Definition – Efficiency is defined as the ratio of output through input. Something can be described as more energy efficient if it delivers more services for the same energy input or the same service for less energy input.
Economic efficiency refers to maximising the benefits that users can gain from the use of a service after taking account of the costs of provision and operation. For example, an efficient public transport system facilitates fast and seamless movement within and between cities at an acceptable cost for the population, which in turn is essential for urban functionality and prosperity.
Relevance to SUMP – One of the five principal objectives of SUMP is to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the transportation of people and goods. Energy-efficient transport offers huge potential for reducing the demand for oil and for energy in general. Energy-efficient transport can be encouraged on three levels: (i) system efficiency - organise land use and social and economic activities in such a way that the need for transport and the use of fossil fuels is reduced; (ii) travel efficiency - make use of energy-efficient modes like public transport and non-motorised modes to reduce energy consumption per trip; and (iii) vehicle efficiency - consuming as little energy as possible per vehicle kilometre by using advanced technologies and fuels and by optimising vehicle operation.
Source: KonSULT (online); International Energy Agency (IEA); (online); GIZ, 2012