Energy conservation is the practice of decreasing the quantity of energy used. It may be achieved through efficient energy use, in which case energy use is decreased while achieving a similar outcome, or by reduced consumption of energy services.
On a larger scale, energy conservation is an important element of energy policy. In general, energy conservation reduces the energy consumption and energy demand per capita, and thus offsets the growth in energy supply needed to keep up with population growth. This reduces the rise in energy costs, and can reduce the need for new power plants, and energy imports. The reduced energy demand can provide more flexibility in choosing the most preferred methods of energy production.
By reducing emissions, energy conservation is an important part of lessening climate change. Energy conservation facilitates the replacement of non-renewable resources with renewable energy. Energy conservation is often the most economical solution to energy shortages, and is a more environmentally benign alternative to increased energy production.