Energy conservation is the practice of reducing the amount of energy used for a given process without overly compromising the outcome. According to many organizations such as the French Agency of Energy Management (ADEME) or CLER, energy efficiency should be an essential part of any renewable energy policy and climate protection.
Energy management combines the use of many energy efficiency techniques with the aim of reduce energy consumption (e.g. of a building) to achieve both financial savings and reducing environmental impacts. It is sometimes referred to as rational use of energy (RUE). The mottos of energy efficiencies practitioners are ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ and "the cheapest energy is that we do not consume".
Energy efficiency measure originate from different levels:
The individual and families can reduce their heating, use of air conditioning, travel (especially air travel) and the amount of goods they consume which have been imported long distances etc.
Local authorities can improvement public transport, create incentive for bicycles use, create efficient district heating schemes and create benefit schemes for low-polluting industries.
National governments can setup tax incentives for the public and companies to adopt energy efficiency measures, setup grants to assist with installation costs for local renewable energy generation, create anti-pollution laws, promote rail and inland waterways and encourage environmentally conscious agriculture.
International bodies (e.g. the UN) can target large polluter and CO2 emitting industries such as the air travel industry e.g. by international taxation of kerosene.
Energy savings tips for your home
Keep in the heat in your home by increasing the amount of insulation in your walls and in your attic and by using draft excluders on your doors.
Decrease your water heater temperature (e.g. from 140°F to 120F°). This will reduce your carbon footprint and your water heating bills by 10 percent.
Take short showers. An 8 minute shower every day can create as much as 1,368 pounds of CO2 each year. By reducing your shower time to 6 minutes, you can eliminate 342 pounds of CO2 from your annual total. Installing a low-flow shower head to help you conserve water and save energy—and save more than $75 each year on energy costs.
Use energy efficient light bulbs and always turn off the lights when leaving a room.
Fit Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV) on your radiators to automatically adjust the temperature of the radiators in each room so they do not overheat. These devices are very cheap and can save you significant amounts on your energy bills.
Recycle your newspapers, plastic and glass containers, and paper products. By cutting the amount of waste you produce in half, and doubling the amount of recycling in your household, you can save about 1,200 pounds of CO2per year.
Turn off computers and monitors when they are not being used. Computer and monitor indirectly create nearly 500 pounds of CO2 per year. Turning them off when not in use will save 43 pounds of CO2. Do not use a screen saver when your computer monitor is active. Instead, let it switch to sleep mode or turn the monitor off.
More details on energy saving can be found at: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/