The next big battle for energy efficiency … air conditioners

Beatriz Sanz Baños    21 August, 2018

“The growing demand for energy from air conditioners (ACs) is one of the critical points in the debate about energy and sustainability. It is necessary to reduce their energy consumption, generate savings and avoid emissions. “These words were delivered by the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol in the presentation of the study “The Future of Cooling” this May.

Currently, the electrical consumption of air conditioners and air conditioning systems represents 20% of the total consumption of buildings and represents 10% of the total world electricity consumption.

In the coming decades, the huge demand for AC is going to become one of the main sources of electricity consumption worldwide due to the growth of the global population and the increase of income level in warm countries.

For example, in Mexico and Brazil the percentage of households with CA is only 16% while in Japan and the US it exceeds 90%. The predictions suggest that in 2050 two thirds of the world’s households could have air conditioning, whose electric consumption would represent more than 35% of the total.

the huge demand for AC is going to become one of the main sources of electricity consumption worldwide

For this reason, the IEA highlights the need to invest in efficient CAs, which would reduce the AC power consumption by 45% compared to the base case.

At Telefónica we have been working in the field of Energy Efficiency for several years, deploying Smart Energy IoTsolutions so that companies reduce energy consumption and therefore increase their competitiveness.


Specifically, the Smart Energy IoT solution allows intelligent energy management based on the measurement of consumption, remote control and big data through a cloud platform that facilitates decision-making by managers. Thus, the efficient management of lighting and air conditioners can save between 10% and 30%, contributing to the reduction in consumption that is so necessary in the medium and long term.

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