What Is Energy Efficiency

What is energy efficiency defined by

Energy efficiency is simply about getting more work done with the same amount of energy, or getting the same amount of work done with lesser energy expended.

Energy efficiency is not only applicable for industries or businesses, it is also important for offices, homes, and individuals like you and me. It plays an important part in meeting the world’s energy needs without increasing energy consumption.

What is energy efficiency good for

Wondering what is energy efficiency important for and what is energy efficiency going to do for you and me?

All of us use energy every day—for our cooking, heating & cooling our homes, transportation, lighting, and entertainment. We rely on energy to save us some time (e.g. reduce the time needed to get from one place to another through the use of a vehicle) and make our lives comfortable (e.g. keep our rooms cool using the air-conditioner).

In order to maintain our quality of life, we must use our energy resources wisely. The energy sources we rely very much on today – fossil fuels – are non renewable. In order words, they would run out one day, and very soon, if we do not use these supplies carefully. Moreover, the use of these carbon producing fuels also contribute substantially to the pollution of our environment and global warming. As such, these energy supplies need to be used with caution – the lesser we use, the better it would be for the environment.

There are many ways to reduce our use of these non renewable and polluting fossil fuels. Alternative sources of renewable and cleaner energy could be used.

At the same time, efforts need to be made to use less energy. In turn, the effort to use less energy could be direct (i.e. energy conservation, e.g. turning off lights when they are not in use) or indirect.

And increasing energy efficiency (e.g. making use of more energy efficient light bulbs), is an example of indirect efforts to save energy. In other words, what is energy efficiency good for is to do the same work using less energy. This advantage of energy efficiency actually translates into lower levels of pollution and global warming for the same amount of work done, greater sustainability of our non-renewable energy sources, lower costs in transportation and electricity production etc. This is good news for economies, consumers as well as the environment!

More on what is energy efficiency good for

Another way of looking at what is energy efficiency crucial for, particularly to the future of our human society, is this – if you were to couple increasing energy efficiency with the use of renewable energies (over non- renewable energies), what you have is a sustainable energy policy.

As you can see, there are many reasons what is energy efficiency important for. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the importance of energy efficiency. But fortunately, everyone of us can help by spreading the message of the advantages it can bring.

What roles can consumers play

In your search on what is energy efficiency and how you can contribute, you might want to know that as consumers, individuals have important roles to play.

As consumers, our choice of appliances can determine whether we are energy efficient and whether we help to save energy in our daily activities. For example, when you replace an energy inefficient appliance (e.g. refrigerator, washing machine, computer or printer) with a more energy-efficient model, the new model actually gets the same work done at a fraction of the original energy used.

And do not underestimate this amount of energy that could be saved through energy efficiency. The US Energy Information Agency estimates that the average energy a home uses is about 24.5 Kwh per day. Imagine if the energy use of this average home could be cut by just 1/3 through energy efficiency practices. This amount may not sound much, but multiply this amount by the millions and billions of households in US and all over the world. The energy savings is enormous.

Identifying energy efficient appliances

Here’s a bit on what is energy efficiency appliances identified by – the Energy Star symbol.

Symbol of the Energy Star

The Energy Star symbol is an internationally recognized symbol for energy efficiency. Though there may be variations in the symbol in different locations, it means the same thing – energy efficiency. When you see this star logo on a product, you know that the product has been approved as an energy efficient product.

Developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPAM) and US Department of Energy (DoE), the Energy Star symbol was first used in 1992 in the USA as an indicator of energy efficiency for computers and monitors. This program proved to be so popular that it was expanded to include other appliances.

Today, the international Energy Star symbol allows you to identify electrical appliances that are among the most energy efficient in their class, without compromising on performance. Products that have earned the Energy Star label have met the requirements in product specifications set by the Energy Star program. There are different specifications for different products, but in general, the requirements include (i) the product category (e.g. air-conditioning) having the ability to save significant amounts of energy nationwide; (ii) the qualified products meeting the features and performance expected by consumers, besides being energy efficient; (iii) should the qualified products cost more than the less-efficient models, the initial higher cost of the qualified product should be recovered through savings in energy costs within a reasonable period of time; (iv) the qualified products being tested to verify the manufacturers’ claims of energy consumption and performance.

So do consider using Energy Star products today, instead of the conventional energy inefficient ones that may cost slightly less at the start. This is because you will not only save yourself money in the long run, you will also contribute to conserving energy and reducing pollution. Spread the message!

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