Mark StubbsTHESE DAYS THE TERMS ENERGY conservation and energy efficiency are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct definitions. I like how the U.S. Energy Information Administration differentiates the two based on behavior and technology.

Energy conservation is a behavior—using less energy. To achieve it, consumers must change their habits, such as turning off lights, unplugging appliances, or opting to use a clothesline instead of a clothes dryer. Conserving energy often requires effort.

While there is merit in adopting conservation habits to avoid waste, we have the option to use less energy without having to give up comfort or convenience.

That brings me to energy efficiency, which involves applying technology to use less energy while getting the same result or service.

Technological advances also allow us to automatically perform some actions we used to have to do manually. Because new electric products can do the same tasks with less energy, energy efficiency does not necessarily come with the trade-off of going without.

LEDs are considered energy efficient because they use less electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb.

In the same way, Energy Star-rated products are intended to deliver the performance consumers expect while using less energy. Energy Star-rated refrigerators, for example, keep food cool with about half as much energy as older models.

Ultimately, energy efficiency may result in energy conservation—or using less energy. Smart electricity usage is important to Farmers EC because it’s beneficial to you, our members, and using less electricity saves you money on your electric bill simply because you consume less.

In addition, those in the electricity industry, including Farmers EC, are always trying to find ways to reduce consumption because there could be a shortfall of electricity generation in the future. Establishing energy conservation and energy-efficient habits now will help us use electricity more wisely down the road.

I encourage you to use the principles of energy conservation and energy efficiency together. Just because you install an energy-efficient LED in the light fixture on your front porch doesn’t mean you should leave it on 24/7.

By combining energy-efficient technology with conservation-minded behavior, you can save electricity and money.



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