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Do more with less energy

The article delineates the significance of doing more with less energy for the benefit of all-You, Your Country and The World. Through this article, the author "Ms Anshula A Kumar" has shared some of the most effective ways to help you conserve energy, trim costs, and gain control over the energy usage in your home.
Right in your own home, you have the power to save money and energy. Saving energy reduces our nation's overall demand for resources needed to make energy, and increasing your energy efficiency is like adding another clean energy source to our electric power grid.

This article shows you how easy it is to cut your energy use at home. The easy, practical solutions for saving energy include tips you can use today-from the roof and landscaping to appliances and lights. They are good for your wallet and for the environment-and actions that you take and at the same time, help reduce our national needs to produce or import more energy, thereby improving our energy security.

Save Money and Energy Today. An energy efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving your money. Whether you take simple steps or make larger investments to make your home more efficient, you'll see lower energy bills. Over the years, those savings will typically pay for the cost of improvements and put money back in your pocket. Your home may also be more attractive to buyers when you sell.

The key to savings is to take a whole-house approach by viewing your home as an energy system with interdependent pasts. For example, your cooling system is a cooling delivery system that delivers cool air throughout your house using a network of ducts. Even a top-of-the-line, energy efficient cooling system will waste a lot of energy if the ducts, walls, windows, and doors are leaky or poorly insulated. Taking a whole- house approach to saving energy ensures that the money you invest to save energy is spent wisely.

In the past couple of years, almost every major state and city in India has witnessed an increase in the price of electricity. The other challenge faced is the reliability of power supply. Frequent power outages in many parts of the country have forced users, particularly home users, to install inverters for individual homes or generators for larger homes and apartment buildings.

Diesel generators have their own set of challenges, such as high cost of purchase, operations, and maintenance. The increase in the price of diesel in recent months has also led to a large increase in the cost of electricity produced by these generators. There are some bright spots, however, when we talk about energy for residential homes.

Piped gas, for example, proves to be a cost effective option over the long run. Many municipalities are making it mandatory for residences and commercial establishments alike to use solar water heating systems.

Here are 10 easy ways to be more energy efficient, right inside your home:

Lighting

• Turn off the lights when not in use

• Take advantage of day light by using light-coloured, loose weave curtains on windows, to allow day light to penetrate into the room. Also, decorate the walls with lighter colours that reflect day light.

• Use task lighting. Instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it.

• Compact florescent bulbs are four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and provide the same lighting.

Solar Hot Water Systems

• Solar hot water systems collect free heat from the sun and transfer it to the water placed in the tank on the roof. This water can be used for various household activities.

• It is a good replacement for the energy hungry electric geyser.

• Maintenance cost for solar water heating systems is generally very low. Most solar water heating systems come with a 5 year or 10 year warranty and require little maintenance.

Refrigerators

• Regularly defrost refrigerators and freezers. Frost build-up increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running.

• Leave enough space between your refrigerator and wall, so that air can easily circulate around the refrigerator.

• Cover liquids and wrap food stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered food release moisture and make the compressor work harder.

• Do not leave the fridge door open for longer than necessary, as cold air will escape.

• Avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the refrigerator.

Air Conditioners

• Prefer air conditioners having automatic temperature cut off.

• Operate the ceiling fans in conjunction with the window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively throughout the room.

• Seal the doors and windows properly.

• Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summers. The less the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower will be the energy consumption. Replacing The Single Pane Window With Double Glazed Units

• Double glazed windows reduce the heat transfer inside the building and thus reduce the energy consumed by the AC.

• There are also triple glazed windows available these days which are even more energy efficient.

Painting The Roof With Reflective Paints

• Painting the roof with reflective paint or putting white tiles can reduce the heat flow into the building from the roof. This would decrease the energy consumed by Acs.

• Cool roof leads to reduced building heat gain, as a white or reflective roof typically increases only 5-14 degree Celsius above ambient temperature during the day.

Computers

• Turn off your computers when not in use, a computer that runs 24 hours a day, for instance, uses more power than the energy efficient refrigerator.

• If you are working on the computer and cannot turn it off, then turn off the monitor when you leave, as this device alone uses more than half the system's energy.

• Setting computer's monitors and printers to sleep mode when not in use helps cut energy costs by approximately 40%.

• Battery chargers, such as those from laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras, draw power whenever they are plugged in and are very inefficient. Pull the plug and save.

• Screen savers save computer screens, not energy. Start-ups and shutdowns do not use any extra energy, nor are they hard on your computer components. In fact, shutting computers down when you are finished using actually reduces system's wear and saves energy.

Gas Stove

• When cooking on a gas burner, use moderate flame

settings to conserve LPG.

• Remember that a blue flame means that your gas stove is operating efficiently.

• Use lids to cover the pans while cooking.

Go On A Power (S)trip

• There is no need for the workplace to be 'on' 24 hours a day. Plug all electronics into a power strip and turn off the power strip at the end of the day.

Minimum 3 Star Rated ACs, Refrigerators, Etc.

• A3 star rated AC can reduce energy consumption by about 20% in a house. Similarly, a 5 star rated AC can reduce energy consumption by about 30%.

• Any star rated gadget or appliance can produce some significant power savings.

The transition to using energy efficiently is difficult because it requires widespread changes in habits, ranging from turning off appliances when not in use to buying more energy efficient appliances. The balance between technical solutions for energy efficiency and human actions for energy efficiency needs to be weighed system by system.

Use Less, Make More, And Share

Three key elements to achieving zero net energy:

• Use less energy

• Make more energy (locally)

• Share surplus energy (through an intelligent grid).

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