Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost – effective ways to combat climate change, reduce energy cost for consumers and improve competitiveness of businesses. . Energy efficiency helps in the reduction of carbon footprints; lowers household energy expenses; and enhances quality of life.
Households and businesses should practice energy-saving practices as measures for avoiding unnecessary expenses on energy. Energy efficiency practically means reducing energy consumption through the use of less energy to attain the same amount of useful output. For instance, an energy-efficient 12-Watt light-emitting diode (LED) bulb uses 75-80% less energy than a 60-Watt traditional bulb but provides the same level of light. As a result, consumers should purchase products and appliances that have green energy marks. Electronic devices with green energy marks indicate that such a device is energy efficient.
Here are some practical suggestions that consumers can do to save energy:
- Keep internal doors closed: Keeping doors closed within the house will trap the heat in each room and this means consumers will use less energy in warming houses. Also, consumers are advised to use thick mats to block the heat from escaping through the gap underneath doors.
- Cook smart: The oven heats every shelf regardless of whether there is food on each shelf, and so, consumers should make the most of the energy that they use by cooking more than one meal at a time. Put differently, consumers should try to cook several meals at once. Such a practice will assist them to have different meals sorted for the rest of the week and to save lots of energy.
- Open the oven after cooking: Once a consumer has finished cooking, he or she should open the oven door and allow the excess heat to warm up their homes instead of wasting the heat by allowing the extractor fan to whip it up to the outside.
- Maintain consistent heating control: Consumers should keep their heating controls constantly low, rather than continuously turning it on and off, and would, as a result, save the energy. This is because the boiler uses a lot of energy trying to warm to high heat after being cold, then energy is wasted when it gets too hot and needs to be cooled again. Programmable geysers are also ideal for this function.
- Fill up the fridge: An empty fridge during winter wastes far more energy than a full one because the fridge has to work harder to keep everything cool. If the food is compacted together it keeps the fridge cooler.
- Be ring efficient: Using a big cooker ring for a tiny pot is a huge waste of energy, as is putting a big pot on a tiny ring. When customers are cooking a small amount of food, they should ensure that only a small pan on a small ring is used.
- Switch off and unplug: Consumers should switch off and unplug electronic appliances, not in daily use such as hairdryers and irons after use. Appliances continue to consume electricity even when they are not turned on and a lot of energy is wasted: Also, consumers should ensure that their TV sets are switched off and not just on standby –that too uses significant amount of energy.
- Invest in solar: The use of solar panels can save up to a third on customers’ energy bills.
- Use fans to heat the house: Install ceiling fans to warm the house in winter. An important point to remember while installing fans is to set them to operate in a clockwise direction. Doing so will push warm air, which collects near the ceiling, back down into the room. If a customer does not have a ceiling fan, then a regular small fan will still work.
Now that winter is approaching, the need for staying warm should be done bearing in mind the cost implications associated with failure to practising energy efficiency measures. The use of less energy means the reduction of pollution from power plants and helps in conserving natural resources. Other effects of over-consumption may lead to increased carbon footprint, climate change, reduction in supply and higher energy costs.