BETTER CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION
Not only high-cost investments can achieve significant energy savings. We can save money and energy by changing our behaviour, improving our daily activities, or focusing on better logistics. Thus, as a conscious citizen, we can do a lot to reduce greenhouse gas emission in urban areas and thus, mitigate climate change.
Energy saving cover several things from energy efficiency investments to the usage of renewable energy sources. By reducing our energy demand and consumption, we become less dependent on fossil fuels while reducing our carbon footprint too.
By acting more energy conscious and changing our daily activities we can achieve remarkable amount of energy savings at home and outside. For example, we can save energy by changing our travel modes: we can walk or bike instead of driving for short journeys or choose public transport instead of car. We can use less fuel if we put out unnecessary stuff from the car or just reduce the speed on motorways. Electric vehicles can be an environmentally friendly option, especially if the used electricity derives from clean sources. Sharing a car with others is also in line with our goals. In addition, high-speed trains can be a great alternative of plane on certain routes in Europe.
Although working from home does not reduce our energy consumption individually, in total, we use less energy by heating and cooling our homes compared to the energy demand of big office buildings. Moreover, remote work saves time, money and fuel by skipping commuting. If we use modern household appliances, we can save energy, e.g., we can set digital thermostats and air conditioners efficiently taking into account which room we use and when we are at home.
If we turn down the thermostat by 1°C at home, we can save 7% heating energy in average. Similarly, if we set the air conditioner lower by 1°C, we can reduce the used electricity by around 10%. Modifying the default settings of the boiler is also recommended to save heating energy up to 8%.
- If you wear warm clothes, you can turn down heating and save energy.
- Try to use less air-conditioning and do not set it too cool.
- By having shower instead of bathing, you can easily reduce the energy used for producing hot water.
- Select eco mode on electric facilities.
- Use energy efficient lighting.
Advantages and challenges
- Energy savings can contribute to lower energy costs, greenhouse gas emission reduction, secure and sustainable energy supply as well as job creation.
- Reducing our energy consumption is essential for a low-carbon economy. In addition, saving energy helps reach the EU’s renewable energy targets and accelerate the clean energy transition.
- By metering our energy consumption, we can also monitor the energy savings.
- Almost all EU member states offer some subsidies for its citizens to execute small investments to be able to achieve energy savings at home.
- EU citizens’ energy savings have a great potential to reduce the European Union’s resilience on fossil fuels – especially, on imported natural gas – in a cheap, safe, and clean way.
- More and more innovation projects using artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art technologies help cities and citizens to increase their energy savings.
- The EU has ambitious goals in terms of energy savings covering all sectors. Nevertheless, the target numbers can only be achieved with the direct contribution of the citizens. Therefore, their awareness-raising is crucial.
- An optimal mix of policy instruments and incentives is required to boost energy savings in the EU and to exploit its end-use energy saving potential.