The global population is expanding and with it grows our demand for energy. Unfortunately, there is very little we can do to stop this increase in demand. However, what we can do is curb it by finding ways to use our energy more efficiently. Energy efficiency is a hot topic at the moment, not just because of the positive impact it has on the environment, but also because of its cost-saving and job-creating potential. Both individually and as a nation we are able to save serious amounts of money simply by improving our energy efficiency.
But, why else is energy efficiency so important? There is very little capacity to produce energy. In fact, Belgium is facing the threat of a serious power shortage over the month of November as six of its nuclear reactors will be offline for maintenance. The energy minister is scrambling for alternative energy sources but is unable to reassure the nation that they will be able to access all the power they need during that month. With this looming in the near future, it is in the best interest of every Belgian resident to be as efficient with their energy as possible so there will be enough to go around.
Belgium is not the only country that is facing the possibility of serious power outages. Many countries are facing energy shortfalls as they simply do not have the capacity to meet demand. While energy rationing might not seem ideal, nor even necessary in a developed country such as Belgium, it is strongly recommended and could even become crucial very soon. In order to ration energy consumption, better energy management systems need to be put into place. Replacing regular bulbs with LED lights for example, or purchasing energy efficient electrical appliances can all have an impact on how much energy is left to go around.
Over in Central Alberta, Canada, the province has already upped the tempo when it comes to working on energy efficiency. Red Deer, a town in Central Alberta, has seen enormous progress in this area, with hundreds of residents opting in to the No-Charge Energy Savings Program. This enabled households to upgrade with more energy efficient products such as smart thermostats and low-power light bulbs. Furthermore, individuals took it upon themselves to insulate their homes better, replace windows, and install tankless water heaters, all in a bid to make their homes as efficient as possible with the energy it consumes. In turn, the boost in the use of renewable energy has created 2,300 new jobs for the people of Alberta.
The social, economic, and environmental benefits of a high level of energy efficiency are crystal clear. The challenge is persuading people to change their way of living to become more energy efficient. It is neither easy nor cheap to install solar panels on your home or to replace your electronics. However, these small things are investments in the future of both yourself as an individual and of your country as a whole.