By Karen Thuranira

The goal of energy efficiency is to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. To achieve energy efficiency, monitoring your energy use is key.

The more we know about where and why we use energy, the easier it will be to make energy efficiency changes to save money, and improve our economy and environment.

Here are a few facts you probably need to know about energy efficiency

  1. The energy transformation in the EU is already happening: greenhouse gases were reduced by 18% between 1990–2012, renewables share reached 14.1% in 2012, up from 8.5% in 2005 and energy efficiency is expected to improve by 18–19% by 2020.
  2. Solar power is the cheapest form of energy in almost 60 countries.
  3. By 2020, it is expected that almost 72% of energy consumers will have smart meters for electricity. A smart meter is an electronic device that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing. A good example is the eGauge Meter.
  4. Clean energy sector employs more than one million people in the EU. It also accounts for €144bn revenue every year. 
  5. The solar energy market alone has created over 175,000 jobs in the United States.
  6. Coal is the largest global source of electricity, but only about 1/3 of the energy from the average coal power plant makes it to customers in the form of electricity.
  7. A single wind turbine can create enough energy to power as many as 300 homes.
  8. Only about 10% of the energy used in a single lightbulb is used to create light, the rest is used to create heat.
  9. Fluorescent light bulbs, use about 80% less energy in total than standard bulbs.
  10. LED bulbs are the most efficient light bulbs and use about 90% less energy than other bulbs. You can save over $100 on energy bills over the bulb’s lifetime.
  11. Cooling and heating costs make up approximately 50% of the average heating bill in most homes around the world.
  12. Lighting costs make up approximately 20% of all of the electricity used today.
  13. About 75% of the electricity used in most homes is used while the appliances are turned off.
  14. Idle power is a major energy consumer. An average desktop computer using 80 watts of electricity while turned off.
  15. A single ceiling light fixture can use as much as $5,000 worth of electricity during its lifetime.
  16. Reducing the washing machine’s temperature to 104 degrees can cut its energy consumption by half.
  17. An energy smart washing machine can save more water in 1 year than 1 person typically drinks in a whole lifetime!
  18. Using the ‘sleep’ or ‘hibernate’ feature on an electronic device when its not in use, can save up to $70 a year on energy costs.
  19. If the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings improved by just 10%, it would equal a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 30 million cars off the road.
  20. According to Google, the amount of energy used to conduct 100 searches on its site is equal to a 60-watt light bulb burning for 28 minutes.
  21. The U.S. produces more nuclear-generated electricity than any other country and accounts for nearly 1/3 of the world’s total.
  22. It is estimated that the Energy star label, a program that promotes energy efficient appliances and products has helped save more than $430 billion on energy bills and reduced carbon emissions by 2.7 billion metric tons. That is the equivalent carbon emission of 670
    coal power plants in a year!
  23. Only 5% of energy drawn from a phone charger is used to charge the phone. Chargers use energy as long as they are plugged into a power source so 95% of the energy is wasted.
  24. Approximately 30 percent of the energy used in most buildings today is either unnecessary or used inefficiently.
  25. Every year, 171 Kgs of CO2 is released into the atmosphere just by leaving on unused lights around our homes and offices.
  26. About 30% of an average household energy bill is made up wasted energy.
  27. Every minute, enough sunlight hits the earth’s surface to supply the entire world’s energy demands for a year.
  28. While they still don’t make up a significant amount of the global energy resources, solar and wind production rates have more than tripled since 2008.
  29. It costs just $0.47 per year to charge an iPhone 6. It takes 49 times as much energy to charge a desktop computer and 72 times as much energy to power a flat screen television.
  30. The microwave is the most energy efficient appliance in most kitchens. It uses one-third of the wattage that the average oven uses.
  31. There is a constant development of smart technologies that bring intelligence in systems like HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), or just in the way electricity is distributed. This helps in making sure appliances, equipment or facilities operate only when
    it’s crucial. A good example is the Coolnomix device
  32. Integrative design is the method for designing buildings that develops a holistic design which can easily lead to energy savings. New buildings are, for instance, designed as passive houses (ultra-low energy buildings).
  33. By 2030, world energy consumption is expected to increase more than 55%