What Is Energy Efficiency?
We rely on energy throughout our day to heat and light our homes, power our computers and equipment at work, and fuel our cars and trucks to get where we need to be. Our lives, and indeed our entire economies, rely on the use of energy.
Over time our use of energy has increased significantly. The size of an average home in Canada continues to increase and there are a larger number of lights, appliances and electronics in households today.
Energy efficiency refers to using less energy to provide the same or better level of service. For example, a properly insulated home can be heated to the same level of comfort as an un-insulated home but uses a lot less energy.
Increasing energy efficiency has two aspects:
- Changing our behavior to reduce the energy we need. Simple and no-cost actions such as turning off lights and televisions when they are not in use, powering down office equipment at the end of the day, and not idling vehicles, can save energy that would have otherwise been wasted.
- Using technologies that allow us to reduce our energy needs. Using new and existing technologies that allow us to reduce our energy needs. This could include insulating a basement or installing high-efficiency windows to reduce energy costs while increasing comfort levels, designing an office building to meet or exceed the highest energy efficiency standards to reduce operating costs, or buying only those computers and appliances that are ENERGY STAR certified by the federal government – the gold standard in energy efficiency for home and office products.
While there are a variety of ways to be more energy efficient in our daily lives, there are also a variety of benefits in doing so.