What is energy efficiency?

The benefits of energy efficiency

Energy efficiency

At the Iberdrola Group, we ensure efficient energy management throughout its energy chain and act to optimise the use of energy in production, transmission and distribution, as well as in end use. We also contribute to a more efficient use of energy by consumers, through information, training and the supply of solutions and technologies. Find out everything you need to know about energy efficiency.

energy efficiency
Energy efficiency makes it possible to produce and consume energy in an intelligent and innovative way and represents one of the key factors in the fight against climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG).

Energy is present in virtually everything we do, whether we turn on a light, watch TV, drive a car or simply use a mobile phone. However, in the midst of our daily actions, a key question arises: how can we harness this resource more effectively and sustainably? Discover the main aspects of energy efficiency and its relationship with Iberdrola's work in the fight against climate change.


What is energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency is a fundamental concept in the responsible management of the resources available on our planet. It refers to the optimisation of energy use, seeking to obtain maximum performance with the lowest possible consumption. In other words, it is about performing activities and operating devices and systems more intelligently, with the aim of reducing energy waste and minimising the associated environmental impact.

Understanding and adopting energy efficiency practices is essential to build a more sustainable and resilient future, where responsible management of energy resources plays a crucial role in preserving the planet for future generations. This can be achieved by adopting different measures at the technological level, but also through small everyday gestures in our homes.

What are the benefits of energy efficiency?

In a world marked by increasing demand for resources, energy efficiency emerges as a fundamental principle to address today's challenges. More than a simple practice, it is a concept that not only impacts consumers' wallets, but also leaves a significant footprint on the health of the planet. Here are some of its most representative benefits:

 Energy saving

More efficient use of resources translates directly into savings, and not only in economic terms. By optimising the use of energy, total demand is reduced and thus the pressure on energy resources and ecosystems is reduced. These savings not only benefit personal and corporate finances, but also contribute to long-term sustainability.

Carbon footprint

Reducing the carbon footprint has become a global priority to mitigate climate change. Energy efficiency plays a key role in this regard by minimising greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, by adopting technologies and practices that optimise energy consumption, it contributes directly to reducing our environmental footprint.

 Responsible consumption

Responsible consumption is a pillar of energy efficiency, and does not simply mean using less energy. It involves making choices about where we source and use energy, encouraging the adoption of sustainable practices in all aspects of our daily lives. By making more efficient choices, we benefit our environment and drive the transition to cleaner energy systems.

 Health improvement

Improved health is another benefit. Reducing air pollution creates a cleaner and healthier environment for communities, with improved air quality and reduced risk to respiratory health. It is also important to mention that the way we manage our homes can have a significant impact on our mental well-being.

What is energy efficiency and how to achieve it in our daily life?

What uses the most energy at home?

  • Heating 25.9 %
  • Household appliances 25.9 %
  • Domestic hot water 18.8 %
  • Cooking 8 %
  • Lighting 4.9 %
  • Air conditioning 0.9 %

Household appliances that consume the most

  • Refrigerator 25.9 %
  • Television 12.2 %
  • Washing machine 11.8 %
  • Standby 10.7 %
  • Oven 8.3 %
  • Computer 7.4 %
  • Freezer 6.1 %
  • Dishwasher 6.1 %
  • Dryer 3.3 %

Source: Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE, Spain)

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: What is energy efficiency and how to achieve it? [PDF]

How is energy efficiency calculated?

To learn more about the energy efficiency of devices, it is important to know the calculation used to assess performance in terms of the ratio of energy used to energy produced. To determine the exact figure that corresponds to the efficiency of a system, international standards have been developed with the aim of establishing clear and consistent standards.

The ISO 50001 Standard and IPMVP

ISO 50001 provides a structured framework for organisations, regardless of size or sector, to develop and implement effective energy management systems. In other words, this standard aims to help companies become more efficient and continuously improve the energy efficiency of their processes, the costs generated from energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases.

On the other hand, the IPMVP (International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol) is a set of principles and procedures that provides guidelines for the measurement and verification of energy performance. This protocol is particularly valuable when seeking to evaluate and demonstrate the results of a company's or organisation's energy efficiency projects.

Energy saving and efficiency in different sectors

The quest for more efficient and sustainable energy consumption has become a global priority that is present in various sectors: from residential and commercial to industry and large-scale energy infrastructure. In the current context, these areas of involvement use equipment, techniques and systems that, through the implementation of innovative technologies, seek to maximise production and minimise losses. A move that represents a fundamental commitment to sustainability and environmental impact mitigation.

Every sector plays a crucial role in building an energy-conscious society. Households, industry, business management and the energy sector are strategic areas for the implementation of energy saving and efficiency measures that lay the foundations for a more sustainable future.


Efficient household devices and awareness of responsible consumption contribute to a more sustainable use of energy.


Smart supply chain management in industry not only reduces costs, but also reduces the environmental footprint.

Business management

Technologies focused on energy efficiency reinforce corporate social responsibility as well as improve business competitiveness.

Energy sector

Efficient practices drive more sustainable energy generation, fostering the transition to a cleaner and more efficient system.

Sustainability and energy efficiency

The convergence between sustainability and the search for efficient solutions has become a fundamental axis for addressing environmental challenges. Awareness of the need to protect our planet has put sustainability and efficiency at the centre of global strategies, involving the adoption of practices to better protect and manage the resources at our disposal.

How does energy efficiency help?

The concept of energy efficiency is undoubtedly a catalyst for achieving sustainability goals, providing a set of tools and practices that transform the way we consume energy. From reducing operating costs to reducing our environmental footprint, efficiency impacts on multiple fronts of our lives.

Therefore, energy efficiency emerges as a key ally in the achievement of strategies such as Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) established by the United Nations, with the aim of ensuring access to affordable, secure, sustainable and modern energy for all. This sustainable growth goal not only contributes to optimising the use of resources, but also takes responsibility for reducing pollution and strengthening the resilience of the global energy system.

Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency

The convergence between renewables and energy efficiency marks a crucial milestone in the search for sustainable solutions to our energy needs. Renewable energies, such as solar, wind and hydropower, represent clean and abundant sources that offer a promising alternative to fossil fuels. However, to maximise their impact and ensure a sustainable energy future, it is essential to complement the use of these sources with efficient practices.

Energy efficiency

In this context, efficient energies emerge as a strategic approach that seeks to boost the generation of renewable energy through technologies that optimise the use of resources. Solar energy, captured through photovoltaic panels, transforms sunlight into electricity in a clean way and represents the possibility of generating energy in the same place where it is consumed, which reduces losses associated with long-distance transport

Wind energy harnesses the power of the wind to move wind turbines and generate electricity for its consumers, standing out for its low environmental impact and its capacity to produce energy in remote regions. Hydroelectric power is another clean energy source that is emerging as an efficient and environmentally friendly option. 

In addition to the integration of the aforementioned renewables into the energy mix, it is essential to make progress in energy storage technologies, which will improve the efficiency of the electricity system. The ability to store energy generated during production peaks, for use at times of high demand or when renewable sources are not active, plays a crucial role in balancing the electricity supply. 

The energy efficiency label

The energy efficiency label is a tool that provides consumers with information on the energy performance of a given household appliance, electronic device or any other energy-consuming appliance. Generally, these labels classify products on a scale with letters and colours ranging from A with the colour green (most efficient) to G with the colour red (least efficient), clearly indicating their efficiency in terms of energy consumption.

This type of certification, affixed to each product in the form of a sticker, plays a key role in promoting sustainable practices that have a positive impact on the conservation of natural resources.it not only benefits individual consumers, but also supports governmental efforts to achieve broader energy efficiency and energy saving goals.

The energy efficiency label and its scale

Energy class


consume less than 55 % of the average consumption of traditional appliances


consume between 55 % and 75 % of average consumption


consume between 75 % and 90 % of average consumption


consume between 90 % and 100 % of average consumption


consume between 100 % and 110 % of average consumption


consume between 110 % and 125 % of average consumption


consume more than 125 % of average consumption

Household appliances that have to have the energy label

  • Icon Refrigerators
  • Icon Dishwashers
  • Icon Washing machines and dryers
  • Icon Lamps and bulbs
  • Icon Televisions and screens
  • Icon Electric ovens
  • Icon Air conditioning

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: The energy efficiency label and its scale [PDF]

Iberdrola and energy efficiency

At the Iberdrola Group, we view energy efficiency from a threefold perspective:

  • As an electricity company, we strive to improve efficiency by introducing the most advanced technologies and equipment in the generation, transmission and distribution of energy, as well as by reducing auxiliary and cooling water consumption. Two main materials are required to produce energy: fuel and cooling water.
  • As an electricity supplier, we want to contribute to a more efficient use of energy by consumers, informing and training users and providing them with solutions that help them to improve their efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of their energy habits and consumption. We also promote and develop energy-efficient buildings.
  • As an energy-consuming company, we drive continuous improvement in energy efficiency in all our activities (offices and buildings, vehicles, water, mobility, employee awareness, etc.).
At close of 2022

Our energy efficiency projects

Home automation

Among the systems designed to save on bills and achieve a more efficient reality is home automation, a term that refers to the set of platforms or technologies that are used to automate the activities of a home or building. At Iberdrola we offer the Smart Home so that you have greater comfort and efficiency in your home. In this service you will find a series of automatic functions such as the Smart Thermostat, Smart Climate Control or Smart Plug. With the Smart Assistant, for example, you can move towards the complete automation of your home: it allows you to save and find out the consumption of each appliance from anywhere with our own app, as well as receiving personalised advice on how to save more on your bill. 

Air conditioning

At Iberdrola, we implement efficiency measures at our buildings and offices around the world. Thus, the Iberdrola Tower in Bilbao, the Iberdrola Training and Innovation Campus in Madrid, and Ochil House, the headquarters of ScottishPower in Glasgow, are some symbols of the Group's commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency. The application of these measures resulted in savings of 6,239 GJ in 2022. To learn more about these and other measures we have implemented, please see our Sustainability Report [PDF].

In addition, through our innovative product Smart Clima, we are committed to refurbishment projects and efficient technology, providing our customers with solutions that promote energy savings and the decarbonisation of their homes, through efficient electric air conditioning technologies (aerothermal or geothermal) and actions on thermal insulation. We also promote the creation of heat networks that enable the supply of residual thermal energy from renewable energy installations to buildings and homes. 

Aislamiento termico

Good thermal insulation, the key to energy efficiency.

More on efficiency

Thanks to digitalisation and investment in R&D&I, we market a wide range of products and services that promote efficiency, energy savings and care for the environment, while placing the customer at the centre, giving them greater connectivity and decision-making capacity, providing smart and innovative solutions in both the residential and industrial spheres.

Highlights include the Green Mobility Plan, which promotes the use of electric vehicles among our workforce; Smart Mobility, a solution for electric vehicles that includes the installation and management of the charging infrastructure; Smart Solar and Smart Home and Smart Services, aimed at improving the management of energy consumption through the use of solar technology (self-consumption), control of heating use and electricity services for a smart home; and Industrial Heat, focused on the electrification of industrial processes.

Some efficient solutions

At Iberdrola, we promote innovative projects aimed at improving the efficiency of our assets in operation and the associated processes, favouring the integration of renewable energies -through various initiatives linked to the field of energy storage- and reducing costs in the design and construction of facilities. Thus, we invest in efficient solutions within renewable energies, such as floating offshore wind, floating photovoltaic energy, agrovoltaic energy, hybrid plants, pumped hydroelectric power, energy storage with batteries or the recycling of solar panels and wind turbine blades.