Key Facts in Promoting EnerGuide and
Protecting the Environment
With climate change in the headlines, we are all becoming more aware of Canada's increasing commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Every time we use an electrical appliance, we use energy. And when we use electricity, power plants produce GHGs – especially carbon dioxide (CO2) – that are released into the atmosphere. Air pollution and climate change affect all living things, including people, whether they live in cities or in rural and remote areas, and plants and animals, as well as the natural habitats that support them.
The good news is that reducing personal energy use is in everybody's reach. Energy-efficient appliances are important because using less energy not only saves your customers money, it also helps them meet the challenges of climate change and protect our environment.
What Are Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
At one time, all climate change occurred naturally. Now, however, it is predicted that the earth's climate will change because human activities are altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere through the buildup of GHGs – primarily carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
Energy from the sun heats the earth's surface; in turn, the earth radiates energy back into space. GHGs trap some of the outgoing energy, retaining heat somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse.
GHGs are measured in tonnes. One tonne is about the amount of GHGs removed from the atmosphere by planting 109 trees; one tonne of GHG emissions is equivalent to driving about 4000 kilometres in an average Canadian vehicle.
Improving energy efficiency reduces GHG emissions that contribute to climate change.