Energy efficient is a simple term that is used to identify any appliance or tool that can be employed to reduce the amount of energy necessary to operate machinery or require less heating or cooling within a home or other building. Manufacturers and retailers often advertise energy efficient appliances that will save energy and, therefore, save the consumer a great deal of money in utility costs. This approach can appeal to consumers, since the reduced amount of energy consumption can be seen as helping to make the most of the world’s resources. A second benefit is that the savings on utility costs results in extra money in the budget that can be applied to other obligations or saved for an activity such as a family vacation.
The construction industry can also try to make products more energy efficient by using construction methods and materials that result in homes and public buildings that operate more efficiently. This often involves choosing the right heating and cooling system, as well as using proper insulation and making sure the construction around windows and doors is sealed properly, therefore requiring less energy to heat and cool the interior space.
Most countries have some type of criteria that must be met in order for a home or an appliance to be considered energy efficient. In the United States, appliances must generate at least a 10% reduction in energy usage compared to the current industry standard for a similar product. Other countries have similar guidelines or require a higher percentage of energy reduction before the appliance can truly be considered efficient. In addition to governmental criteria, many manufacturers also set standards that exceed the minimum requirements set by various nations.
The concept has gained a great deal of attention in recent decades. Many products, such as insulation, double paned windows, and even draperies, are sometimes touted as being helpful fools in making a home use energy more efficiently. Consumers often purchase kitchen appliances that require less electricity or natural gas while still providing the same level of performance as other appliances. Even household items, such as television sets and vacuum cleaners, are sometimes rated as requiring less electricity.
In the final analysis, energy efficient simply means any product that makes it possible to enjoy the same standard of living while consuming less energy. As people everywhere continue to take an interest in minimizing the drain on natural resources to produce energy, it is likely that there will be newer and more effective methods of producing goods that are use energy more efficiently.