Energy efficiency can sometimes be overlooked as a way of tackling climate change amid the enthusiasm for electric vehicles and renewables. But simply reducing the amount of energy required to achieve the same ends is a hugely effective tool in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The least polluting form of energy is, after all, the energy we do not use. Investment in energy efficiency faltered in the pandemic. As energy prices dropped, so did the incentive to use less of it. At the same time, businesses struggling to stay afloat cut spending. The International Energy Agency says this trend is especially worrying because energy efficiency is expected to deliver more than 40 per cent of the required cuts in energy-related greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years. Investment is likely to pick up again as regulation forces firms to address their carbon emissions. While the big wins in terms of cutting carbon will come from changing how we heat buildings and insulating them better, reducing energy consumption with more efficient lighting and appliances is an easy first step.
Times 12th May 2021 read more »