The Energy Hierarchy lists the actions policy makers, industry and consumers need to take when it comes to energy sources and use, in order of most sustainable to least.
Priority 1 looks at changing our own behaviour when it comes to energy, so doing things like lowering your heating at home, turning appliances off completely rather than on standby, making less journeys in the car if not needed, etc.
Priority 2 is similar as it looks at using less energy, but this step focuses more on relying on technology to make changes, rather than just your behaviour.
So making gadgets more energy efficient, or making sure your home is well insulated so you don’t lose as much heat through windows and roofs.
This also extends to larger technology such as power stations; making sure they are efficient in converting energy sources into the useful forms energy that we can use.
Priority 3 looks at increasing our use of low-carbon energy sources, such as wind, solar, hydro and nuclear.
Priority 4 highlights the continued use of fossil fuels as part of our energy mix, with an emphasis on using them in a more sustainable and cleaner way, such as adding Carbon Capture and Storage technology to reduce their impact on the environment and increase efficiency or switching from coal to natural gas as it is the cleanest fossil fuel.
Priority 5 is a business as usual approach, using fossil fuels as we do now while they are available.