What are the best avenues to conserve energy for residences?

As the cost of energy shoots up, so will your energy bills.

It is hence no wonder that hundreds of millions of residences worldwide are keen to know how to conserve energy without compromising on comfort.

The latter part is important – no compromise on comfort. And add another requirement: The methods suggested should be simple to implement.

Once these are factored in the analyses, I see two simple avenues through which homes worldwide can reduce your electricity bills big time:

  1. Be careful with the use of air conditioners. Air conditioners are energy guzzlers (so are dryers and heaters, but they are typically used for much shorter durations). In many cases, especially during early mornings and late evenings/nights, you can actually live or work quite comfortably without air conditioning, especially if you have your windows open. If you MUST use air conditioning, ensure you are not keeping the temperature too low: experts suggest 25 deg C as a cool enough temperature to set during summer (while I have seen folks set it at sub-20 deg C in many places!). Just being selective with air conditioning temperature settings could result in energy cost savings up to 30% for many homes!
  2. You can save significantly on lighting without compromising on comfort. By switching to LED lighting for some rooms at least, you can save almost 40% energy compared to CFLs (and 75% savings on your conventional incandescent lighting). Use of passive sunlight during day time (meaning, just using the sunlight through your windows!) can result in further saving on lighting costs – by up to 15% for many homes.

Add up the numbers for the above two, and what do you see? A reduction  of up to 50% possible in your electricity bills by just these two simple tweaks. Neither of these is going to decrease the comfort you are used to!

In addition to the above two, other smart ways to conserve energy are:

  • Ensure that your home has enough insulation. This will ensure that you need less of heaters during winter and less of air conditioning during summer.
  • Finally, take the help of technology. Today, in addition to the typical electricity meters provided to you by your electricity utility company, several smart meters are available in the market that can show you where you spend the electricity and how you can make meaningful savings. Also available are programmable thermostats that ensure that temperature is regulated at an optimum level (instead of too cold or too hot).

The above two (adding insulation and investing in smart meters/smart thermostats) do cost a bit, but not exactly a fortune. Besides, as both start providing you instant savings, the payback period on the investments is fairly short.

What are the best avenues to conserve energy for residences? - Cleantech Guide

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