What is Energy Efficiency?
Energy efficiency – doing more with less energy – has been called “the first fuel” and “the invisible powerhouse … working behind the scenes to improve our energy security, lower our energy bills and move us closer to reaching our climate goals” (IEA 2014).
Although often overlooked, particularly in Australia, energy efficiency is frequently the cheapest – and fastest – way to achieve emission reductions in the energy sector (McKinsey 2007). Simple actions like installing LED light fittings and improving the efficiency of equipment such as air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, etc, will not only save money for the energy user, but also reduce the need for additional power stations and bigger distribution networks, contributing to significant savings for consumers. In fact, an International Energy Agency report in 2014 showed that “energy efficiency investments over the past four decades have avoided more energy consumption than the total final consumption of the European Union in 2011” (IEA 2014).
Cost-effective energy efficiency should almost always be the first step for organisations and households looking to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas pollution.