Energy efficiency is energy security
Energy efficiency reduces reliance on any one source of energy. By lowering demand, efficiency diminishes exposure to disruptions in domestic and imported energy supplies. It improves reliability of electricity and gas networks, and is indispensable for emergency demand reduction. For instance:
11 EJ, equivalent to Japan’s annual energy use, is how much fossil fuel IEA countries and other major economies avoided importing between 2000 and 2017, thanks to efficiency measures.
2 billion cubic meters of gas per year could be saved by doubling current EU installation rates of heat pumps, roughly equivalent to the annual energy use of 168,000 European flats of 100 m2 each.
Energy efficiency is affordability
The impacts on energy costs of price hikes, the Covid-19 pandemic, and high inflation are felt most deeply by vulnerable groups. These are more likely to live in poorly insulated and maintained buildings with inefficient appliances, resulting in higher energy costs. Energy efficiency measures can lower energy bills, leaving more for other essential household expenditures.
Households can save €200 annually by setting the thermostat to a maximum of 19 degrees Celsius.
Households can also save up to €122 per year by lowering their thermostat by 1 degree Celsius this winter.
Energy efficiency is health & wellbeing
Most people spend 90% of their time indoors, and likely more during the pandemic. The indoor environment affects health, comfort, wellbeing and work productivity. Energy efficiency renovations can improve temperature, air quality, light, humidity and noise, leading to benefits like reduced symptoms of respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, rheumatism, arthritis, allergies and stress.
Improving indoor environment in schools, hospitals and offices can boost productivity across the EU by up to 12%, worth up to €500 billion, and saving health costs of €42 billion annually.
More-efficient and safer stoves for the billions of people who rely on biofuels, like wood and charcoal, could avoid 2.5 million premature deaths from indoor pollution each year.
Energy efficiency is jobs
Improving energy efficiency takes work, and that means jobs. In fact, for the same level of investment, energy efficiency creates more direct and indirect jobs than supplying fossil fuels.
$1 million spent on energy efficiency generates between six and 15 jobs, depending on the sector, while fossil fuel investments result in just over 3 jobs per $1 million.
Up to 60% of expenditures on home energy efficiency retrofits goes for labour, activating local value chains and boosting the economy.
In some countries, energy efficiency is one of the largest employers in energy. There are up to 3 million efficiency-related jobs in Europs and 2.4 million in the US.
Energy efficiency is lower emissions
Energy efficiency is essential to climate change response. It can reduce GHG emissions from burning fossil fuels both in power plants and at points of end use. Resource efficiency can further reduce energy demand through light-weighting designs, reducing losss reduction in manufacture, re-use and recycling of scrap, and creating longer-lasting products.
Energy efficiency can provide over 40% of the emissions abatement needed by 2040, according to the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario.
Thanks to energy efficiency gains of the last two decades, 8 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere have already been avoided.
Energy efficiency is clean air
Air pollution is everywhere a threat to human health and wellbeing. 92% of people live where local air pollution exceeds WHO limits. Energy-efficient appliances, vehicles, and technologies lower energy-related pollutant emissions, both where they are used and where electricity is generated.
About 6 million premature deaths each year are linked to poor indoor and outdoor air quality.
The global cost of health damages associated with exposure to air pollution are estimated at $8.1 trillion.
Every $1 spent on programmes under the US Clean Air Act returned $9 in benefits to public health, environmental improvements, productivity and consumer savings.