Energy efficiency is the use of less energy to perform the same task or produce the same result. Energy-efficient homes and buildings use less energy to heat, cool, and run appliances and electronics, and energy-efficient manufacturing facilities use less energy to produce goods.
Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change, reduce energy costs for consumers, and improve the competitiveness of U.S. businesses. Energy efficiency is also a vital component in achieving net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide through decarbonization.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) champions clean energy through its technical offices and programs that fund research and development and promote energy efficiency across all sectors of the U.S. economy. Learn how you, too, can become a Clean Energy Champion.
Energy Efficiency Benefits
Energy efficiency saves money, increases the resilience and reliability of the electric grid, and provides environmental, community, and health benefits.
At home, you can save money on energy bills by making energy-efficient and weatherization upgrades—such as adding insulation, using LED lighting, and installing a heat pump—that reduce your energy use and can improve comfort.
Energy-efficient buildings cost less to heat, cool, and operate, while industry and manufacturing plants can make products at lower cost. Energy-efficient transportation results in fuel savings.
Energy-efficiency programs improve community resilience and address energy equity by bringing efficient, cost-effective technologies and infrastructure to underserved communities, including communities of color.
These communities are disproportionately affected by air pollution and have a higher energy burden, which is the percentage of gross household income spent on energy costs.
Reducing energy use is essential in the fight against climate change, because traditional power plants burn fossil fuels that release greenhouse gases and contribute to air pollution. Energy-efficient homes and buildings are also better equipped to switch to renewable energy, which does not produce harmful emissions.
Resilience and Reliability
Energy-efficiency improvements reduce the amount of electricity on the grid at one time, known as load, minimizing congestion and stress on the U.S. electric grid. Less load prevents power disruptions.
Reducing fossil fuel use results in cleaner air, water, and land, all of which directly affect human health—especially those in marginalized communities and people with conditions that are exacerbated by pollution.
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Energy Efficiency Across Sectors
EERE works to improve energy efficiency across buildings, industrial, and government sectors through three technology offices, as well as through programs, partnerships, and initiatives.
Building Energy Efficiency
The Building Technologies Office works to enable high-performing, energy-efficient and demand-flexible residential and commercial buildings, in support of an equitable transition to a decarbonized energy system by 2050, starting with a decarbonized power sector by 2035.
Learn how to get involved in improving the efficiency of the nation's homes, buildings, and plants through the Better Buildings Initiative.
Buildings and manufacturing plants account for about two-thirds of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Energy not used is energy saved, and the U.S. Department of Energy encourages partners to lead with energy efficiency. Organizations can set goals and partner with the Energy Department to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Better Climate Challenge.
Home Energy Efficiency
Energy Saver is the U.S. Department of Energy’s resource on saving energy at home. Visit Energy Saver for tips on the following:
Industrial Decarbonization and Energy Efficiency
The Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office is dedicated to improving the energy and material efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness of manufacturers across the industrial sector.
The Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office's industrial decarbonization efforts are aimed at phasing out atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions from all aspects of industry, in support of the Biden-Harris administration's plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Energy-Efficient Driving and Vehicles
EERE’s Sustainable Transportation pillar works to make transportation cleaner and more efficient through solutions that put electric vehicles on the road and replace oil with clean domestic fuels.
Energy Saver offers tips for drivers to save money on gas and switch to fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles.
Energy-efficient products at home and across economic sectors save Americans billions on their utility bills each year.
The Building Technologies Office’s Appliance and Equipment Standards Program implements minimum energy conservation standards for appliances and equipment used in homes, industry, and commercial buildings.
Visit ENERGY STAR to find energy-efficient residential and commercial products, including appliances, air conditioners, water heaters, light bulbs, and electronics.
The Energy Saver appliance energy calculator can help you estimate and compare the cost to operate different appliances and electronics.
Other Ways EERE Champions Clean Energy
Find Clean Energy Jobs
EERE is dedicated to building a clean energy economy, which means millions of new jobs in energy efficiency, including construction, manufacturing, and more across industries. Learn more about job opportunities in clean energy: