Clean Energy

Energy Efficiency


Energy efficiency is all about maximizing the productivity or usefulness of a component or system while consuming the least amount of energy possible. Improvements in energy efficiency to an existing system or configuration of components should always be the first consideration when one has decided to lower energy costs. Any installation of a renewable energy system will be vastly improved if all energy efficiency opportunities have first been addressed.

Scale of Resource

According to the UN’s United for Efficiency program, the energy efficiency opportunities in Peru are vast. They estimate that an equivalent of nearly 1,000 MWh in energy generation could be offset by energy efficiency improvements across the country. This energy savings opportunity accounts for an economic impact of up to $160 million annually[1].

Technology and Policy Types


One of the most common “low-hanging fruit” in the energy efficiency space lies in improved energy consumption of lighting or illumination infrastructure. Since the turn of the century, massive improvements to lighting technology has saved tens of millions of dollars in the US alone. The most commonly encountered lighting improvement in Peru is the compact-fluorescent lightbulb, or CFL. CFLs account for around 75% energy savings compared to traditional incandescent lightbulbs, and the price has fallen considerably in recent years. A distinct advantage to CFL investment is that there is often no need to modify the existing lighting fixtures, reducing hassle and cost. At present, investments in CFLs can be returned in as little as 8 months!
Another promising lighting technology, one becoming more available in Peru, is light-emitting diode lighting, or LED. LEDs can account for an amazing 85% energy savings when compared to traditional incandescent lightbulbs[2]. Given the more recent introduction into the market and the continuing improvements made to the efficiency, mode of manufacture, and therefore price, the return on investment (ROI) for LEDs hasn’t quite caught up to CFLs, but still remains within 18 months. LEDs also boast a significantly longer useful lifetime compared to incandescent lightbulbs; 25,000 hours for LEDs compared to just 1,200 hours for incandescent bulbs. There is every indication that, as LED technology and availability improves, the quality of light and ROI will likely surpass that of CFLs.

Insulation and building materials

With few exceptions, mostly in urban areas of Lima, choice in building materials in Peru is limited, but thought should be given to using more energy efficient building materials in new construction and retrofits. Low emissivity windows, or Low-e windows, are specially treated glass windows that play a double role of helping cooling systems in a building during the summer and insulate to keep warmth in during winter. While most buildings a constructed using concrete, there are useful applications for the use of wood in building construction. Using recycled or repurposed wood could be a low-cost way to improve a construction project. Also, insulated concrete form foundations, or ICFs, may be another way to improve building energy consumption for new construction[3]. This involves additional layers of foam insulation around foundational concrete structures in a building, sometimes resulting in a reduction of heating and cooling costs by as much as 50%[4]!

Power Electronics and Intelligent Systems and Controls

Reducing waste through behavioral changes can be effective, but there are many components available to help homeowners and building management staff improve energy use. Installation of occupancy sensors for common areas and small rooms that are not often used are a great way to reduce waste in illumination and in heating and cooling. Additionally, many smart controls are now available that allow operators to customize building energy use to an unprecedented degree. Many of these systems come with smartphone and remote interfaces that allow homeowners and building managers impressive range of control and customization of the energy profile of their buildings. And as energy networks and grids become more versatile and intelligent, these systems will become ever more important in improving energy efficiency[5].

Fans, Pumps and Motors

Manufacturers of energy efficient building and process components like fans, pumps and motors have made substantial technological improvements in recent decades. Given the sometimes long life-times of these components, many factories and older commercial buildings continue to maintain these outdated and inefficient components. Often, investments in new ventilation and pumping systems boast ROIs less than 3 years, an important mark for many businesses and industries. Additionally, manufacturing standards for these components have become much more rigid and standardized around the world. Many factories and institutions in Peru can take advantage of new components to improve building and operational energy profiles[6].

Energy Management Teams

For management staff in industrial complexes and institutions, the formation of an Energy Management Team can be an important internal organization to improve energy efficiency[7]. Many template organizational structures are available to help companies and organizations implement effective energy management practices, including the International Energy Agency’s Energy Management Action Network[8] (EMAK) and the International Standards Organization, or ISO[9]. Energy Management Teams can also serve as a conduit for energy performance best practices and internal behavioral programs to realize easy-to-reach and low-cost energy efficiency objectives.
See the Geothermal Energy (internal MSc link) section for even more energy efficiency technologies and opportunities!

Existing Infrastructure

At present, there is not a catalog of widespread deployment of energy efficient components and/or systems in Peru. Additional policy support and investment is necessary for future technology deployments, as well as public and private research and analysis to track such deployments.


Improvements in lighting infrastructure account for the largest and most easily-accessible portion of Peru’s energy efficiency opportunity. The UN’s partner organization, en.lighten, estimates that upgrades to lighting across the country could payback an investment in as little as three months[10].
As Peru becomes a more active industrial player regionally, lighting, controls, fans and motors, and the inclusion of Energy Management Teams serve to make the largest energy efficiency impact in industrial energy use.

As you read through other sections in our Energy 101 page, you’ll notice the substantial renewable energy resource that exists in Peru and around Latin America. This, in and of itself, is an energy efficiency opportunity! By producing energy closer to the point of consumption, as is often the case with renewable energy generation projects (often referred to as distributed generation), there will be less energy loss as power is transmitted over long distances[11]. The less centralized, more distributed configuration of power generation in the country will lead to greater energy and overall system efficiency and less energy infrastructure costs.











[10] This includes upgrades to all public, outdoor lighting.

[11] Transmission losses in Peru in 2014 were estimated to be 11%, compared to a world average of 8%.