Improving a building’s energy efficiency is the most vital component of improving its overall energy usage. These measures help to achieve reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and energy costs.

Energy efficiency measures can make electricity and heating systems much more effective. Improved energy efficiency underpins any subsequent more visible alterations that may be made, such as installation of energy generation like solar panels or heat pumps. Introducing energy efficiency measures is often the fastest way to decarbonise and see a return on investment in a building’s energy systems.

Reduction of a building’s energy requirements does not require purchase and installation of new equipment and the associated carbon generated to manufacture it. This increases the value gained from previously installed equipment and begins the process of cost and carbon savings. Some low carbon technologies require high building efficiencies to provide the most benefit or even operate effectively so improved energy efficiency is an important prerequisite before investing in these technologies.

This section introduces a number of energy efficiency measures available which can make savings to a building’s heat and electricity consumption.