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Seven Benefits of Energy Efficiency That Go Beyond Savings

  • Written by Taylor Harris
  • January 4, 2024
Rear view of young Asian father carrying happy little daughter on shoulders in urban park

Energy efficiency is a transformative force that extends well beyond its initial promise of saving energy and money. Its impact influences various aspects of our lives and the world at large. Let's dive into the top seven benefits of energy efficiency, backed by compelling statistics and industry sources.

  1. Health and wellbeing: The potential health benefits of energy efficiency are significant, including reduced respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that energy-efficient practices in homes can lead to a 20% reduction in asthma triggers, resulting in substantial healthcare savings.
  2. Job creation: Embracing the clean energy transition in the economy may create 24 million new jobs globally by 2030. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that jobs in energy span various skill levels, promoting a diverse workforce by providing opportunities for skilled technicians and professionals involved in research and development. And while energy investment typically generates a ripple effect in the economy, it has been found by the ACEEE that energy efficiency investments yield more jobs per dollar.
  3. Economic growth: Along with the benefits of job creation, boosting energy efficiency investments can have macroeconomic outcomes. ACEEE states that a 15% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030 can result in a cumulative savings of $520 billion for businesses and households in the U.S., strengthening our nation’s economy.
  4. Grid reliability: Grid reliability is key to ensuring a stable flow of electricity to consumers. Decreasing electricity demand offers long-term benefits like reducing the risk of power outages and providing a more stable energy grid. One tactic to achieve reliability is implementing demand response programs, which according to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), can result in annual savings of up to $15 billion for the electricity industry. 
  5. Environmental stewardship: Energy efficiency offers several environmental benefits, such as lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air and water pollution, and our overall ecological footprint. It can mitigate climate change and conserve natural resources, ensuring a more sustainable future. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), a 10% improvement in energy efficiency worldwide can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5 gigatons annually, which is the equivalent of 291,861,845 homes’ electricity use for one year.
  6. National security: Investing in energy efficiency enhances national security by reducing dependence on foreign energy sources, strengthening energy resilience against disruptions, and minimizing geopolitical risks associated with resource competition, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Improved energy efficiency additionally contributes to more secure energy infrastructure, ensuring stable operations.
  7. Technological advancements: Energy efficiency drives innovation. This innovation can lead to breakthroughs in science, engineering, and manufacturing processes, which fosters the creation of cutting-edge technologies. For example, improvements in energy-efficient building materials and design have spurred innovations in construction and architecture. The World Economic Forum emphasizes energy efficiency as a key driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, influencing advancements particularly in smart technology and automation.

Embracing energy efficiency isn't just a financial or environmental decision — it's a strategic investment in a better world. The compelling statistics underscore the far-reaching benefits that energy efficiency brings beyond our wallets and to our broader society, economy, and environment. In the coming year, let’s aim to not only recognize but actively promote the significant positive change that energy efficiency can bring.

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