Energy efficiency

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© Wild Wonders of Europe / Inaki Relanzon / WWF

Consuming less energy is easy

The potential for energy efficiency around the world is tremendous and brings many benefits - whether it is cost savings, reduction of imports and therefore greater energy security, local health and environmental benefits or a slowdown in climate change. 

Energy efficiency may well be the most rapid and cost-effective tool to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions but is still widely overlooked as a policy instrument. Increases in energy efficiency must be seen as a crucial part of reducing CO2 emissions and minimising dependence on fossil fuels.

Is your television really switched off?

A 2001 OECD study calculates that stand-by power consumption, which is largely unnecessary, amounts to up to 13% of residential electricity use in the OECD.

That means that if you live in an industrial country, you are paying to use UP TO 13% of your electricity for NOT USING certain electrical equipment!

Voluntary measures to tackle this problem have not had substantial results. There is, therefore, a need to introduce mandatory limitations and more stringent measures in line with current technological developments.

Reducing energy consumption

WWF urges governments to accept a reduction target of at least 1% of domestic energy consumption per year.

For Europe, it has been shown that this energy reduction can be achieved while still maintaining a 1-2% economic growth as forecasted. There are many potential measures and technologies available which, if implemented, could contribute to an annual 3% or more energy productivity increase in the European economies. The EU could easily save between 20% and 30% of its energy consumption at no economic cost – in fact only at economic gain if you consider the relatively high oil price.

Reduced energy consumption will complement other climate protection schemes, including:
  • substantive increase of renewables
  • switch from coal to natural gas as an intermediary bridging fuel
  • substantive expansion of co-generation of heat and power in the public and industrial sector
  • material efficiency such as high recycling rates of aluminium etc.

WWF energy efficiency event in Zürich.
© Willi Kracher

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