2017 was a significant year for energy efficiency that brought progress in many areas, meaning it is essential to keep making progress this year. The year wasn’t all great for energy efficiency, however, as there are still challenges to face at the federal level. 2018 will be a year for developing new strategies and is important for everyone to be as energy efficient as possible in their daily lives.
Accomplishments Of 2017
In the past year, energy-saving technologies and practices have advanced, and investments in energy efficiency continue to grow. LED bulbs sales increased, accounting for about 30 percent of screw-in “A-line” lamp sales in the first six months of 2017. More people began buying smart thermostats, increasing sales about 19 percent per year. As for investments, the International Energy Agency estimates US efficiency investments for 2016 total $41 billion, and total global investments reached $231 billion- (the 2017 estimates are not available yet.)
States are also moving forward by enacting new energy efficiency legislation in Colorado, Maryland, and Nevada, while Illinois and Michigan took steps to implement 2016 legislation. Local governments become more active in the fight for energy efficiency, as over 300 pledged to meet the Paris climate change goals. New York City Mayor de Blasio announced plans to efficiency upgrades for over 14,000 inefficient buildings, while 30 cities told vehicle manufacturers they were interested in buying 114,000 electric vehicles for their fleets.
Conserve Energy In Your Daily Life
While governments and cities are working to improve energy efficiency, we have the decision to conserve energy in our daily lives as much as possible. The majority of the energy we use is for electric devices, lighting, transportation, and temperature control. Take a look at these few tips for conserving energy, and pass it along to friends and family to share your knowledge. The more people who work together to become more energy efficient, the better!
- Water and space heating account for over 60 percent of the average home’s energy use, so start by turning down the thermostat this winter. While you don’t want to be uncomfortably cold, turning the heat down a few degrees and compensating with an extra sweater or blanket can decrease your energy usage, as well as reduce your heating bill. Installing a smart thermostat is a great decision, as it will reduce energy while you are away from home.
- Appliances also use a lot of energy, so turn off everything or unplug appliances when they aren’t in use. Choose EnergyStar approved appliances and devices wherever possible to cut down on your home or office’s energy use.
- Look for ways to use manual power over devices, such as chopping your vegetables with a knife or tool instead of the food processor, ride your bike or opt for public transportation instead of driving your car, and wash dishes by hand some days instead of always running the dishwasher. These little things add up, and help towards a more energy efficient world!
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