Electrical energy conservation refers to the process of reducing energy used through various means. Many of these methods for reducing energy consumption can be undertaken at home; turning down the thermostat, turning off the lights when leaving the room, or switching off power strips when not in use are all examples of this. Homes, businesses or power companies making use of alternative clean energy sources, such as wind or solar energy, are also examples of electrical energy conservation. Many traditional electrical power plants are coal-fired, which contributes greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, contributing to climate change; this is just one reason that energy conservation is important.
For many people, electrical energy conservation begins at home. Not only is this good for the environment, but it can also significantly reduce the amount of a monthly electric bill. Some of the simplest steps to energy conservation include switching traditional light bulbs to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, or turning the thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter. Making sure appliances are efficient, and that windows and doors are well sealed against the outdoors, are other examples of energy conservation. People looking for other opportunities for electrical energy conservation in the home should also look for power strips that can be switched off.
This type of energy use is sometimes referred to as "vampire energy," and refers to passive energy that is used when appliances are plugged in but not in use. For instance, televisions and computers still pull energy even when they are off. Plugging these items into a power strip, and switching it off at the source, can help to reduce or eliminate sources of this "vampire energy" in the home. Some people will go even further with resource conservation in their homes, and will install solar panels or geothermal systems to provide power, heating, and cooling to the home on a renewable, clean basis.
Electrical energy conservation takes place on the larger scale as well. The development and sale of clean, renewable energy from sources like wind turbines and larger solar farms is another example. Utility companies are often capable of developing this type of clean energy, but it is the responsibility of the consumer to get involved and demand it. Businesses can also take steps to ensure that they are having a low energy impact by purchasing power from these types of companies, if possible, or by teaching employees to switch off lights and computers when they leave at the end of the day.