An Urban Skyline At Night Shutterstock 638349103

Energy Efficiency

The first fuel of a sustainable global energy system

Key findings

Efficiency policy momentum builds, but global energy intensity progress slows

is currently seeing a strong global focus among policy makers in recognition of its important role in enhancing energy security and affordability, and in accelerating clean energy transitions. This comes, however, as the estimated 2023 rate of progress in – the main metric used for the energy efficiency of the global economy – is set to fall back to below longer-term trends, to 1.3% from a stronger 2% last year.

At the same, this year’s slower progress in global energy intensity masks exceptional gains in some countries and regions, where strong policy action, increased investments and consumer behaviour changes led to sharp improvements well above the average global rate.

This year the European Union and the United States, among many others since the beginning of the energy crisis, including Korea, Türkiye and the United Kingdom, have registered robust improvements ranging from 4% to 14%.

Annual primary energy intensity improvement, 2001-2023, and by scenario, 2022-2030

Our work

In addition to cutting-edge analysis, the IEA also facilitates the exchange of knowledge through our training programs, workshops, and research collaborations, and works to support energy efficiency with partners and at key global fora such as the G7 and G20 and through the Energy Efficiency in Emerging Economies Programme (E4).

Convened by IEA’s Executive Director in response to the global slowdown of energy efficiency progress, the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency examined how progress on energy efficiency can be rapidly accelerated through new and stronger policy action by governments across the globe. It has developed a series of 10 actionable recommendations to support governments in achieving more ambitious action on energy efficiency.

The International Energy Agency recently brought together over 120 policy makers and energy professionals from more than 40 countries at its energy efficiency training week in Paris to develop expertise in energy efficiency policy making and underline the important role it can play in emerging and developing economies.

Learn more

The aims of the 4E TCP are to promote energy efficiency as the key to ensuring safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy systems

As an international platform for collaboration between governments, the 4E TCP provides policy guidance to its members and other governments concerning energy using equipment and systems. The 4E TCP prioritises technologies and applications with significant energy consumption and energy saving potential within the residential, commercial and industrial sectors (not including transport). To meet its aims, the 4E TCP harnesses the expertise of governments, industry, experts and other TCPs for joint research related to the development and deployment of energy efficient equipment.

The mission of the Energy Storage TCP is to facilitate research, development, implementation and integration of energy storage technologies to optimise the energy efficiency of all kinds of energy systems and enable the increasing use of renewable energy.

Storage technologies are a central component in energy-efficient and sustainable energy systems. Energy storage is a cross-cutting issue that relies on expert knowledge of many disciplines. The Energy Storage TCP fosters widespread experience, synergies and cross-disciplinary co-ordination of working plans and research goals.

The Users TCP’s mission is to provide evidence from socio-technical research on the design, social acceptance and usability of clean energy technologies to inform policy making for clean, efficient and secure energy transitions.

Decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation are embedding energy technologies in the heart of our communities. Communities’ response to these changes and use of energy technologies will determine the success of our energy systems. Poorly designed energy policies, and technologies that do not satisfy users’ needs, lead to ‘performance gaps’ that are both energy and economically inefficient. User-centred energy systems are therefore critical for delivering socially and politically acceptable energy transitions.