All of us use energy every day—for transportation, cooking, heating and cooling rooms, manufacturing, lighting, and entertainment. The choices we make about how we use energy—turning machines off when we’re not using them or choosing to buy energy efficient appliances—impact our environment and our lives.
There are many things we can do to use less energy and use it more wisely. Two main ways to save energy are energy conservation and energy efficiency. Many people think these terms mean the same thing, but they are different.
Energy efficiency is the use of technology that requires less energy to perform the same function. A compact fluorescent light bulb that uses less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light is an example of energy efficiency. The decision to replace an incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent is an example of energy conservation.