An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Energy and the Environment

Reduce the Environmental Impact of Your Energy Use

There are many actions you can take to reduce the environmental impacts of your energy use.

ENERGY STAR and energy efficiency

Simply put, energy efficiency is about using less energy to get the same job done - and in the process, avoiding high energy bills and unnecessary pollution. Many products, homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities consume far more energy than needed. For example, energy efficient light bulbs certified by ENERGY STAR use 70 to 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs to do the same job: light up a room.

So how can you make a difference through energy efficiency? EPA's ENERGY STAR program is the best place to start for guidance on how to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. Behind each blue ENERGY STAR label is a product, building, or home that is independently certified to use less energy, achieving emissions reductions to reduce air pollution and help protect the climate.

Switch to cleaner energy resources

Clean energy generally means energy generated using renewable energy sources that emit no or negligible air emissions—solar and wind energy, for example—as well as clean distributed generation, such as combined heat and power.

As the price of wind and solar energy continues to fall, more and more people are purchasing renewable energy. Many businesses are also installing renewable energy and combined heat and power at their buildings to save them money, reduce their environmental impact, and provide greater control of their energy use. 

If you would like to make the switch to using cleaner energy resources:

Where you live

To learn more about the environmental impacts of energy use, as well as more general environmental information, in your area:

  • Use Power Profiler to learn about the air emissions associated with your home or business's electricity use.
  • Use AirNow to learn about local air quality.
  • Use MyEnvironment to access local environmental quality information.