The term “energy efficiency” is hardly a new buzzword, yet there are many people who still don’t fully understand the concept and why it’s important. The benefits of energy efficiency are far-reaching, and all of them impact us in some way, large or small. As new technologies are developed and alternative forms of energy continue to become more mainstream, it’s critical that we understand the importance of energy efficiency. Below, we explore the concept and its benefits.
For most people, this is the big one. The more energy we consume, the more money it costs. Energy comes in many forms, of course, and some are more expensive than others. Various types of fuel, including fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas, as well as alternatives such as wind, water, and solar power, can produce the energy we need to power our cars, appliances, lights, and electronics. Some are better at generating energy than others, and some cost more to produce or are only available in limited amounts, which is why some types of fuel cost more than others.
The focus of cost savings through energy efficiency is two-fold: one is to reduce the power consumption our appliances, cars, and other devices need to run. Knowing how much power something needs helps you determine how much it will cost to use. The other focus is on finding more affordable and more readily available forms of fuel, such as solar power. Solar power is an exciting form of fuel because it uses a limitless fuel source (the sun) and it generally costs less to generate power from solar cells than it does from fossil fuels. At the end of the day, people get to keep more of their hard-earned money, thanks to energy efficiency initiatives.
Reducing environmental impact
Another important reason why people are focused on energy efficiency is because of concerns over the environment. Here, again, the focus is two-fold, with the first on using less power, because the less power we use, the less fuel we need. Fossil fuels impact the environment in two ways. First, they stress the environment through drilling and mining, destroying natural habitats and displacing their inhabitants in the process. Second, when fossil fuels are burned in the process of creating energy, they produce noxious gasses that cause the air to become polluted, and have, in large part, led to climate change. Therefore, we can reduce our impact on the environment by using devices and appliances that require less power, and we can use them only when necessary.
As with cost savings, the second focus in reducing environmental impact is in finding forms of power that don’t tax the environment or pollute the planet. The new forms of energy we mentioned, such as wind, water, and solar power, do just that. That’s because these forms are completely renewable, meaning we can’t use them up, and producing energy with these types of power don’t harm the environment they way fossil fuels do.
Enhancing our energy independence
Drilling and mining for fossil fuels not only impacts our environment. Fossil fuels are often most readily found in other countries, meaning that we in the U.S. must purchase and import fuel for our own use. In order to protect our environment and reduce our reliance on other countries for fuel, it’s critical that we continue to further develop and utilize alternative forms of energy—and use less energy overall as much as possible. Relying on other countries for fossil fuels not only impacts diplomatic relations, but it also makes those other countries much less willing to engage in fighting climate change. After all, if much of their income is derived from fossil fuels, they have little motivation to seek out more environmentally friendly alternatives. If we can reduce our reliance on their fuel, we can reduce the importance of fossil fuels to their own economies.
For you, your family, and your future
The importance of energy efficiency has never been greater, and it’s critical that we continue to explore, develop, and utilize alternative forms of energy. The benefits of energy efficiency are far-reaching, to be sure, but they also have the potential to greatly impact you and your own family. Not only will our efforts toward energy efficiency improve our own lives, they will have a lasting impact on generations to come.
How we can help
Energy efficiency is a frequent topic when we talk to our clients. A number of products from George J. Keller can help with your home’s energy efficiency:
- A new roof – Old roofs are just not as energy efficient as new ones. As technology has changed and the materials for roofing have changed so the energy efficiency has improved.
- New windows – Drafty windows mean one thing – your well earned money is leaving your house by way of heat in the winter and AC in the summer. New windows and doors are designed to be energy efficient from square one and can significantly reduce your heating and AC bills.
- Solar – Installing a solar panel system on your home can drastically improve not just your local energy efficiency but can help reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil and help to reduce pollution.
Ready to become more energy efficient? Give us a call today at 973-927-0963, and one of George J. Keller’s roofing and windows experts will be happy to speak with you about your options.