Social and Environmental Impacts of Energy Efficiency
- May 8, 2020 10:18 pm GMT
- 1072 views
I recently participated in a discussion on a podcast and here are some of the excerpts.
Firstly, what is Energy Efficiency?
Energy Efficiency is simply a way of using less energy to perform the same tasks thereby eliminating energy wastes. Some of the benefits include reducing costs on households and the economy, reducing greenhouse gases emissions, reducing demand for energy imports.
What is Carbon Neutrality?
Carbon neutrality is achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal. This is mostly done through carbon offsetting or eliminating carbon emissions altogether.
A lot of utility companies in the North East are aiming at carbon neutrality in the next 10-30 years. A study done by ACEEE (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) which aims to attain 80% carbon neutrality by 2050 says that 50% of this goal could be reached through energy efficiency methods and programs.
Some of the energy efficiency measures include air sealing, domestic hot water savings measures, sealing of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) ductwork , installation of energy efficient lighting, insulation, HVAC equipment, DHW heating equipment, HVAC and Domestic Hot Water controls, appliances, windows, connected Wi-Fi Thermostats, lighting fixtures and lighting controls in dwelling units, exteriors and common areas.
There is a lot of new technology which supports all these measures for example in the HVAC world, there are new boilers with new variable frequency drives controls installed, new hot water pumps, and variable speed electrically commutated motor (ECM) circulator pumps on heating and hot water boilers.
In CT where I live and work, some of the numbers realized from energy efficiency programs in 2019 are:
Energy savings equivalent to a 149MW power plant (enough to power approximately 53,700 homes for a year)
228,142 tons of CO2 emissions avoided
39,000 jobs were supported
These numbers are from the 2019 report of the Energy Efficiency Board of Connecticut