What is Energy Efficiency?
Energy Efficiency is "using less energy to provide the same service." (Energy Conservation is reducing or going without a service to save energy.) Not unlike the tremendous technological strides in the electronic realm, energy efficiency takes advantage of advances in technology to provide significantly better and smarter energy services.
Some benefits and payoffs for regulating some areas of energy use
|Air comfort||Productivity||Money or other work related benefit|
|Heating System||Affordability||Reduce Pollution|
|Quality of Appliance||Performance||Less energy used = money saved|
|Lighting||Control in spending||Eliminate heat energy waste|
|Job title requirements||New careers||Progressive career paths|
Energy efficiency is a valuable resource that creates a win-win solution on multiple fronts. One action may yield multiple major consumer and societal benefits. It saves consumers money, increases comfort, protects the environment, and enhances the economy.
When energy efficiency is combined with smart energy practices — like turning off lights, TVs computers, and electronics, that you're not using — all of the benefits above are compounded.
Newer appliances and equipment are built to run more efficiently than those a decade ago. When your old appliances break, talk to your parents about replacing them with energy-efficient models that have a special ENERGY STAR® label. These appliances do the same job but use a fraction of the energy that non-efficient appliances use.
We spend most of our time in buildings—homes, schools, offices, and stores—but most people hardly notice details about the buildings such as how they are designed, how they are built, and how well they are maintained. These details have a strong effect on how much we enjoy a building and how much it costs.
A home energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An assessment will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time.
During the assessment, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Energy assessments also determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. An assessment may also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity. You can perform a simple energy assessment yourself, or have a professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough assessment.
A professional auditor uses a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure. Thorough assessments often use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation.
Energy Upgrades are Good for America
Improving the efficiency of American homes is one of the most cost-effective ways to scale back harmful greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our nation's dependence on costly energy imports. Efficiency upgrades also support domestic job creation in construction and manufacturing, and extends the impact of investments in sources of clean and renewable energy.