Multiple Benefits

The multiple benefits of energy efficiency

The multiple benefits of energy efficiency capture and communicate the broader value energy efficiency measures can deliver. Revealing the potential of energy efficiency to support economic growth, enhance social development, advance environmental sustainability, ensure energy-system security and help build prosperity, repositions energy efficiency as an effective tool for economic and social development.


Benefits of energy efficiency


The term multiple benefits aims to capture a reality that is often overlooked: investment in energy efficiency can provide many different benefits to many different stakeholders.

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Energy access

Energy efficiency on both the supply and demand sides has a role to play in increasing the available bandwidth in existing generation, transmission and distribution networks. Therefore energy efficiency is vital to improving energy access globally.

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Health and well-being

Energy efficiency measures can support good physical and mental health primarily by creating healthy indoor living environments with healthy air temperatures, humidity levels, noise levels, and improved air quality.

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Air Quality

Energy efficiency can reduce both indoor and outdoor concentrations of air pollutants, improving air quality.

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Emissions savings

Energy efficiency delivers a number of environmental benefits. It notably reduces GHG emissions, both direct emissions from fossil fuel combustion or consumption, and indirect emissions reductions from electricity generation.

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Household savings

Energy efficiency can improve disposable income by reducing the amount that households spend on energy for their homes and cars.

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Asset values

Energy efficiency can increase asset values for homeowners, businesses and utilities. Building owners can see increased property value from energy efficiency measures that lower energy consumption and reduce operating costs.

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Productivity

In addition to reducing energy use and delivering cost savings, energy efficiency measures create numerous benefits for operators of industrial facilities. These include productivity gains, enhanced competiveness, improvements in product quality and working environments.

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Public budgets

Energy efficiency measures can deliver financial benefits to public budgets through both increased income and decreased expenses.

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Economic benefits

Cost-effective energy efficiency improvements can have positive macroeconomic impacts, boosting economic activity and often leading to increased employment. Energy efficiency reduces the amount of energy needed to deliver services, such as mobility, lighting, heating and cooling. Lowering the cost of energy services frees up resources for households, businesses and governments.

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Energy savings

Energy savings are at the heart of the multiple benefits of energy efficiency and link to many other economic, social and environmental benefits.

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Energy security

Energy efficiency can bolster regional or national energy security by avoiding additional energy imports and associated infrastructure.

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Energy prices

Energy efficiency can enable lower energy prices by reducing the need to add expensive new power generation or transmission capacity and by reducing pressure on energy resources.

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In other literature, the multiple benefits of energy efficiency have been variously labelled "co-benefits", "ancillary benefits" and "non-energy benefits" – terms often used interchangeably with “multiple benefits”. The IEA uses the term multiple benefits, which is broad enough to reflect the heterogeneous nature of outcomes of energy efficiency improvements and to avoid pre-emptive prioritisation of various benefits; different benefits will be of interest to different stakeholders.

The term "multiple benefits" aims to capture a reality that is often overlooked: investment in energy efficiency can provide many different benefits to many different stakeholders. In other literature, the multiple benefits of energy efficiency have been variously labelled "co-benefits", "ancillary benefits" and "non-energy benefits" – terms often used interchangeably with “multiple benefits”. The IEA uses the term multiple benefits, which is broad enough to reflect the heterogeneous nature of outcomes of energy efficiency improvements and to avoid pre-emptive prioritisation of various benefits; different benefits will be of interest to different stakeholders.