Energy Efficiency Day happens just once a year, but the messages being amplified today promoting the benefits of smarter energy use are becoming more frequently heard on the other 364 days of the year in cities coast to coast and everywhere in between.
There are many reasons for this increase in news coverage, such as the cost savings businesses are achieving as well as the many benefits of creating healthier buildings. A key driver of increased interest in energy efficiency is the critical role in can play in fighting climate change. Climate change is in the news so often now that it’s hardly news that the Earth’s temperature continues to climb, causing a continuous cycle of floods, fire and extreme weather across the world that results in massive economic (and property) losses and growing waves of climate refuges. But people have figured out that investments in energy efficiency can help slow down this spiraling pattern and help the planet reverse course. Hopefully these messages keep gaining momentum, to the point that someday we won’t need a day dedicated to spreading the gospel of energy efficiency.
How well-versed are you about energy efficiency? Let’s test your knowledge:
1. Energy Efficiency measures can get the world to more than ____ % of the way toward meeting the Paris Agreement targets.
THE BIG PICTURE: The Paris Agreement targets aim are to keep global temperatures “well below” 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, and to limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity, starting after 2050. Energy efficiency will play a big role in this effort. [Answer: C]
2. Buildings consume ____ % of the nation’s total energy use through lighting, heating, air conditioning, elevators, etc. In larger cities that percentage is typically much higher.
THE BIG PICTURE: The built environment is ripe for energy efficiency efforts and should be a focal point for achieving many global emissions goals. Optimizing the use of energy within the built environment through energy efficiency measures can improve building performance, while reducing energy bills and providing a healthier indoor environment. [Answer: C]
3. Energy Efficiency employed ____ workers in the U.S in 2020
B. 1.1 Million
C. 1.2 Million
D. 1.8 Million
THE BIG PICTURE: Energy efficiency directly employs more Americans than any other energy sector. As the economy continues to climb out of the pandemic ditch it found itself in a year ago, the efficiency sector offers an abundance of opportunities for good local jobs. [Answer: D]
The bottom line is that energy efficiency saves money, reduces GHG emissions, and creates jobs. So let’s get to work!