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Save Power For More Power: Five Easy Ways To Conserve Energy And Be Energy Efficient

Save Power For More Power: Five Easy Ways To Conserve Energy And Be Energy Efficient
New Delhi: 

In the last nine years, as the requirement for energy increased the generation also kept pace. And the gap between demand supply dipped drastically by 91.5 per cent. In 2009-10, 7,46,644 million units (MU) of energy was available as opposed to the requirement of 8,30,594 MU. A shortfall of 10.1 per cent. By 2018-19, while the requirement increased to 12,74,595 MU, availability also increased to 12,67,526 MU. The gap between demand supply down to just 0.6 per cent.

In India, thermal power plants are both a major source of energy and the largest contributors to air pollution, globally.

This is not widely known, by generating one unit of energy from coal, we emit 525 milligrams of dust, 5,250 milligrams of sulphur dioxide which can potentially trigger more dust generation, 1,400milligrams of oxides of nitrogen, and 0.23 kg ash or waste is generated whose disposal again creates problems of dust and water contamination due to improper disposal in predominant cases. Also, we need 3.5 to 4 litres of water to generate one unit of power, said Soundaram Ramanathan, Researcher, Industrial pollution control unit at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)

The capacity of coal based generation would increase from about 195 GW (GigaWatt) as on June 30, 2019 to 238 GW by March 31, 2027 had said R. K. Singh, Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy.

The energy requirement is bound to increase due to economic and population growth, and with an increase in demand, the requirement of coal and fossil fuels will also increase. But, we can alter the future by reducing our power consumption today and saving the natural resources used in the generation of energy for generations to come.

Here are five easy ways to cut down on your power consumption and be energy efficient:

Turn It Off

As a rule of thumb, turn off appliances when you do not need them or when you are not using them. If you are leaving a room, turn off the light, fan and other energy appliances. If your room is well lit naturally then avoid switching on lights during the daytime. This is simple and completely doable.

Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances

The purpose of energy efficient appliance is to cut down on energy waste by using less energy to perform the same task. While purchasing home appliances like television, refrigerator, air conditioner (AC), among others, check for the number of stars for energy efficiency on it. More stars mean more energy savings. Explaining the reason behind it, Pratha Jhawar, Deputy Programme Manager at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said,

The better star rating equipment has higher energy efficiency which means they consume less energy for the same output. If you will choose a 5 star AC over 3 star, it'll be heavy on your pocket by Rs. 5,000 – 10,000 or may be more depending on the brand and features. But the amount of energy you will consume through the lifecycle of that AC will balance it out.

While purchasing electrical appliances, look out for energy star label, read it and compare it with other competitive models. The label displays the number of stars and the annual energy consumption (kWh/year) – the number of units that will be consumed in a year. Energy efficient appliances have higher purchase prices but lower operating costs.

Further explaining how the number of stars affects the energy consumption, Engineer Alekhya Datta, Fellow and Area Convenor, Electricity and Fuels Division, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), said,

Let's say you have a 3 star AC of 1.5 ton capacity and I have a 5 star AC of the same capacity. While your AC will require 1.5 kW of energy per hour, mine will take less than a Kw/h. In a couple of years, I will recover the extra money I spent and for the remaining life of the AC I'll enjoy less energy bill.

Use LEDs

Using LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs and tubes can help you with 3S – saving environment, saving money, and saving energy. When compared to conventional compact fluorescent light (CFL) or incandescent (ICL) bulbs, LEDs emit more light while using less energy. The cherry on the cake is LEDs are long lasting than CFL or ICL.

The amount of light a 60 Watt (W) ICL used to emit is now provided by a 10 W LED bulb. Infact, a LED bulb or tube is brighter than ICL or regular tube. Moreover, ICL used to last six to seven months whereas, a LED bulb has a longer life span and runs well for atleast three years. This means, if you switch from ICL to LED, you will not only save energy but also money, said Mr Datta.

When LEDs were introduced for the first time, they were priced between Rs. 400 to Rs. 500, as opposed to conventional CFLs which cost Rs. 100 to Rs. 200, but to make LEDs affordable, in 2015, the government of India along with EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited) introduced UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) scheme. Through UJALA, an individual can procure LED bulb at Rs. 70, LED tube light for Rs. 290 and a fan for Rs. 1,110.

According to the information provided on the National UJALA dashboard, as of November 27, 2020, over 36 crores (36,68,09,488) LED bulbs have been sold which means 47,636 mn kWh of energy saved.

Turn The AC Down

By turning the AC down which means using it on a higher temperature, we are not asking you to sweat it out as the mercury rises. Infact, enjoy the comfort and cooling at a higher temperature and at the same time, bring down your energy consumption and bill. Explaining the correlation, J. P. Singh, founder of J. P. Consultants, a solar consultancy firm, said,

In residential and office segment, energy consumed by air conditioners is nearly 70 per cent of overall energy consumption. To cut down on consumption, set the temperature of ACs at 26 degree instead of 18 degrees. It is important to note that each degree rise in the AC temperature can result into saving of about 4-5 per cent of energy.

When the temperature is increased, say from 16 degrees to 24 degrees, the compressor works for lesser time, leading to less power consumption. According to Mr Singh, considering the current energy tariffs prevailing in our country, by increasing AC temperature from 18 to 26 degrees, one can save around Rs. 6000 in a year.

Further talking about how increasing the temperature will not lead to a compromise, Mr Singh said,

Globally, countries are adapting to 24 degrees to 26 degrees to combat against the climate change. Also, studies have proved that for the initial few minutes temperature of 24 to 26 degrees might not be soothing as compared to 18 degrees but after half an hour, body gets comfortable with the indoor temperature.

In an effort to promote energy efficiency in air conditioning, on January 6, 2020, BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency), set up by the government of India under the provision of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, said all room air conditioners covered under the ambit of BEE star-labelling program, should have a default temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.

This means, ACs sold and manufactured in India starting from January 1, 2020, should have the default setting. So When the room AC with a default setting is switched on, it will start at 24 degree Celsius without a provision to turn up the temperature.

Make Way For Green Habitat

Green building or sustainable building is one of the new concepts and a step towards promoting green living. As compared to conventional buildings, green buildings are designed to use less energy and water, conserve natural resources, generate less waste and create spaces for healthy and comfortable living. To ensure green living, these buildings often have solar panels, improved insulation, enhanced ventilation, lighting system that adjusts based on natural light, motion detection sensors control light, etc.

The construction material used is such that it does not let the ambient temperature rise or drop with the change in outside temperature. This will reduce one's dependency on external sources of cooling and heating, said Ms Jhawar.

Despite the government's push for renewable energy to reduce the demand for conventional sources of energy, polluting thermal power plants are here to stay, as per Union Minister R. K. Singh. Under such a situation, it becomes crucial to saving energy, if not for the environment then for ourself - reduce power consumption and increase your saving.

One unit of energy saved is equivalent to two units of energy generated, said Soundaram Ramanathan.

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About The Campaign

About The Campaign

NDTV in partnership with Luminous has launched an awareness campaign ‘Be A Bijli Donor’ to promote the idea of ‘save power for more power’. The idea is to conserve energy today in order to get more power tomorrow.

 

We inherently know that saving energy results in low energy bills, but we also need to understand that a unit of energy saved today makes it available for people still living in the dark or facing regular power cuts.

 

Saving power or conserving energy is about knowing the sources of energy, and areas of wastage and thereby eliminating these through technology and lifestyle changes. For instance, a 100 W (Watt) incandescent (ICL) bulb can be replaced with a 9 W LED bulb offering similar performance in terms of light output, but at far lower consumption of energy.

 

While a 100 W ICL bulb, used for four hours a day, consumes 146 units of energy per year, a 9 W LED bulb requires only 13.5 units per year. Clearly, switching to LED is a smart choice as it provides the same output while consuming 90 per cent less energy.

 

The focus of the campaign is to instill the idea of ‘save power for more power’ and in order to do so, the initiative will create awareness about energy efficient products and services, smart ways to reduce power consumption, alternate sources of energy like solar energy and the need to conserve energy. The idea is to address the rising need for energy conservation in India.

 

As part of the campaign, we will highlight the stories of individuals and organisations who are championing the cause of energy conservation by switching to renewable sources of energy, adopting innovations to reduce energy consumption while enjoying the same output.

 

The initiative will provide a platform for all stakeholders to share their ideas and work towards the common goal of, ‘Save power for more power’.