Discover the nuts and bolts of energy efficiency, and how you can use it to improve your home — and lower your energy costs.
What is energy efficiency?
It’s simple! Energy efficiency means using less energy to provide the same service.
A typical example of making a “service” more energy efficient is when you replace a 60-watt incandescent light bulb in your living room with a 13-watt compact fluorescent light bulb. The new light bulb provides the same amount of light as the old light bulb, but uses about 75% less energy in the process.
Energy efficiency is sometimes confused with energy conservation, which is defined as reducing energy consumption by not using it. For instance, turning off the lights when you leave a room falls under the category of energy conservation.
Both energy efficiency and energy conservation result in significant energy savings for homes and businesses, along with other social and environmental benefits.
What are some other examples of energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency measures can be implemented in homes, businesses, government buildings, manufacturing plants, power plants, modes of transportation…basically anywhere energy is used or produced. Some upgrades that can reduce home energy use include:
- Adding insulation to unconditioned spaces, such as the attic and crawlspace
- Replacing electric furnaces with high-efficiency heat pumps
- Replacing old, inefficient appliances with new EnergyStar-certified appliances
- Take a Home Energy Tips walk-through to learn more about improving the energy efficiency of your home.
Take a Home Energy Tips walkthrough to learn more about improving the energy efficiency of your home.
What are the general benefits?
Energy efficiency is a hands-on approach to mitigating climate change, when implemented on a large scale, while also providing economic resilience to families and communities. These benefits include:
- Reducing the need for investments in energy infrastructure, such as building new power plants
- Reducing energy costs for families, businesses and utilities
- Improving the comfort level in homes and buildings
- Enhancing local economic development and creating new job opportunities
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other energy-related pollution