As a country, we use about 2% more energy every year. We could save about 20% of that demand (or $2.4 billion a year) by using energy more efficiently and relying more on renewable resources.
We can all make changes that help to shrink overall energy demand. It could be something as simple as switching off lights when you leave a room, or choosing appliances with a higher star rating. By 2035, EECA estimates that through cost-effective energy efficiency and fuel substitution measures:
- Businesses could reduce their energy use by around 19 per cent through smarter energy management, more efficient equipment and replacing existing process heating systems with electric technologies.
- Households could reduce their energy use by around 20 per cent through more efficient space heating, water heating and lighting.
- Transport energy use could be reduced by around 27 per cent through more efficient driving practices, improved fuel economy and electric vehicles.
Benefits of better energy use
There are great reasons why we should be making better use of our energy. It reduces energy costs in homes and buildings, increases productivity, and is less harmful to our environment.
Being more energy efficient also has less obvious benefits. Fuel efficient driving, for example, is also safer driving. And people who live in well insulated homes not only use less energy, but are also warmer and healthier.
Energy conservation means avoiding using energy and avoiding wasting energy. Conservation measures generally cost very little because they involve changes to our behaviour. An example would be turning off your television after you’ve finished watching it rather than leaving it switched on in standby mode.
Energy efficiency means getting the most from the energy we use. There are two ways to do this. We can use less energy for the same result, for example by installing more efficient lightbulbs. Or we can use the same amount of energy for a better result, such as a factory that has increased its production without consuming any more energy.
To become more energy efficient you may need to invest. So, calculate when your investment will result in higher productivity, lower energy bills or other benefits.