What is energy efficiency?

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What is energy efficiency?

What is energy efficiency?


Sector Saving Climate change 5


The limited use of natural resources forces human beings to rethink the way of producing to satisfy their needs, to do so in a much more efficient way and taking greater advantage of what they receive from the environment.

This goes hand in hand with the generation of cleaner energy thanks to renewables and contributes to maintaining a sustainable ecosystem. In this article we will know what energy efficiency is and how it is applied in our daily lives.

What is energy efficiency and what is it for?

Energy efficiency is nothing more than the efficient use of the energy of a product in order to achieve the optimization of its use and energy savings, while maintaining comfort standards. Over the years, technology has evolved and every year more efficient products are created than the previous one and a refrigerator of today has little to do with one from 20 years ago, for this reason the requirements have been adapted to consider an efficient product.

There are production models based on achieving greater efficiency, such as the circular economy.

Energy efficiency must be indicated on different products and goods. Thus, they are categorized energetically from household appliances to buildings.

Energy efficiency in household appliances: the energy label

Since 1995 the EU requires manufacturers of household appliances to indicate the energy efficiency of their products on a label that is easily identifiable with energy saving as an objective. It is an indicative or label of different colors and letters, although its meaning has been adapted to technological improvements, encouraging the creation of increasingly effective products.

In March of this same year 2021, the efficiency categories were changed, going from the classification with a range of letters that went from A +++ (the most efficient), to D (the least efficient). Currently, the labels indicate efficiency with a range from A to G, a change made to make it easier for the public to understand.

The new labels affect refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and televisions. Light bulbs and lamps will make the change on September 1, dryers and air conditioners in 2022 and stoves and boilers in 2030.

The average efficiency of household appliances in Europe is between D and E. With an A-rated appliance, on average 55% of energy is being saved, while with a G-rating, 45% more is used than average.

At the moment there is no appliance in A because we want to leave this category for future appliances that have a higher degree of efficiency than what we currently have on the market.

In addition, the label also includes: manufacturer, type of appliance, brand and model, consumption (kWh / year), noise, liters (in refrigerators).

Another change in the labeling categories is the introduction of a QR code with the intention of giving buyers the option to expand the information about the appliance they are going to buy.

Energy efficiency in buildings: the energy efficiency certificate

To assess the efficiency of buildings there is the energy efficiency certificate, a mandatory document since 2013 by order of European directives, in which certain characteristics are specified and which allows knowing their energy consumption and their level of Co2 emission.

How is efficiency calculated?

It is calculated from a series of indicators that measure the consumption of the building in a certain temporary space, taking into account a correct operation of its facilities and with it occupied. The more energy needed is registered, the less efficient the property will be and vice versa.

The result is a label similar to that of household appliances, with a building categorization between A and G and must be present during the promotion and sale of the building.

The degree of efficiency must be marked by an authorized technician, whose study starts from a procedure that takes into account aspects such as the dimensions and shape, occupation and operation of the building, how optimal its facilities are and its thermal insulation capacity. For practical purposes we are talking about that if a building is efficient, its tenants will pay less for electricity and spend fewer resources in the long term. For example, it will not be necessary to leave the air conditioning on for so long if the building has a good thermal insulation system.

Grade A buildings consume less than 44.6 kWh / year and emit less than 10 KgCo2 / year; while those of grade G, consume more than 382.6 kWh / year and more than 79.2 KgCo2 / year.

Energy efficiency in the EU

In 2007, EU leaders set a horizon of 2020 for reducing energy consumption by 20%. However, in 2018 this legal framework was adapted and a new horizon year was set, in this case 2030, for the reduction of energy consumption by 32.5%, as part of an approved package of measures called Clean Energy for All the Europeans.

The European Parliament informs that the objective of the measures dedicated to energy efficiency respond to the needs of sustainable energy supply, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, improve the security of energy supply, reduce the cost of imports and improve the competitiveness in the EU.

Finally, since 2012 the EU obliges the states to set national targets dedicated to this issue in order to achieve the objective until 2020. Since 2018, the Union calls for the establishment of measures to the member states to reduce the 4.4% the annual energy consumption for the 2030 horizon, which must be reflected in a national integrated energy and climate action plan, from 2021 to the indicated date that establishes the measures that will be followed to achieve this European objective.

Sources:

  • UE
  • Comparador de luz by Selectra
  • BBVA
  • Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico
  • Parlamento Europeo
  • FAEN

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