Reduction of Energy Consumption

Definitions / terminology

switchThe term „energy“ is used in the sense of energy source (e.g. crude oil, natural gas, ...) and forms of energy (e.g. electric energy, nuclear energy, ...). Saving energy thus means reducing both the amount of energy sources needed (e.g. using less fuel) and reducing the use of energy forms (e.g. using less electricity).
Energy use can be reduced both when energy is used efficiently (efficiency) and through omission of actions, i.e. the decision not to take an action which will use energy (sufficiency).It is important to note that the substitution of one source or form of energy through another is not a part of this topic.

Efficiency = saving energy through more efficient technology and logistics
Sufficiency = saving energy through changes in behavior/ omission

Examples for efficiency

Examples for sufficiency


  • improved heating system
  • low consumption engines
  • modern thermal insulation of buildings
  • improved cooling systems
  • LED illumination


  • choice of means of transport
  • choice of holiday type and destination
  • choice of nutrition
  • choice of clothing
  • choice of free time activity

1st topic: Saving energy in private households

Through which (legal, tax, economic, optional) measures can private households be induced to consume less energy.
e.g. using less petrol by taking the car less often

2nd topic: Saving energy in public households (municipalities, regions, countries)

Through which (legal, tax, economic, optional) measures can public households be induced to consume less energy.
e.g. using less petrol by offering tickets for public transport and bikes instead of parking space for employees


The final resolution should contain specific aims, i.e. how the reduction of energy use can be achieved through which measures, e.g.

  • 2000-watt society: over-all rate of energy use of each person should be reduced to 2000 watts (today, each person in western Europe uses about 6000 watts, i.e. 52’000 kilowatt hours, or 5’400 liters of crude oil per year per person)
  • Energy self-sufficient regions: the import of energy should be avoided where possible, and energy use should be reduced to a point where energy requirements can be met with renewable and regional energy sources
  • Status of 1990: energy use should be reduced to the status of 1990 (see Kyoto protocol)