Energy conservation at domestic level
The evolution of technology has not only made our lives easier but has also made us completely dependent on energy sources. In the 1970s, the main issues were the oil crisis and the threat to energy security. Presently, the environment and its conservation is the major issue. The excessive exploitation of natural resources has adversely affected our environment. The efficient use of environmental friendly energy sources has gained importance.
The evolution of technology has not only made our lives easier but has also made us completely dependent on energy sources. In the 1970s, the main issues were the oil crisis and the threat to energy security. Presently, the environment and its conservation is the major issue. The excessive exploitation of natural resources has adversely affected our environment. The efficient use of environmental friendly energy sources has gained importance. This will not only save energy but is also financially viable.
The increased use of energy sources, especially fossil fuels, has also resulted in greater levels of pollution. Fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The impact of global warming has already proven disastrous for all living organisms.
For instance modes of transport like buses, trucks, trains, aeroplanes, ships and automobiles are powered using coal, gasoline, diesel and gas. In the agricultural sector, pumps for irrigation run on diesel (a fossil fuel) or electricity. Tractors, threshers and combined harvesters are all fuel-intensive.
Economically developed countries use more energy per unit of economic output and consume much more per capita compared to developing countries. There is an urgent need to resort to cost effective or cheaper and environment friendly energy sources. Energy intensity is an indicator of efficiency of energy usage in the economy. India’s energy intensity is much higher than the emerging economies of other Asian countries.
Energy sector in India has been receiving high priority in the planning process. The Government of India considers the energy sector to be a major constraint or hurdle in the achievement of a high growth rate or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It has therefore called for an increase in reform process and adoption of an integrated energy policy.
Fossil fuels are the major source of energy and they are limited. It is therefore necessary to prevent wastage of energy and make all efforts for energy conservation. The use of fluorescent light bulbs, energy efficient appliances and low emissive glass could reduce energy consumption significantly.
Conservation of energy at various levels
In every country, residential demands constitute a major part of the total energy used. By using energy efficiently, around forty per cent of energy can be saved.
Domestic level Refrigerator
- Refrigerator should be maintained at 37ºF- 400ºF and the freezer section, which has automatic moisture control, at 50ºF.
- The refrigerator should always be kept full.
- Uncovered liquids should not be placed in the fridge as they put more pressure on the compressor.
- Before food is stored in the refrigerator, it should be cooled to room temperature.
- We should use lids while cooking to prevent overheating
- Begin cooking on the highest flame until the liquid begins to boil. Then lower the settings and allow food to simmer until it is fully cooked
- One should cook as much of the meal in the oven at one time as possible
- Rearrange oven shelves before turning your oven on and do not peep into the oven
- Everytime the oven is opened, the temperature is lowered by 4° - 5°C
- When preheating an oven for baking, time the pre-heat period carefully. The minutes should be sufficient
- Regular ironing of clothes approximately consumes 1000-watts of power
- By ironing bulk a lot of electricity can be saved. But we can save energy by ironing clothing in bulk and not just one or two at
- Ensure that the thermostat on the iron is working and set the right temperature for the clothing
By using a cooking pan slightly bigger than the cooker plate, the coil or burner saves 30 per cent of energy
Washing machines consume 20 per cent of the electricity
- 90 per cent of the machine’s energy is used to heat the water; hence using cold water will save energy
- Detergent usage should be optimal as more usage will need more energy
- The machine should not be overloaded
Increasing energy demand in the world has provided justifiable reason for improving energy efficiency. Some methods of saving energy during lighting are as follows:
- Light should be turned off when not in use.
- Maximum sunlight should be used during the day. Bulbs and tube lights should not be used during day.
- Use task lighting whenever possible instead of lighting an entire area or room
- Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) in place of incandescent bulbs. A 23-wattcompact fluorescent bulb can replace a 90 or 100 watt.
- Use dim light in galleries, lobbies; balconies etc.
- Do not keep computer, TV, tape recorder, music system in standby mode. It consumes 70-kilowatt hour per year.
- Geysers consume the maximum amount of electricity. Thermostat can be set to a lower temperature at 45°C to 50°C.
- Lamps should be put in those corners of the rooms where light can be reflected onto many surfaces instead of one.
- Use dimmable bulbs wherever possible.
With the growing awareness on the depletion of global energy reserves and adverse environmental impacts of energy use, efforts are underway to solve the energy crisis
Some such steps are as follows:
- Use ISI marked appliances and equipment
- Substitute bulbs with tungsten filaments lamps (TLP) and tubes
- CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) should be used as they consume comparatively less electricity and last longer.
- Electric geyser can be replaced by gas geyser or solar heater to save electricity.
Some other methods by which energy can be saved are as follows:
- Adjust the flame of gas cooking appliances, so that the flame remains blue instead of red or yellow.
- Shut down computers when not in use
- Select appliances (i.e. curling irons, coffee pots, irons) with time limited shut off switches
- Replace old appliances, TVs and VCRs when needed, with energy efficient models
A huge amount of energy is wasted in cooling. The following cooling measures can be taken to conserve energy:
- We should open windows at night to allow cool air inside.
- Windows should be closed during daytime
- West facing windows should be shaded. A whole house fan can be used to draw cool night air into the house
- An evaporative cooler should be installed
- Use room air conditioning only where needed and install energy efficient models
- Cooling in air-conditioned houses should be maintained at 25°F.
- Regular cleaning of filter in air conditioning systems and cleaning of condenser conserve energy