Each time someone uses an air-conditioner, switches on lights, watches TV, leaves the fridge door open or charges their mobile phone, greenhouse gases (GHG) are released into the atmosphere.
These modern day appliances, which are indispensable in our daily lives, are run by electricity, but generating electricity has its downside since it contributes to GHG, which is blamed for the global warming phenomenon.
For any country there are almost four main sources of energy as natural gas, crude oil, coal and coke, and hydropower. Electric consumption has increased tremendously in almost every developing and underdeveloped country from 1990 to 2009, as the countries witnessed heavy industrial growth.
ENERGY GUZZLING APPLIANCES
Cooling devices such as air conditioners, refrigerators and chillers consume more energy compared to all other electrical appliances. Nearly 67 percent of average household electricity consumption is for these cooling appliances.
This is then followed by appliances used for heating (11 per cent), lighting (seven per cent), cooking (five per cent), entertainment (four per cent), washing machines (two per cent) and others (four per cent).
When measuring buildings, an audit found that air conditioners consume 62 per cent of total energy, followed by power point-based appliances (20 per cent), and finally by lighting (18 per cent).
USERS BY SECTOR
It is important for users from commercial and residential group to understand their own electricity consumption trends and learn effective measures to reduce consumption.
It will be good for them and the environment. By doing their part to reduce energy usage, it reduces CHG emissions and helps to save our depleting natural resources.
KNOW HOW MUCH YOU EMIT
Energy saving awareness is still low in most of the countries. Many are unaware that their indifference to prudent energy consumption is detrimental to the environment.
Every, one kilowatt hour (kWh) used releases 0.684 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission, the gas that contributes to the green house effect.
One can measure his or her own CO2 pollution by multiplying monthly (electric) usage stated on the bill with 0.684. The result of this represents the amount of CO2 released in the air.
On average, if per household electricity consumption is 251 kWh per month. This means one household releases 171.68 kg of CO2 per month.
If everyone plays their role by taking steps to ensure that they are using the least amount of energy possible, it will make a big difference.
MANAGING AIR CONDITIONERS
Many approaches can be taken to reduce electric consumption. Using cooling appliances such as air conditioners requires proper discipline, continuous maintenance and only a small adjustment to daily routines.
Switch it off when you leave the room, keeps the thermostat at a comfortable setting, rather than an extreme cold setting, and clean the air filters regularly.
All windows and doors should be closed to allow efficient air-conditioning, as leaks can add an extra load to the system.
Wearing appropriate clothing, too, can also help to expand one’s comfort zone while reducing energy used for air-conditioning. For instance, a person wearing thick clothes will need cooler temperatures to feel comfortable, compared to wearing thinner clothes.
Believe it or not, just by raising the temperature setting by one degree, you can save up to 6 percent on energy.
Besides the above, using low 'emissivity' windows or by tinting windows and installing roof insulation, solar heat intake can be reduced, thus allowing the cooling process to take place more efficiently.
As for refrigerators, this appliance needs good ventilation. Leaving a decent space between the refrigerator and the surrounding wall or cabinets helps provide good airflow. Today, many place their refrigerator in a tight slot between their kitchen cabinets. This might look nice, but it is bad for the environment as it promotes energy waste.
Poor ventilation means a refrigerator has to work extra hard to keep cool. Do not keep the door open for long periods and make sure the door seals are always in an airtight condition.
Now you can calculate how much is your own contribution in devastating the nature and environment and can take some proactive steps to ameliorate the same. Next time think at least once while you leave your fan, TV, PC, Laptops, AC or any appliances or gadgets running, for hours. This could be a gentle and intuitive care for nature and planet’s environment.
Make us aware of what is your view over usage and after effect of these modern days’ accessories and gadgets. How precisely you use these appliances to minimize your GHG emission.