Energy Efficiency includes a wide spectrum of activities that lead to increased efficiency of energy consumption (heating/cooling, electricity and water) within a building or facility. By implementing energy efficiency measures in buildings or facilities, people reduce unnecessary waste and overuse of energy. As a result, users of the building or facility achieve direct financial savings. Besides saving energy, energy efficiency measures will improve the physical living environment of the people who live or work in the building. Furthermore, energy efficiency measures reduce greenhouse gases, including CO2. Considering the reduced need for primary energy, energy efficiency is comparable to a new source of energy.
The key areas where energy efficiency measures can be implemented are:
- Thermal insulation of buildings – insulation of building envelopes (walls, roofs and floors), windows, shutters;
- Cooling and ventilation;
- Preparation of hot water; and
- Use of electricity in households—lighting systems that save energy; household electrical appliances, including refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers; and small household appliances, such as TVs, DVDs, stereos, computers, printers, microwaves, mixers and hair driers.
The possibilities of financial savings are significant; depending on the type of energy efficiency measures implemented, generally 20-30% can be saved with a small investment. It is possible to save between 5-10% just by using energy in a wise and rational way.
Once a consumer recovers the investment originally put into energy efficiency measures, that amount of money continues to accrue to the consumer.