Jamaica’s large-scale public sector energy saving project, which was begun in 2011, can serve as an example for other governments. In the face of rapid energy consumption, the Jamaican government has adopted a comprehensive plan to boost the country’s energy efficiency. Energy saving measures include conducting energy audits, replacing outdated air conditioning units and lighting systems with more efficient modern designs, and installing window films and cool roof coatings on all public buildings. The government has also made a commitment to increasing public education regarding energy conservation. These measures can reduce energy consumption in Jamaica and other countries that adopt a similar program.
Communities are going green and conserving energy all over the world by implementing programs that can increase energy efficiency. In the United States, residents of Washington’s Whidbey Island saved more than 3.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity by adopting energy saving programs, in turn reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3.5 million pounds. Residents offset their electricity use by utilizing green power made from sources like biomass that convert potential pollutants into a viable and renewable energy source.
Other governments and communities are switching to wind power to meet their energy needs. Denmark was a pioneer in developing this source commercially, and today it produces nearly half of the world’s wind turbines. In 2008, this renewable energy source provided 18.9 percent of the country’s electricity production, and the government recently committed to increase the amount of wind-powered production to 50 percent by 2020.
Energy-intensive industries can reduce energy use by adopting technologies that improve energy efficiency. For instance, the Brazilian oil company Petrobras has increased energy efficiency by optimizing the use and distribution of power and steam generated on site, preventing spills and leaks, and installing air pre-heating systems and heat-recovery boilers.
Individuals can make a difference at home by making small energy saving changes. For instance, individuals can reduce the temperature of the refrigerator by a few degrees, use cold water to wash clothes, only run the dishwasher when it is full, and replace old appliances with new energy-efficient models. They can also save 1,800 pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the air by reducing annual driving by 2,000 miles. These small changes add up to make a significant impact on energy consumption.