[22] Efficiency or conservation

We implement efficiency measures, and electricity consumption increases. Have we done something wrong? Not necessarily: when we use electricity for more energy services, we’re comparing apples with oranges.

Energy efficiency works well as a technical metric for individual energy services. For systems such as homes, buildings, organisations or cities, in which energy consumption is the aggregate of many services, measuring efficiency is much more complicated (yet it is where the biggest savings are).

Note also the difference between energy efficiency (doing more with less) and energy conservation (doing less). The latter is the bigger challenge.