Energy efficiency is key to the transformation of energy systems and, it is estimated, will play a critical role in limiting the growth of world energy demand to one third by 2040. Energy efficiency can, for example, help to reduce energy expenditure and bring down the per-unit cost of lighting, heating, refrigeration and other services. It can also help reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Enhanced energy efficiency offers a unique opportunity to reconcile economic competitiveness with sustainable development, and simultaneously reduces the cost of energy and increases productivity. Improvements in residential and public sectors, for example, have delivered a wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits, including energy security, job creation, poverty alleviation, improved health, and reduced greenhouse gas emission.
UNDP is encouraging market demand for public and private investment in energy efficiency through a combination of policy, financial de-risking and direct incentives. Key UNDP services in the area of energy efficiency include policy and programme support to promote energy efficiency in households, public and municipal facilities, residential and commercial buildings, and industry. UNDP is also supporting national and local governments to design and adopt efficient policies and legislation, and help governments with integrated solutions that tackle energy efficiency in disaster risk reduction and recovery processes. Additionally, UNDP supports the implementation of business models and financing mechanisms to facilitate energy-efficient investment by private sector partners.
As a case in points, with support from the Green Climate Fund (and building on past support from the Global Environment Facility) UNDP is helping Armenia to create a favorable market environment for investment in energy-efficient building retrofits. Direct beneficiaries include at least 82,000 people living in single and multi-family buildings. This includes at least 6,000 members of women-headed households.