Imagine you use a new energy efficient light bulb that uses 5 times less energy. That means now that it requires 5 times less kilowatt/hrs over time, meaning that 5 times less of those hours are required to make the energy that goes into lighting that bulb. That means 5 times less pollution is creating from the coal or energy source that makes the electricity to run the bulb.
Energy efficiency means using less energy to perform the same tasks. If we use less electricity to run our appliances, light, heater, etc., then the power companies will not have to produce as much electricity total. Producing electricity is what causes pollution. Most power plants, in the United States at least, burn coal to generate electricity, which releases greenhouse gases and other pollutants. This goes as well for natural gas power plants. If we are using less electricity, then we do not have to generate as much electricity in ways that harm the environment.
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