It is sometimes referred as energy-saving, energy conservation, going green or efficient energy use and focuses on the goal of reducing energy consumption required to operate a given function.
The simplest form of energy efficiency is the replacement of old lights to more efficient technology. Most often energy efficiency is achieved by adopting a more efficient technology that consumes less energy, offers longer life expectancy, equal or better light quality, less maintenance and is greener and environmentally safer.
There are various reasons associated to improving energy use. Reducing consumption reduces energy costs and therefore saves money for those that have implemented energy efficient technology.
Reducing energy use also has a humanitarian reason in that it helps minimize carbon emissions such as greenhouse gases.
A third reason unique to Africa is due to the economic growth that has taken place but lacked the provision of secured energy for that growth, which was evident in the recent rolling blackouts and loading shedding.
This clearly demonstrates the importance of adapting an energy efficient society. Its importance is compounded with unstable electricity supply and escalating prices. Eskom has set up a division called Integrated Demand Management (IDM) to oversee their initiatives. Eskom is asking the public to unite and save 10% of electricity.
Energy efficiency and renewable energy both fall under the “Go Green” principles and often overlap to compliment each other. In turn they combine to create sustainable energy. Both work well by themselves but if incorporated properly a synergy is formed that would not have been applicable on their own. Renewable energy consists primarily of wind and solar, inadvertently the energy produced is limited and is best used by more efficient technologies.
We’ve already established energy efficient lighting but there are more ways for the consumer to save energy. Proper building insulation keeps the surroundings warm during winter and cool in summer thus reducing the costs of running heaters and air conditioners in their respective seasons.
Smart architecture takes advantage of the natural sunlight by positioning skylights and windows in the building’s design to optimize light during the daytime.
Energy efficiency stems down to as little effort as switching off lights when one isn’t in the room. Turn off geysers when not using hot water and other non essential appliances. Water conservation also plays a direct role in energy efficiency. Efficient shower heads allow the user to spend the same time in the shower but uses less water, therefore reducing the geyser’s workload and ultimately saving electricity.