What energy saving means?
Energy conservation is the decision and practice of using less energy. Turning off the light when you leave the room, unplugging appliances when they’re not in use and walking instead of driving are all examples of energy conservation.
Importance of Energy Conservation
First of all, energy conservation plays an important role in saving non-renewable energy resources. Furthermore, non-renewable energy sources take many centuries to regenerate. Moreover, humans consume energy at a faster rate than it can be produced. Therefore, energy conservation would lead to the preservation of these precious non-renewable sources of energy.
Energy conservation will reduce the expenses related to fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are very expensive to mine. Therefore, consumers are required to pay higher prices for goods and services. Energy conservation would certainly reduce the amount of fossil fuel being mined. This, in turn, would reduce the costs of consumers.
Consequently, energy conservation would strengthen the economy as consumers will have more disposable income to spend on goods and services.
Energy conservation is good for scientific research. This is because; energy conservation gives researchers plenty of time to conduct researches.
Here are 15 ways to start conserving energy:
- Adjust your day-to-day behaviors
- Replace your light bulbs
- Use smart power strips
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Use energy-efficient appliances
- Reduce water heating expenses
- Install energy-efficient windows
- Upgrade your HVAC system
- Weatherize your home
- Insulate your home
- Wash your clothes in cold water when possible
- Replace or clean your air filters
- Use your toaster oven instead of your oven
- Use natural light
- Dress appropriately for the weather inside and outside
The beginning of energy efficiency as we know it was in the 1970s and ‘80s, and was called “conservation.” Responding to the price shocks of the Arab Oil Embargo, Congress established the Department of Energy in 1977 to, among other things, diversify energy resources and promote conservation. The Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was among its first programs. To date, WAP has served over 7.4 million homes, helping the nation’s most vulnerable reduce energy costs while increasing comfort and safety. Another early program – the Residential Conservation Service (RCS) – established by the 1978 National Energy Conservation Act, promoted energy audits and asked consumers to insulate their homes, weather-strip windows, wrap water heaters, turn down thermostats, and turn-off lights.
Who started energy conservation?
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under the power ministry of India, launched the National Energy Conservation Awards in 1991 to recognise the contribution of industries and establishments in reducing energy consumption while maintaining their production through awards.
When did the global energy transition begin?
Starting around 2000, the use of wind and solar energy began to climb. The same kinds of transformations occurred with heating and manufacturing. Cheap electricity, gasoline and diesel together produced the massive amounts of power and flexibility that completely changed the human condition in the 20th century.
From northern Europe to Asia, there are plenty of innovative ways people across the globe are saving energy at home.
Around the world people are finding ways to minimize their energy consumption and save money, starting in their homes. Check out these five energy-saving tips inspired by other countries.
Japan: Living curtains & green walls
Japan’s energy-saving living curtain is the solution to hot summer days and cold winter nights. This trendy tip has roots in Japan’s commercial industries, including buildings and factories. Since then, it’s spread to many residential areas throughout the country.
Picture floor to ceiling draping vines of foliage that not only make for beautiful decoration and a focal point to your home, but also provide shade and cooling to windows and balconies. Plus, they offer insulating effects, too.
Exterior green walls have also been shown to reduce the temperature of walls by 10 degrees by reflecting direct sunlight. In the winter, these green walls can insulate your home and reduce energy costs for heating.
Want to integrate a similar technique into your own home? Look for evergreen plants to keep green curtains and walls fresh all year long.
Germany: Passive housing
Building design plays a big role in energy conservation. An excellent way to conserve energy is by performing an energy audit in buildings. Energy audit refers to inspection and analysis of energy use in a building. Most noteworthy, the aim of the energy audit is to appropriately reduce energy input.
The concept of passive housing, which started in Germany, has become an international phenomenon in recent years. Passive housing promotes voluntary, performance-based energy standards when constructing homes. The standard includes continuous insulation, well insulated windows and appropriate shading, airtightness, ventilation, and eliminating thermal bridges.
If you’re building a new home, you’ll find that Ontario’s building codes already incorporate some elements of passive housing. Recently, The Ontario Building Code standards were updated to include the use of more energy efficient building products (such as insulation, windows, furnaces and water heaters), making homes 15 per cent (minimum) more energy efficient.
If you’re not building a new home but are inspired by this kind of German efficiency, start by making gradual improvements throughout your home over time. Upgrading to more energy-efficient windows is a simple place to start. There are also specialized passive house companies in Ontario that provide retrofitting services and can help get you started.
Norway: Reduced light-mode technology
Norway has successfully incorporated smart lighting into its infrastructure, especially on roadways. For example, some stretches of highway include auto-dimming street lights. The LED lights dim to 20 per cent when there are no vehicles, bikes, or pedestrians in the area but climb back up to 100 per cent once the lights detect movement. After the movement passes, the light returns to its dim state, saving energy when not in use. The initiative saves 2,100 kWh per week from just one of the highway installations.
Homeowners can take inspiration from Norway by using smart lighting throughout their homes. Outdoor motion detection lights that turn on and off based on movement can help save energy on porches, garages, and other less frequented areas of the home.
Reduced light mode technology, meanwhile, turns on fully when movement is detected and turns down to dim lighting after 20 seconds. These are great additions for hallways because they let you easily navigate your home in the dark – an important feature for parents of young kids, and for that occasional late-night snack. Try incorporating both motion detection lights and reduced light mode technology in your home to help reduce your energy consumption.
Netherlands: Hunting for phantoms
The Dutch Central government gave its residents a neat exercise to find phantom electronics in their homes by telling them to turn off all the lights and be on the lookout for any shining light glaring back at them. Phantom electronics are all those sneaky appliances and devices that continue to consume energy even when they’re not in use. Think gaming consoles, phone chargers and TVs. Phantom electronics continue to use energy and add to your electricity bill even if not in use. If the appliance is connected to the wall, it’s using electricity.
Homeowners can try hunting for phantom electronics and unplug less used appliances (that blender you use every morning) and electrical devices.
All around the world, homeowners are proving that saving energy can be simple while adding comfort and value to your home. Whether installing a green curtain, unplugging phantom electronics or investing in ENERGY STAR-certified windows, these small steps can lead to big energy savings over time.
New Zealand and Australia:
Prioritizing energy-efficient products
New Zealand and Australia have partnered to bring energy-efficient products to their residents with the E3 Programme. Under the program, minimum energy performance standards are set for a number of products such as lightbulbs, home appliances, electronics and more. Only products that meet or exceed the standards set by the countries can be sold.
To help consumers identify how energy-efficient a product is, an Energy Rating Label is attached to each E3 programme product. The label includes a star rating out of six, the more stars a product has the more energy efficient it is. It also includes an estimated annual energy consumption of the product so consumers can easily compare energy use between similar models.
Back in Ontario, look for ENERGY STAR-certified products when you’re purchasing new electronics or appliances for your home. The ENERGY STAR rating and label helps easily identify which products are energy efficient. Similar to the E3 programme, the ENERGY STAR label includes information on how energy-efficient a product is so that you can easily compare it to other available models.
Why is energy saving so important?
Using energy more efficiently is one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways to save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, and meet growing energy demand. The many benefits of energy efficiency include:
- Environmental: Increased efficiency can lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other pollutants, as well as decrease water use.
- Economic: Improving energy efficiency can lower individual utility bills, create jobs, and help stabilize electricity prices and volatility.
- Utility System Benefits: Energy efficiency can provide long-term benefits by lowering overall electricity demand, thus reducing the need to invest in new electricity generation and transmission infrastructure.
- Risk Management: Energy efficiency also helps diversify utility resource portfolios and can be a hedge against uncertainty associated with fluctuating fuel prices.
Here are the top eight reasons why energy efficiency is important for your home and why it is important to optimize energy use:
1. Protect the environment
Energy efficiency is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Homes were responsible for 19 percent of national greenhouse gas emissions in 2016, and implementing energy efficiency measures in your home can significantly reduce your emissions contribution. The typical household can reduce its energy use (and by extension its greenhouse gas emissions) by 25 to 30 percent by investing in more efficient energy consumption.
2. Significantly reduce your utility bills
As a homeowner, energy costs can make up a significant portion of your recurring monthly expenses. With energy efficient appliances and home upgrades, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can save anywhere from five to 30 percent on your utility bills. Energy efficient appliances consume less energy throughout their service lives without sacrificing quality, and are an excellent way to save on your energy expenditures.
3. Earn a great return on your investment
Energy efficient purchases should not be viewed as an expense, but as an investment with utility savings that add up over the service life of the product. Savings can offset the initial price premium on energy efficient options, and offer a significant return in comparison to conventional, non-efficient alternatives. Furthermore, the return you pocket through savings will only increase over time as energy prices continue to rise in the United States.
4. Increase your property value
In the real estate market, energy efficient homes frequently sell for a higher price than standard homes with comparable features. Every project that increases your home’s energy efficiency adds a fraction of its cost to the final selling price. In addition, private residences with green certifications have been proven to sell at a premium compared to similar homes in the area. Coming with expectations of reduced utility bills and fewer repair bills, energy efficiency is an attractive feature in any home.
5. Enhance your quality of life
By optimizing your energy use, you can increase the comfort of living in your home and, in many cases, see notable health benefits. When you conduct energy efficient measures, your home will be warmer, drier, and properly ventilated, which lowers the risk of illnesses and mold growth. Energy efficiency also prevents the buildup of indoor pollutants, a major concern in areas with high radon emissions. In fact, the financial benefits of energy-efficient buildings yield a benefit-cost ratio of over 4 to 1, and 75 percent of those benefits can be attributed to health advantages.
6. Energy savings tips help you easily cut costs
Energy expenses are often thought of as a fixed cost of owning a home or business, with reductions only possible through pricey renovations. However, you can easily reduce your utility bills through simple energy conservation behaviors or small energy efficient purchases. Programmable thermostats, advanced power strips, and energy efficient lighting can decrease your energy expenses with almost no effort on your part.
7. Earn incremental returns on energy efficiency investments
Energy efficiency measures, no matter how small, are capable of generating utility savings over their service lives. However, your savings are usually proportionate to the cost of the energy efficient upgrade – replacing light bulbs will only cost a few dollars, but will deliver marginal savings, while upgrading your attic insulation can save hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling bills. Upgrades can range from simply plugging in a smart power strips to an HVAC system overhaul. How little or how much you choose to invest in energy efficiency is completely up to you.
8. Insulate yourself from rising electricity prices
Utility residential electricity rates fluctuate seasonally and annually, but have risen steadily in the last decade. This trend is likely to continue into the future. In addition to cutting your monthly electricity bills now, conducting energy efficiency improvements on your home helps to insulate you from the financial impact of unpredictable sharp energy price increases that could happen in the years to come.
By following these tips, you can help optimize your energy use at home. If you use the resources available to you effectively, not only will you be saving money and helping your energy system, but you will also be helping the environment.
In conclusion, energy conservation must be among the utmost priorities of humanity. Mahatma Gandhi was absolutely right when he said, “the earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs but not every man’s greed”. This statement pretty much sums up the importance of energy conservation. Immediate implementation of energy conservation measures is certainly of paramount importance.
With the deployment and development of connected devices that allow for greater integration and automation of energy efficiency, new efficiency gains at higher levels of complexity are becoming increasingly possible; perhaps inevitable. But to take advantage of these evolving opportunities and align them to provide the U.S. with maximum benefit, we must consider energy efficiency as the foundation of our path forward and leverage its massive scale and versatility to prepare for tomorrow’s challenges.