Energy conservation refers to efforts made to reduce energy consumption. Energy conservation can be achieved through increased efficient energy use, in conjunction with decreased energy consumption and/or reduced consumption from conventional energy sources.
Energy conservation can result in increased financial capital, environmental quality, national security, personal security, and human comfort. Individuals and organizations that are direct consumers of energy choose to conserve energy to reduce energy costs and promote economic security. Industrial and commercial users can increase energy use efficiency to maximize profit.
Energy conservation in the United Kingdom has been receiving increased attention over recent years. Key factors behind this are the Government's commitment to reducing carbon emissions, the projected 'energy gap' in UK electricity generation, and the increasing reliance on imports to meet national energy needs. Domestic housing and road transport are currently the two biggest problem areas.
Responsibility for energy conservation fall between three Government departments although is led by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) is still responsible for energy standards in buildings, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) retains a residual interest in energy insofar as it leads to emissions of CO2, the main greenhouse gas. The Department for Transport retains many responsibilities for energy conservation in transport. At an operational level, there are two main non-departmental governmental bodies ("quangoes") - the Energy Saving Trust, working mainly in the domestic sector with some interest in transport, and the Carbon Trust, working with industry and innovative energy technologies. In addition there are many independent NGOs working in the sector such as the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol or the National Energy Foundation in Milton Keynes, and directly helping consumers make informed choices on energy efficiency sust-it.