Energy conservation refers to efforts made to reduce energy consumption. Energy conservation can be achieved through increased efficient energy use, in conjunction with decreased energy consumption and/or reduced consumption from conventional energy sources.
Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) is an Indian government body created in 1976 and engaged in promoting energy efficiency and conservation in every walk of life. In the recent past PCRA has done mass media campaigns in television, radio & print media. An impact assessment survey by a third party revealed that due to these mega campaigns by PCRA, overall awareness level have gone up leading to saving of fossil fuels worth crores of rupees besides reducing pollution.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency is an Indian governmental organization created in 2002 responsible for promoting energy efficiency and conservation.
WHAT ARE THE USES OF ENERGY?
Energy is defined as "the ability to do work." In this sense, examples of work include moving something, lifting something, warming something, or lighting something. The following is an example of the transformation of different types of energy into heat and power.
Oil burns to make heat --> Heat boils water --> Water turns to steam --> Steam pressure turns a turbine -->
Turbine turns an electric generator --> Generator produces electricity --> Electricity powers light bulbs -->
Light bulbs give off light and heat
It is difficult to imagine spending an entire day without using energy. We use energy to light our cities and homes, to power machinery in factories, cook our food, play music, and operate televisions. In a home where electricity supplies all of the energy requirements, the average energy consumption is shown below:
Air conditioner and heater = 50%
Water heater = 20%
Lighting and small appliances = 10%
Refrigerator = 8%
Other = 5%
Ovens and stoves = 4%
Clothes dryer = 3%
Electricity is generated from both renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.
These sources are defined below.
Renewable energy sources:
These sources are constantly renewed or restored and include wind (wind power), water (hydropower), sun (solar), vegetation (biomass), and internal heat of the earth (geothermal).
Nonrenewable energy sources:
These are natural resources that cannot be replenished (fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal).
WHY IS ENERGY CONSERVATION IMPORTANT?
Because of the limited amount of nonrenewable energy sources on Earth, it is important to conserve our current supply or to use renewable sources so that our natural resources will be available for future generations.
Energy conservation is also important because consumption of nonrenewable sources impacts the environment. Specifically, our use of fossil fuels contributes to air and water pollution. For example, carbon dioxide is produced when oil, coal, and gas combust in power stations, heating systems, and car engines.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere acts as a transparent blanket, that contributes to the global warming of the earth, or "greenhouse effect." It is possible that this warming trend could significantly alter our weather. Possible impacts include a threat to human health, environmental impacts such as rising sea levels that can damage coastal areas, and major changes in vegetation growth patterns that could cause some plant and animal species to become extinct.
Sulfur dioxide is also emitted into the air when coal is burned. The sulfur dioxide reacts with water and oxygen in the clouds to form precipitation known as "acid rain." Acid rain can kill fish and trees and damage limestone buildings and statues.
You can help solve these global problems. Therefore, every unit (or kilowatt) of electricity conserved reduces the environmental impact of energy use.
HOW CAN POLLUTION PREVENTION HELP YOU?
The following four P2 concepts can help you evaluate your household energy use and identify ways to conserve energy. These concepts will significantly reduce a family utility bill and other energy costs over 1 year.
Changing What You Use
► Walk, ride a bicycle, or use mass transit instead of driving; automobile emissions account for about60 percent of air pollution in our cities.
► Install compact fluorescent light bulbs that use less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
► Air-dry your clothes on a laundry line instead of using a clothes dryer.
► Install a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature when you are in bed or away.
► Buy energy-efficient appliances. There are standard energy use tags attached to most new appliances that can help you determine which appliance will be the most efficient. These appliances may be more costly, but your utility bill savings will quickly make up for the extra cost
Changing What You Do
► Set the thermostat to 68 °F in winter when you're home and down to 55° F when you go to bed or are away (programmable thermostats can do this automatically).3
►Insulate the ceiling, walls, and floor of your home.
► Plant a tree next to a window for shade to reduce the need for air conditioning.
► Recycle items such as newspaper, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles; recycling these items requires less energy than producing them from brand new, raw materials.
► Wash clothes in cold water and only in full loads.
► Use energy-saving settings on washing machines, dishwashers, and clothes dryers.
Improving Your Housekeeping
► Turn down the water heater thermostat to 120° F.
►Turn off lights when leaving a room.
►Close heating vents and close doors to unused rooms.
►Close drapes and windows during sunny summer days and after sunset in cooler weather.
►Stop air leaks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping. Air leaks can rob your house of heat in the winter or make it too humid in the summer. As much as 40 percent of your heating and cooling costs can be due to air leaks.
►Clean or change air filters on your air heating system in the winter and on air conditioning units in the summer so that they work more efficiently
Educating Yourself and Others
► Commonwealth Edison, Chicago’s electric utility company, sends free information on how to evaluate energy efficiency in your house.
► Share knowledge and ideas with family, friends, and neighbors.