Energy in today's world is more valuable than ever before. We use energy every second. Energy keeps us warm, grows our food, and cook it. With the help of energy, we build our houses and offices, roads and bridges, and light them up at night. It is energy that transports us around the world. Energy literally keeps us alive in what would be a very harsh world with climate extremes. The use of energy is different for different people, those in developed countries use more energy than in a developing country. It is important to know about energy because it is associated with global warming and climate change, primarily due to excessive use of fossil fuels.
Human Energy Consumption
Our human brain consumes about 20 watts of power continuously. Our human body uses on average a total of about 100 watts of power continuously. Which means that in a day, that is 24 hours, we need about 2400 or 2.4 kilowatt-hours (2000 Calories) of energy from food to stay healthy and make it through each day. But the reality is that we use far far more energy that is barely necessary to live. Modern man, with the use of electrical gadgets, transport, climate control (A.C.) etc. use about 2000 watts of power, which is 20 times more than the body needs. People in Developed countries use five to six times the energy than an average person in developing country.
What is Energy Conservation?
Energy conservation simply put, is our efforts to reduce energy consumption. Energy conservation means not using energy when we don’t need it. It can be as easy as turning off a light switch not needed, changing settings of Air Conditioner in summer to a degree or two higher, or unplugging the old refrigerator in the garage in winter. It is the easiest, most effective way to reduce our personal carbon footprint, or impact on the climate, and to save money on our energy bill.
The best example of how we can conserve energy without even realizing it are phantom loads. Phantom loads are electrical loads that run continuously even when we are not using an electrical appliance.
For example, our Dish TV box or DVD Player continues to receive remote-control signals even when it’s turned off. We see a little red light when we turn it off, as it is patiently waiting for a signal from the remote. This electrical load uses just a few watts of power but with time, these watt-hours add up to considerable energy usage.
Let us discuss this topic further. If we actually use the DVD player to watch one movie, it will consume about 40-50 watt-hours of energy during the 120 min to 150 min period. But when we turn it off, it will go in stand-by mode for the remaining part of the day, about 22 hours and will probably use 66 watt-hours of energy. So our DVD player will probably use more energy when it’s turned off than when it’s turned on !!! Surprising, isn't it ??
Combined, all of the phantom loads in a modern house and you will be astonished. According to one survey, the U.S. use about the same amount of energy as the entire continent of Australia uses - with 22 million energy-hungry people.
What is the solution? It is very simple. Unplug those computers, chargers, microwaves, DVD players, Dish TV Boxes and X-boxes from your power strip OR put them on a power strip and When they’re not in use, flip off the power-strip switch ! Simple !
You can also conserve energy by little change in your building design. If you can, design windows, walls, and floors so that they collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. This is called passive solar design or climatic design. Unlike active solar heating systems, you don't use any mechanical or electrical devices and achieve your goal.
Keeping in mind the local climate, you can modify window placement and glazing type, thermal insulation, thermal mass, and shading. It is easy to design new house these way, but existing buildings can be adapted or "retrofitted" to achieve the same goal.
How Commercial Establishments can contribute ?
Companies should encourage the use of telecommuting to conserve energy. Many service jobs employees can work from their home instead of commuting to work each day.
Many shops and retailers use bright lighting to stimulates purchasing. But the health studies have proved that it causes headache, stress, blood pressure, fatigue and worker error. Natural day lighting increases productivity levels of workers, while reducing energy consumption.
How you can cut down your energy use?
• Do not turn up the heater/Air Conditioner unless necessary
• Do not left phantom loads on
• Do not leave all lights on during night
• Do not turn on the TV/Satellite Box/DVD Player/Laptop when not in use
• Do not take long hot water shower
• Use car or other vehicles sparingly