Energy efficiency, the goal to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services, is high priority in the sustainable energy hierarchy.
Improvements in energy efficiency are generally achieved by adopting a more efficient technology or production process or by application of commonly accepted methods to reduce energy losses.
A recent study examined how energy efficiency will drastically shape future fuel and electricity demand with the US already set to lower its energy and carbon intensity.
An example of how Energy efficiency has proved to be a cost-effective strategy for building economies without necessarily increasing energy consumption is the state of California who began implementing energy-efficiency measures in the mid-1970s.
As part of its strategy, California implemented a “loading order” for new energy resources that puts energy efficiency first, renewable electricity supplies second, and new fossil-fired power plants last.
States such as Connecticut and New York have created quasi-public Green Banks to help residential and commercial building-owners finance energy efficiency upgrades that reduce emissions and cut consumers’ energy costs.