A period of more than four months must have a certificate of energy efficiency, in which the level of efficiency is described. For example, that our washing machine can clean clothes the same or better using less electric power, or that our television has a higher definition and has a larger screen without causing greater electrical costs. This issue does not occur only with household appliances, it occurs in homes in general by the operation of heating and insulation of the house, by the lighting methods used and the orientation of the house, facade configuration, size, and composition of the windows. Energy efficiency also occurs in the industry, in the driving of our car, etc.
Now that we have more and more devices plugged into our homes and taking into account the growth of global electricity demand and that the planet’s resources are limited, manufacturers are striving to innovate to achieve greater energy efficiency. Thus, users will not have to face large electricity costs and will be able to spend the money saved on buying more appliances.
In any case, all energy efficiency is not in the hands of researchers and scientists who improve our appliances, homes, etc. For example, leaving the refrigerator open is an energy loss, having the heating to the full and the open window also means an energy inefficiency, or have a technically very efficient car but drive it abruptly.
Advantages of energy efficiency
Energy efficiency has many advantages of different kinds, but above all, we will highlight the environmental and savings advantages. The environmental advantages are evident, to consume less energy to achieve the same result we are less stressing the environment, as fewer fossil fuels will be burned, fewer hydroelectric dams will have to be built, thermal power plants will be used less, power plants will not be needed nuclear, etc.
Problems of energy efficiency
Although at first glance it may seem that all are advantages in the subject of energy efficiency, there are also some drawbacks. The biggest problem is that when giving so much importance to energy efficiency, the industry is innovating very quickly, and, among other things, to force users to replace their electronic devices, cars, and others, there is the phenomenon of obsolescence scheduled. Users report that the devices are programmed to last X years and then stop working, forcing these users to consume. The manufacturers, for their part, ensure that such programming does not exist and that they simply manufacture the products to last years because after those years the market offers much more efficient products, and that both users and manufacturers gain; the first because they have an innovative product with new and improved features and greater energy efficiency, and the latter because they increase their sales.
This approach may make economic sense; the user when buying a new but more efficient product, although he makes a strong investment at the beginning, he ends up amortizing it due to its low energy consumption and the consequent energy saving, and the manufacturer when selling more has more money to research and continue to improve his to generate more employment and expand the number of workers (remember that users are potential workers).
The environmental problem is the main issue since when discarding appliances after a few years of use and continues manufacturing new models, material and natural resources are used excessively and a lot of waste is generated, which is still not recycled in a modern way.
Energy efficiency in Spain
In Spain, the energy efficiency label that all appliances and real estate that you want to sell or rent for a period longer than 4 months must have a sticker or standardized label. The energy label shows a rating that goes from A to G accompanied by chromatic of colors that go from green to red. The assessment is made by measuring the electricity that is needed for its operation and taking into account how much above or below the average is said consumption. As innovation goes further and further, two categories have been created above A, which are A + and A ++.