05 Mar 2021

Energy efficiency, the great unknown that plays a key role in sustainable development

Just like every 5th March since 1998, World Energy Efficiency Day is celebrated. The initiative, which was born in Austria during the First International Conference on Energy Efficiency, aims to sensitize citizens around the world about the need to reduce energy consumption through the rational and sustainable use of it.

Unlikely to what many people think, boosting energy efficiency does not mean giving up the comforts and compromising the quality of life by reducing the use of the energy we use in our daily lives. Promoting energy efficiency is based on optimizing energy production and consumption processes, betting on renewable energy sources at the expense of fossil fuels, and promoting responsible consumption and recycling, among others.

But what role does energy efficiency play in sustainable development? The UN marks energy efficiency as one of the fundamental strategies to achieve 5 of the 17 SDGs:

  • Affordable and Clean Energy (7th SDG). One of the fundamental goals of this objective is to double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and to promote international cooperation for research and development of technology related to renewable energies and energy efficiency.
  • Industry, Innovation and infrastructure (9th SDG). Seeking more efficient technologies and processes from the energy point of view is one of the main goals of this objective.
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities (11th SDG). Its energy efficiency goals include providing safe, accessible and sustainable transportation systems; reduce the negative environmental impacts of cities; and boosting integrated plan that promote the efficient use of resources in cities.
  • Responsible Consumption and Production (12th SDG). Reducing waste through recycling, promoting scientific and technological capacity development to move towards more sustainable production and consumption, as well as achieving an efficient management of natural resources are the goals related to energy efficiency.
  • Climate Action (13th SDG). Incorporate measures to reduce energy consumption per capita and educate society to make good use of energy at home and workplaces.

On the other hand, the European Commission has opened to public consultation the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, whose submission deadline will end on March 22. The objective is to gather comments on to what extent and how this European directive should be revised to promote the renovation of buildings and, therefore, turn them into much more efficient homes or workplaces.

How to be more efficient in terms of energy

There are many simple actions that can be done every day of the year, not only on March 5: take advantage of natural light hours for tasks that require more lighting, turn off the lights and electrical devices when they are not being used, replace old household appliances for new ones with A certification and use them rationally, prioritize public transport or ride a traditional bike, use low-consumption light bulbs in all rooms of the home, and so on. In addition to the environmental benefits, these small actions lead to economic savings.

With a small gesture you can save the planet.