Energy efficiency projects aim to reduce fossil fuel derived energy use. They include the use of more efficient technologies (upgrading a building’s lighting, heating or cooling systems or a factory’s process equipment), the use of better energy management technology, or the installation of energy saving appliances/ products in homes or businesses.
Carbon offsets are created by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere due to a reduction in the energy consumed to operate equipment; this avoided energy consumption does not create emissions which is then credited.
These types of projects have some risks relating to the accuracy and reliability of baseline measurement and changes over time in energy use. Both Gold Standard and VCS have developed methodologies which address these risks and whether the energy would have been saved even without the financial contribution of the offset purchase (the additionality issue).