We hear about energy efficiency all the time, but what exactly is it?

Put simply, energy efficiency is the process of using less energy while achieving the same service. For example, an energy efficient air conditioning unit will cool a room using less energy than one that isn’t efficient. While often confused with energy conservation, the two are very different. Conservation is the saving energy by reducing your usage, such as turning lights off when you leave a room.

There are a number of benefits to becoming more energy efficient, but perhaps the most widely accepted is its cost effectiveness. Using less energy ultimately means spending less money, because our electricity bills are based off or our usage. This means that the energy efficient air conditioning unit in the above example is cheaper to run than the one that isn’t.

But the most important part of energy efficiency is arguable its benefits to the environment. Our energy comes from limited natural resources and eventually these will run out. Oil, natural gas and coal are the top sources of energy and because they’re limited, they’re expensive. Further, the production of energy itself causes air pollution that’s difficult to counter. Fortunately, more and more progress is being made to using less energy, becoming more energy efficient and even producing energy more effectively.

Energy efficiency is more important than many think. It affects our social lives, our  finances, our environment and, overall, our quality of life. Saving money and using less energy while maintaining the quality of life we’re used to living is essential in keeping energy efficiency acceptable among society.

If we can keep improving energy efficiency, we can lead better lives and help save our environment.