Save money, cut carbon, breathe easier
On October 2, citizens in the US and the UK celebrated Energy Efficiency Day under the theme “Save Money. Cut Carbon. Breathe Easier”. While celebrated in these two countries, energy efficiency should be the goal of all nations. It is important to use less energy, especially given its connection to global climate change.
What is energy?
Energy efficiency is using less energy to provide the same service/output.
Why is energy efficiency
Energy efficiency is important because it plays a vital role in the reduction of greenhouse emissions as production of electricity is done by burning fossil fuels. Not forgetting it also helps in saving money used in production of electricity, reduces air pollution and saves water.
Benefits of energy efficiency:
Better thermal comfort — An energy-efficient home often has a lower indoor temperature compared with a conventional one. This is because it is constructed with materials that make it more difficult for heat to get in. Autoclave aerated concrete bricks, roof and wall insulation materials, and reflective paint, among others, can protect your home from the heat and keep the indoor temperature more comfortable.
Protect your vision – Energy-efficient homes equipped with efficient lighting systems not only help reduce your energy bills but are also better for your eyes/vision and health. Efficient lighting systems do not contain mercury, and are hence safer for the household. They also produce less heat than conventional lights.
Save energy cost —According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), by using less energy for cooling and lighting and choosing 5-star energy-efficient appliances, a home can deliver 20% savings on annual utility bills. Over the seven to eight years that a typical family lives in an energy-efficient home, you can save thousands of dollars in maintenance cost.
Good for investment — An energy-efficient home is future proof. Never cringe at the thought of higher electricity tariffs. If you are buying houses for investment, this is the kind of house that you want to look for as it will probably have a higher resale value. Apart from that, you may find it easier to rent or sell your house by focusing on all the energy-efficient selling points above.
Environmentally friendly – The more energy we consume, the more emissions that harm our environment are produced. Obviously, if you live in an energy-efficient home you will consume less energy/electricity. This benefits the environment as your house indirectly releases less carbon emissions that contribute towards pollution and climate change.
Energy efficiency tips (home appliances)
* Turn your refrigerator down. Refrigerators account for about 20% of household electricity use. Use a thermometer to set your refrigerator temperature as close to 37o and your freezer as close to 3o as possible. Make sure that its energy saver switch is turned on. Also, check the gaskets around your refrigerator/freezer doors to make sure they are clean and sealed tightly.
* Set your clothes washer to the warm or cold water setting, not hot. Switching from hot to warm for two loads per week can save nearly 500 pounds of CO2 per year if you have an electric water heater, or 150 pounds for a gas heater.
* Select the most energy-efficient models when you replace your old appliances. Look for the Energy Star Label – your assurance that the product saves energy and prevents pollution. Buy the product that is sized to your typical needs – not the biggest one available. Front loading washing machines will usually cut hot water use by 60 to 70% compared to typical machines. Replacing a typical 1973 refrigerator with a new energy-efficient model, saves 1.4 tons of CO2 per year. Investing in a solar water heater can save 4.9 tons of CO2 annually.
You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O ECEA Programme, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN, or email us at: [email protected] or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.