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Energy efficiency is a way of managing and restraining the growth in energy consumption. Something is more energy efficient if it delivers more services for the same energy input, or the same services for less energy input. For example, when a compact florescent light (CFL) bulb uses less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light, the CFL is considered to be more energy efficient.

Energy efficiency offers a powerful and cost-effective tool for achieving a sustainable energy future. Improvements in energy efficiency can reduce the need for investment in energy infrastructure, cut energy bills, improve health, increase competitiveness and improve consumer welfare. Environmental benefits can also be achieved by the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions and local air pollution. Energy security – the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price – can also profit from improved energy efficiency by decreasing the reliance on imported fossil fuels.

The IEA promotes energy efficiency policy and technology in buildings, appliances, transport and industry, as well as end-use applications such as lighting. IEA analysis has led to the development of 25 energy efficiency recommendations which identify best-practice, highlighting the opportunities for energy efficiency improvements and policy approaches in each sector to realise the full potential of energy efficiency for our member countries.

See also 25 Bright IdeasPolicy Pathways Series, Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency

See other related material: 

Energy Provider - Delivered Energy Efficiency
Mobilising Investment in Energy Efficiency
Plugging the Energy Efficiency Gap with Climate Finance
Energy Efficiency Policy Developments - Sept 2011‐Sept 2012
Spreading the Net: the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency Improvements
Progress Implementing the IEA 25 Energy Efficiency Policy Recommendations
Saving Electricity in a Hurry