As the threat of climate change looms, cities have begun making changes that help us work toward a solution. One of the most common ways this is done is by investing in renewable energy, such as solar panels and wind farms.
Not only are these new facilities great for the environment, as they lessen our dependence on polluting sources of energy, but they are also great for the economy. Designing, installing, maintaining, and researching these new pieces of energy infrastructure creates a lot of local jobs.
This is a great step in working toward a more sustainable future. But unfortunately, it simply isn’t enough. For maximum impact, cities must not forget to also promote energy efficiency in their future environmental plans.
Why Is Energy Efficiency So Important?
In the future, experts predict that the population of cities is expected to dramatically increase. In order to effectively replace traditional non-green sources of energy, renewable energy will need to meet the current demands of our cities, as well as the demands of a rapidly growing population.
At the rate that we are using energy, this transition seems nearly impossible. This problem is only exacerbated by outdated buildings, wasteful protocols, and other areas in society where energy is wasted.
If we want renewable energy to have the greatest impact in our cities, we need to simultaneously improve our efficiency of allocating and using energy.
How Can Cities Promote Energy Efficiency?
Promoting energy efficiency means designing cities around optimized energy and incentivizing it as a city-wide practice.
Cities can financially incentivize homes and businesses to be more energy-efficient, or invest in city-wide auditing services to discover and eliminate areas of waste.
They can also allocate funding toward older areas of the city where non-efficient infrastructure is most prevalent. Upgrading these outdated buildings and facilities can make them more energy efficient.
Finally, cities can work to educate the public of energy conscious decisions and business practices that benefit the planet.
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