, and make it a more sustainable world.
What is the Difference Between Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency?
It is essential to look at the common element between energy conservation and energy efficiency before clarifying the aspects that distinguish the two terms. In essence, both energy efficiency and energy conservation seek to minimize the overall amount of energy used.
However, energy conservation refers to the voluntary behaviors that result in not using any amount of energy. A great example of energy conservation would be turning off a light switch during the day or night when sleeping. Conversely, energy efficiency puts a lot of consideration into the innovative aspects of energy use. For instance, you may be energy-efficient if you chose to adopt a compact fluorescent tube with lower energy consumption rates instead of a traditional bulb that uses quite a bit of power.
Some acts of energy conservation may include:
- Air drying your dishes
- Unplugging your computer, TV, and entertainment systems when not in use
- Turning off lights when you leave your room
- Taking a cold shower instead of a hot one during warmer days
- Keeping interior doors closed and and closing blinds when heating your house
Conversely, you may save money by making your home more energy-efficient through these initiatives:
- Washing full loads of clothes and dishes rather than small bits
- Installing a programmable thermostat to manage your heating and cooling systems
- Buying bulbs, electronics, and home appliances with energy star labels as they meet the desired efficiency guidelines
- Adopting low-flow showerheads
- Adopting power strips in your electronic devices
Why Energy Efficiency and Conservation are Both Important
Energy is essential to our modern way of life. However, excessive energy use can be expensive, wasteful, and could have long term impacts on the environment. Luckily, there are ways to take the best actions to reduce energy consumption while enjoying optimal benefits.
Here is why energy efficiency and conservation are important:
- It is good for the environment – Energy conservation reduces the amount of waste and carbon footprint released into the atmosphere.
- You will save money- Imagine the cumulative amounts you will save from energy conservation and efficiency practices. Energy efficiency and conservation practices may save you up to 30% of the cash you spend on bills.
- Defend against climate change- The energy industry is ranked as the greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. There is a high possibility that greenhouse gas emissions may reduce a great deal when organizations in the energy sector choose to adopt operations to foster energy efficiency and conservation.
- Enhancing the quality of life- Optimized energy use to conserving energy could present notable health gains and comfort levels in your home.
Energy is present in every aspect of our daily lives – and we invest a lot of our money into that energy use. However, you might save big by taking small steps towards making energy efficiency and conservation an essential habit. Simple acts really add up fast and can help preserve the environment, save resources for future generations, and ultimately save you money.