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Energy Efficiency 101

Energy Efficiency 101

This is the final episode in the Future360 energy series produced in conjunction with the Switch Energy Project -- a campaign to educate global citizens about the science of energy. Today we explore energy efficiency. Did you know over half the energy we produce is wasted? Using the energy we have more efficiently, is smarter, it gives us greater security, and saves money too.

We’ve built our global energy system, with all its benefits and challenges, for just one purpose. To meet the human demand for energy. We are the only users. We control how much energy we use. And therefore how much energy we need to produce. Efficiency and conservation – smarter use of energy – have many benefits. Efficiency can make existing conventional facilities, like a coal plant, power more people.

But there are three big challenges to efficiency. One is on the supply side. It’s hard to incentivize energy producers to sell less energy. We need to create some workable models. The second is cost. Some efficiency measures have an up front cost, that may take a few years to pay back. The biggest is cultural. How can we save energy if we rarely think about it?

If energy awareness becomes a cultural norm, efficiency will too. It’s time to make efficiency a habit.

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