Energy conservation is one of the words you are hearing more and more these days. Unfortunately, a lot of the places you will hear about it will be in ads marketing products or lifestyle habits that may have nothing to do with actual energy conservation. To learn what real energy conservation techniques are, you have to begin to understand the theory of conservation behind them.
Understanding Energy Conservation
Energy conservation is not about making limited resources last as long as they can, that would mean that you are doing nothing more than prolong a crisis until you finally run out of energy resources altogether. Conservation is the process of reducing demand on a limited supply and enabling that supply to begin to rebuild itself. Many times the best way of doing this is to replace the energy used with an alternate source.
In the case of fossil fuels, conservation also can include finding new ways to tap into the Earth’s supply so that the commonly used oil fields are not drained completely. This allows for those fields to replenish themselves more. This is not a process that happens overnight; when you are talking about replenishing natural resources, you are talking about alleviating excess demand on the supply in 100’s of years’ time to allow nature to recover.
Why it is Important?
Without energy conservation, the world will deplete its natural resources. While some people don’t see that as an issue because it will take many decades to happen and they foresee that by the time the natural resource is gone there will be an alternative; the depletion also comes at the cost of creating an enormous destructive waste product that then impacts the rest of life.
The goal with energy conservation techniques is to reduce demand, protect and replenish supplies, develop and use alternative energy sources, and to clean up the damage from the prior energy processes.
Practical Methods of Energy Conservation
Below are 15 energy conservation techniques that can help you to reduce your overall carbon footprint and save money in the long run.
1. Install CFL Lights
Try replacing incandescent bulbs in your home with CFL bulbs. CFL bulbs cost more upfront but last 12 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs. CFL bulbs will not only save energy but over time you end up saving money.
2. Lower the Room Temperature
Even a slight decrease in room temperature, let’s say by only a degree or two, can result in big energy savings. The more the difference between indoor and outdoor temperature, the more energy it consumes to maintain room temperature. A smarter and more comfortable way of doing this is to buy a programmable thermostat.
3. Fix Air Leaks
Proper insulation will fix air leaks that could be costing you more. During winter months, you could be letting out a lot of heat if you do not have proper insulation. You can fix those leaks yourself or call an energy expert to do it for you.
4. Use Maximum Daylight
Turn off lights during the day and use daylight as much as possible. This will reduce the burden on the local power grid and save you a good amount of money in the long run.
5. Get Energy Audit Done
A home energy audit is nothing but a process that helps you to identify areas in your home where it is losing energy and what steps you can take to overcome them. Implement the tips and suggestions given by those energy experts, and you might see some drop in your monthly electricity bill.
6. Use Energy Efficient Appliances
When planning to buy some electrical appliances, prefer to buy one with Energy Star rating. Energy-efficient appliances with Energy Star rating consume less energy and save you money. They might cost you more in the beginning, but it is much more of an investment for you.
7. Drive Less, Walk More and Carpooling
Yet another energy conservation technique is to drive less and walk more. This will not only reduce your carbon footprint but will also keep you healthy as walking is a good exercise. If you go to the office by car and many of your colleagues stay nearby, try doing carpooling with them. This will not only bring down your monthly bill you spend on fuel but will also make you socially more active.
8. Switch Off Appliances When Not in Use
Electrical appliances like coffee machines, idle printers, desktop computers keep on using electricity even when not in use. Just switch them off if you don’t need them immediately.
9. Plant Shady Landscaping
Shady landscaping outside your home will protect it from intense heat during hot and sunny days and chilly winds during the winter season. This will keep your home cool during the summer season and will eventually turn to big savings when you calculate the amount of energy saved at the end of the year.
10. Install Energy Efficient Windows
Some of the older windows installed at our homes aren’t energy efficient. Double panel windows and other vinyl frames are much better than single-pane windows. Choosing correct blinds can save on your power bills.
11. Bicycles are your Best Friend
Yes, bicycles could help us a lot in the process of energy conservation. Since the bicycles are manually driven and use no forms of energy whatsoever, but manpower, the bicycles are literally your best friend. If you are health conscious, then it is simply double the gain.
Just by choosing to go from one place to the other by means of bicycles, you are not only doing your bit towards saving the environment but also you are striving towards a healthier lifestyle.
Altogether, it is good for both you and for the purposes of energy conservation. Keeping all this in view in mind, many countries across the world have designed specialized bicycle lanes to promote the use of the bicycle and also to promote the safety of the ones riding it.
12. Buying a Programmable Thermostat is the Best Decision to Make
Let us face it. In our life, we all have had that moment where we have known that we do not need the air conditioner or the heater, but we have been lazy enough to ignore that inner voice. With a programmable thermostat, life just becomes a tad bit more efficient.
A programmable thermostat can turn itself on and off as and when required without troubling you, even when you are away. It is not just cost-saving, but it is also something that would help you do your bit towards energy conservation.
13. Motion Detectors are a Real Saviour
Installing motion detectors could help you a lot in serving the purpose of energy conservation, besides cutting down your energy bill budgets. Installing motion detectors, especially for external lighting, could be really helpful.
This way, you do not have to worry about turning them off when you are leaving or even worry about turning them on when you get back, which means, you no longer have to turn the key in absolute darkness. Motion detectors would make your life a little bit more convenient.
14. Closing Doors is the Key to Conserving Energy
It cannot get any more literal than this. Shutting the doors immediately behind you is one of the best ways to conserve energy. This includes the refrigerator doors as well as the doors of the rooms where an air conditioner is running. This saves not only the machines but also your electricity bills. Also, above all, it is your little step towards the conservation of energy.
15. Keep Your Dryers as Clean as Possible
Cleaning out the lint filter of your dryer could save a lot of energy as well.
Other Energy Conservation Techniques
The other few energy conservation techniques may surprise you. While there are practical methods such as insulation, changing light sources, using alternate fuels and carpooling rather than walking – understand the 7 core techniques beneath that will show you more about what to do in life.
Education is probably the most powerful of all energy conservation techniques that can be used. Education is not just about teaching people the importance of conservation, but it is also about showing the alternative choices that can be used in construction, manufacturing and other processes.
2. Zero Energy Balance
Zero Energy Balance is more than the techniques of conserving energy in green construction. It is a process of re-evaluating and retrofitting manufacturing and commercial operations so that they can harvest and store energy, as well as take and replace it onto the grid to relieve brown out stresses.
3. Alternative Power
There are more processes that are starting to use alternative power and fuel sources in many different areas of life. The use of alternative power is one of the most key energy conservation techniques because almost all of the transition models require that the existing processes be upgraded or replaced to more energy-efficient models too.
4. Cap and Trade Agreements
Cap and trade agreements are used as part of the process of regulating and conserving consumption and pollution for manufacturing industries. The companies are “allowed” a certain emission rate, which they can bid buy to extend. The extension bid is then used for compensating projects. While this may not seem like it is directly related to energy conservation, it is very much at its core.
5. Reduced Demand
There are numerous initiatives that are working to reduce the overall demand on the energy resources of the world. This can range everywhere from education programs to changing the type of required insulation in new construction.
6. Research & Development
Continued funding of research and development projects in the energy conservation field is how we discover the changes that can be made to reduce consumption and discover renewable methods to provide us with the energy that modern life requires. It should be one of the energy conservation techniques that are most valued as it is what holds the promise for leading to a solution to the world’s energy crisis.
7. Switching to Solar Energy
Solar energy is one of the most effective sources of energy. Available in huge amounts, especially in tropical regions, solar energy is a sustainable source of energy. It is true that there are a few limitations to harvesting solar energy, such as the expense of the solar panels and the cost of installing them. Also, it can be a difficult situation during cloudy or rainy days or even during the nights.
However, switching to solar energy will both- save the environment as well as conserve our limited energy resources to a great extent.