Energy efficiency refers to the best use of energy systems and technologies to maximize benefits while minimizing unnecessary and surplus consumption.
Energy efficiency is conventionally addressed through technological innovation and upgrades, as well as through “conservation demand management.” The latter is achieved by shifting society’s behavioural consumption patterns to address the specific or base line energy needs, while minimizing or preferably altogether eliminating unnecessary energy use. In addition, energy policy is also used at multiple levels of government to reinforce both technological efficiency as well as conservation demand management efforts.
Conservation Demand Management
Conservation demand management (CDM) is the act of conserving electricity. In the last ten years, the concept of CDM began to take hold. Twenty years ago, power conservation was used entirely for the purpose of curbing consumer energy bills in order to make them more affordable. Today however, this concept has been adopted by distributors and energy regulators to include not only the need to increase savings, but also as a means to of freeing up existing power generation to increase overall power availability.
CDM is effected primarily by changing behavioral consumption patterns through both education initiatives and by incorporating progressive energy policies. Because of the difficult nature of changing society’s consumption behaviour, education plays a crucial role in the long-term success of energy efficiency policies.
CDM is aimed at reducing peak and base load demand. It involves the use of demand response programs aimed at shifting peak demand to non-peak times, encouraging consumers to reduce and regulate their consumption, using heat capture and cogeneration technologies, increasing energy efficiency, and by providing fuel switching alternatives for heating needs as well as demand response pricing.
Links to additional information: