Energy and its effective utilization is an important aspect in current times. However, the concept of Energy Efficiency is only about a decade old, the word “energy efficiency” gained momentum in India with the setting up of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in 2001 in an effort to institutionalize energy efficiency measures and to enable creation of industrial leaders in this regard. Efficient use of energy has been defined as the reduction in amount of energy used to provide certain products and services.
Need for Energy Efficient Homes
It is not only the advantages that we are extracting out of efficient utilization of energy but the need is making more and more consumers to flock to it. This need has been outstretched due to continuous depletion of resources, significant failure of earth’s well-being and increase in energy prices. There is ever increasing global demand and cost of energy which is unsatisfied. As per International Energy Agency, energy prices are likely to rise by another 17% in next two decades. Well! Now with certain tips and tricks, you can save money at home by adopting some energy efficient initiatives.
Heat entering the home comes mainly through the ceiling (25-35%) windows (25-35%) and walls (15-25%), as all are directly exposed to the sun. Hot winds blowing through as draughts can also contribute to heat entering your home (5-15%) making the need more imperative.
The advantages of being energy efficient (particularly savings) can be categorized on different levels, each one being independent and affecting the others at the same time:
- Foremost, it helps to cut down on the exorbitant electricity bill by almost 30 to 50% especially in the summer months when Air conditioned rooms serve as permanent refuge.
- Secondly, it also helps to protect the consumers against the rising Electricity costs by reducing their appetite for energy.
- These in turn translate to a reduction in costs of several infrastructure projects.
- Moreover, in the long run it would help to eliminate the dependence on foreign energy resources and hence cut down on the import bill.
- Ultimately, it would also help to cater to Sustainable development by ensuring a clean environment and address the climate change issues by reducing the levels of local air pollutants, remarked Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development.
Tips to make a normal house Energy Efficient
Beating the mindset that homes could only be constructed to utilize energy efficiently is the report by The Alternative.in, which states that any residential space, no matter how old can employ certain techniques to enable efficient use of energy.
Energy Efficient Kitchen
The most important room of the house presents the opportunities for maximum savings as well.
- The most important change to boost efficiency in Kitchen would be by the usage of Gas Stoves instead of Electric stoves for cooking. These stoves consume unprecedented amount of energy and generate unmanageable quantities of heat at the same time, both of which are absent in Gas Stoves.
- Secondly, different appliances such as Refrigerators and Ovens should be properly spaced away from each other.
- Microwave Ovens have been found to reduce the overall energy quotient by 50%, hence their use should be promoted.
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Energy Efficient Bathroom
The most important tip to save energy whilst in the bathroom is utilization of solar energy to heat water.
- Besides, replacing a shower bath with a bucket bath helps cut down on the water bill by as much as 70%. In this regard water saving showerheads and ultra low flush toilets work wonders.
- It is also imperative to check all faucets and pipes for leakage in a timely manner.
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Energy Efficient Bedrooms
The best way to romanticize the bedrooms and save energy simultaneously comes in the form of dimmer switches for various lights.
- Moreover, the windows should be covered using blinds especially in scorching areas like Southern India which help to cut back on Sun’s glare whilst ensuring optimum supply of light. This also helps to boost the efficiency of one’s Air conditioners hence, providing a major relief during Hot Indian Summer.
- A rather unknown way to boost AC efficiency is employing the use of double or triple glazed windows, which have been found to reduce the heat transfer in the house.
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Energy Efficient- Living Room
This room consumes the most energy in terms of Electronic appliances such as Televisions, Play stations and DVD Players.
- Thus the best way to boost efficiency is ensuring proper switching off of these devices after their use. Any ideal operation of these devices leads to wastage of about 10 watts per device.
[Image Source: photos.hgtv]
- Electric Kettles used herein should be replaced by eco friendly kettles, which boil any quantity of water, hence avoiding wastage of electricity due to heating full load repeatedly.
Maximum heat loss occurs via the roof owing to its faulty construction generally.
- Foremost, the roof should be colored using a reflective paint. White colored roofs have been found to be the most reflective in this regard.
- Secondly, constructing Skylights on the roofs help to cut down on the electricity bill significantly.
- Most importantly, it should be properly insulated to avoid any heat loss during winters and cooling loss during summers.
[Image Source: Weinerberger]
Some General Guidelines
- While constructing it is suggested to use construction materials made out of natural products like Porotherm Thermo Bricks. They not only help your pockets in saving money but also use of water efficiently while construction make them more eco friendlier.
- Clay tiles also pose certain advantage in this regard as they possess immense reflective properties, thus boosting the efficiency of both heating and cooling systems used in houses.
- Use of Clay facades on walls over metal and glass can lead to significant savings of energy and money.
- The doors and windows of the house should be well sealed to avoid any loss of energy.
- Besides, another effective way would be utilize Inverters instead of Generators for providing backup. Inverters are more efficient and only consumer DC power, which is in direct proportion to the power supplied by them.
- Interestingly, the use of three or five star rated appliances like AC’s, refrigerators and geysers help to reduce the energy consumption by about 20 to 30%. In tandem to this, timely servicing of all these should also be ensured to ensure maximum efficiency, says Mercindia.
- Moreover, all sources of light should be replaced with CFL and LED lights, which provide a longer life and also boost on the energy efficiency.
- Last but not the least, employing the use of programmed home thermostats, which automatically switch off all lights and related heating and cooling systems at the press of one button.
It is surprising how such small measures could help reduce the monthly budget by almost 50% and at the same time provide satisfaction about one’s contribution towards the environment as well. Moreover, the number of users of such practices has been increasing at a slow yet steady pace and it is only a matter of time before all houses in every city in the country become energy efficient.