Energy conservation

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People all over the world are fast becoming conscious of the problem of consuming too much energy. Energy is essential to life and its conservation has become an absolute necessity.From this realisation has arisen a widespread need and desire to conserve it.

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Why should I be aware of this?

Energy conservation is both environmentally friendly and economically sound. With a prudent energy conservation plan, an average household can reduce energy bills up to 40 per cent.

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Energy is broadly classified as:

  • Renewable These sources are constantly renewed or restored and include wind (wind power), water (hydropower), sun (solar), vegetation (biomass) and internal heat of the earth (geothermal). About 9 per cent of electricity in the US is generated from renewable sources. Another good example of energy from a renewable source is Wind Power which is increasingly being used to supply electricity to millions of people, and provides employment to tens of thousands. This is both a free fuel and is also environmentally sound. It is a renewable energy source that is still largely untapped.
  • Non-renewable These are natural resources that cannot be replenished (fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal). About 71.5 per cent of electricity in the US is generated from non-renewable sources.

Non-renewable sources of energy are gradually becoming exhausted as we are over-tapping these resources. People are now looking towards renewable sources for energy.

What can I do?

The first step in conservation is to measure present consumption. Consumers can check the appliances that apply to their homes, change any of the default values in the average monthly kWh column as necessary and calculate how much energy their household uses.

Tips for safe fuel-ffficient driving

The driving tips below will help control fuel costs and should be shared with family and friends:

  • Avoid aggressive driving.
  • Increasing vehicle speed increases fuel consumption.
  • Idling the engine burns more fuel than restarting the engine.
  • Drive only when absolutely necessary. At other times try walking, biking, carpooling or taking the bus to nearby locations.
  • Before travelling, plan the most efficient route.
  • There is more fuel consumption if the air conditioner is used in stop-and-go traffic.
  • An under-inflated tire can increase the vehicle's fuel consumption by 4 per cent.
  • The air filter should be replaced regularly.
  • Avoid continuing with badly worn spark plugs.
  • Adjust the vehicle’s fan belt if it is too tight.
  • Heavier cars are more costly to run.
  • Using the fifth gear helps to improve fuel efficiency.
  • Keep your vehicle properly maintained.

Tips for saving energy with lighting

  • Turn lights off when you leave the room.
  • Install energy-saving floodlights outdoors.
  • Use solar-powered accent lights outdoors.
  • Use natural light: Rearrange rooms to maximize natural lighting. Install one or more skylights, paint walls, a light colour and use reflective louvres or Venetian blinds.
  • Use concentrated lighting: Reduce background or ambient light levels and concentrated lights where they are needed. Especially suitable for office buildings, but can be effective at homes too.
  • Switch to compact fluorescent lamps: Replace your incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent bulbs. They provide almost as much light and also save lighting energy.
  • Use tube fluorescent lighting: These are energy efficient and provide very satisfactory lighting in living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Use incandescent light wisely: Use higher-wattage incandescent light bulbs as they are more efficient than lower-wattage bulbs.

Natural house cooling tips

You can reduce energy bills and lower the use of an air conditioner by implementing natural air conditioning or "passive cooling” in your home. Besides saving money, the goal is also to reduce our impact on the environment. Efficient cooling saves money, energy and improves the quality of our lives.

  • Provide effective shade for east and west windows. When possible, delay heat-generating activities until evening on hot days.
  • Keep house closed during the day in summer to prevent entry of unwanted heat and humidity.
  • Keep your room windows open and locate window fans on the downwind side of the house facing out.
  • Use ceiling fans for more comfort.
  • Plant trees around the house for shade.
  • Replace the old air conditioner with a modern, high-efficiency one.
  • Buy air conditioners that get rid of high humidity.
  • Avoid using a dehumidifier while your air conditioner is operating.
  • Seal and insulate all air conditioner ducts.
  • Get maximum efficiency by maintaining your air conditioners properly.

Heating

Heating is generally one of the largest single consumers of electricity. There is, however, a lot that we all can do to reduce our heating bills.

  • Keep your hot water tank insulated.
  • Use hot water wisely, using minimum time.
  • Install a programmable thermostat that will heat the house before you wake up in the morning.
  • Install insulating curtains on windows.
  • Get peak efficiency for your furnace and hot water heaters by servicing them regularly.
  • Keep rooms that are not in use closed, and turn off the heat.

Save energy in the kitchen

A checklist of things that will help refrigerators do their jobs more easily and more efficiently.

  • Cover liquids and wrap food stored in the fridge to prevent release of moisture.
  • Clean or replace the door gasket and sealing surface on the fridge.
  • Keep extra fridge or freezer unplugged.
  • Clean the condenser coils of the fridge at least once a year.
  • Try to install a power-saving switch or a summer-winter switch.
  • Defrost your fridge if frost builds up.
  • Turn off the automatic ice maker.

While cooking, take the following steps:

  • Prevent heat loss by covering pans while cooking.
  • Make sure your pan covers the flame/coil of your stove/cooking range. If the flame/coil can be seen peeping out from the sides of your pan, you are losing energy and you need a bigger pan.
  • Turn off the oven or burner just before the food is cooked completely to allow the heat in the pan to continue the cooking.
  • It's faster to cook if you use less liquid and fat.
  • Leftovers take less energy to reheat on top of the stove rather than in the oven.
  • Cooking in a pressure cooker saves energy.
  • Try a Solar cooker.
  • Cooking in hayboxes preserves as much of the heat as possible in the cooking utensil once the food is heated up. The heat thus stored is used to continue the heating process. Hayboxes, which have been used in different countries for centuries, also make cooking easier. Cooking is completed inside an insulated box where the food is kept after boiling. With the retained heat, the haybox does all the cooking, simmering, etc, and thus saves energy.

Audio and video

  • Buy equipment in the size that meets your requirements.
  • Wide screen televisions with stereo or surround sound are less energy efficient than televisions with more basic functions.
  • Take care not to leave televisions, video cassette recorders or music systems on standby.
  • Certain electronics appliances use power, or phantom loads, even if they are turned off. These items are VCR, alarm clock, TV, microwave, etc. Even computers and business machines such as fax machines, copiers, scanners, printers and debit machines all draw constant power.
  • Use power bars that have on/off switches and turning the power bar off when not in use. This will not harm your electronics at all.
  • Attach your entire computer system to a power bar. Put the monitor, printer, speakers, scanner, etc, on a power bar and turn that off even if your computer is kept on all the time.
  • In any item with a wall cube transformer, some power cubes use the same amount of power even if they are not plugged into the appliance, but still plugged into the wall.

Computers

  • Use computers only when it is absolutely necessary. Keep them turned off when not in use.
  • Put on "sleep" mode when not in use.
  • When not in use, keep computer peripherals — such as scanners and printers — turned off.
  • Make use of screen savers that automatically put the monitor into sleep mode when inactive for a period of time.
  • A computer with a low-profile chassis is less energy consuming than a mini-tower or full-sized desktop machine.
  • Opt for flat-panel displays as they are far more energy and space efficient.
  • Prefer a shared networked printer over purchasing a personal printer.
  • Inkjet printers are more energy efficient than laser printers.

CopperBytes

  • Recycled aluminum saves 95 per cent energy vs. virgin aluminum; recycling of one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.
  • Recycled glass saves 50 per cent energy compared to virgin glass. Recycling of one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
  • Recycled paper saves 60 per cent energy vs. virgin paper.

Unlearn

One of the myths regarding the energy conservation crisis is that the problem is too big for individuals or families to solve. There are however, many small ways in which people can help reduce the problem. If many people take these measures, the cumulative effect is that of very large-scale energy conservation.

User Contribution

More on Energy conservation

What can I do to help

Additional information

Reference

  • 53 Ways to Save Energy
  • Energy Calculator
  • Fuel Savers
  • Energy Conservation Tips for the Home
  • Tips To build Energy Efficient Homes
  • Energy Conservation
  • The Haybox For Energy Conservation
  • Renewable Energy
  • Energy Costs and Conservation Facts
  • 20 Conservation Tips
  • Conservation of Energy

Additional Information

  • Consult 53 Ways to Conserve Energy to get the most from the appliances you own.
  • The Home Energy Use Calculator lists many household systems and appliances and estimates of their monthly kWh (kilowatt per hour) usage.
  • See on Energy Efficient Appliances that Save you Money.
  • Also see Cooling Your Home Naturallyfor alternatives to air-conditioning.
  • Visit Reducing Fuel Consumption for more information and comparative analysis of different cars.
  • VisitYour Home's Energy Use to adopt a more energy-efficient approach.

See Also