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13 Things You Should Know About Energy Conservation

13 Things You Should Know About Energy Conservation

Ayushi Thapliyal and Andrea Bennett  

1 Use alternative sources of energy, like solar photovoltaics that harness the energy of the sun to generate electricity, says Aruna Kumarankandath, a Delhi-based expert on renewable energy at the Centre for Science and Environment.

2 The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy offers a 30 per cent subsidy for installing solar panels in residential units. These lower electricity bills and generate power in real time while feeding the excess back into the grid. One unit of solar power saves 820 grams  of carbon dioxide emissions.

3 Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to minimize energy use. They use 70 per cent less energy than incandescent ones. In a CFL, an electric current runs through a tube containing argon and mercury vapour. The ultraviolet light produced excites a fluorescent coating on the inside of the tube which emits light. This takes between 30 seconds to three minutes, ensuring lower power consumption.

4 Search for the stars: Before purchasing an electronic device, check the appliance for its star-rating. The higher the number of stars, the better the efficiency.

5 Remember to put your appliances on energy-saver mode. Kumarankandath offers the example of ACs. "In a normal cooling mode, the con-denser shuts down once it reaches the set temperature, but the fan keeps running, thereby consuming more power. In the energy-saver mode the fan shuts down, saving electricity," she points out.


6 According to Kumarankandath, the average ceiling fan consumes 60 to 90 watts (depending on its size), but energy-efficient varieties can be only 28 watts. She recommends using them even though they are expensive to buy, as they save on electricity bills in the long run.

7 Most households have a number of electronic devices that are idle, but plugged in and drawing phantom power (also known as vampire energy), says Nancy Clark of Hydro One in Ontario, Canada. To save time and energy, plug multiple gadgets into one power bar that you can turn off and unplug easily. Make a checklist of unused appliances (especially the ones in the kitchen and bathroom) and switch them off before leaving the house. This can ensure savings and safety.

8  "If you use gas cylinders while cooking, then do so at a low flame which will save a lot of fuel," advises Kumarankandath.


9  Still using an old fridge that you are overly attached too? Old refrigerators can use three times as much energy as newer ones. Kumarankandath recommends using a five-star rated fridge to reduce electricity consumption.  

10  Let hot foods cool to room temperature before putting them in the fridge. Hot food will raise the temperature inside the fridge and cause it to increase its efforts to cool things down again.  

11  For safety purposes, ensure that you have earth wires fitted in your home. Use an earth-leakage circuit breaker (ELCB) to avoid electricity leakages, as it will regulate voltages and prevent electric shock.

12  Do you take a cab or drive to the office? Try working from home once a week, or opt for public transport or carpool. Even better, hire shared cabs or shuttle buses with the help of apps like Uber, Ola, ZipGo and Shuttl.

13  Utilize natural light as much as possible. BSES, Delhi's power suppliers, recommends drawing the curtains, opening doors and windows to let sunlight in and avoiding switching on lights during the daytime.

 

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