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Thread: Simple ways to improve your energy efficiency

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Simple ways to improve your energy efficiency

    I just read through this blog post about halving your electrical consumption, which made me think that it would be worthwhile starting a list of simple, cheap, and easy ways of reducing your energy consumption. Here is a list of some of the things he did (in Australia)

    • Conduct an Energy Audit to sniff out the culprits. Many surprises here, both good and bad.
    • Used a Floatron to dramatically lower pool energy requirements.
    • Switching off at the wall standby power loads at night, like TVs and PCs. Grumble. I wish there was a box that could do this for me, or that beeped in my kids ears when they forget.
    • Swapped out nasty incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent (CFLs).
    • Swapped out nasty halogen downlights for LED downlights.
    • Encouraged the use of laptops (20W) rather than desktops (90W).
    • Where possible use my laptop on mains rather than battery power, as I have read the charging/discharge cycle is only about 50% efficient
    • Placed my home office equipment on a separate power board than can be switched off at night, while leaving my server running. Previously I just left everything on.
    • Promised my 9 year old son an extra $1/week if he remembers to switch his PC off at the wall every day. Good training, teaches him “the value of energy”. I figure that energy efficiency is going to be a much bigger issue in his life than mine.
    He also sorted out his insulation, and changed the glass in his windows to a better insulating glass. Also have a look at the results of his energy audit - it may be illuminating.

    In my mind we are in the middle of an energy crisis that the government is powerless to do anything about. Social change is required. Each of us need to change. Think about - make a few small changes, have electricity at all hours of the day. It makes a lot of sense. So start changing now. Do it for yourself.

    Please add your energy saving tips to this list.

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    you need to change the attitude before you can start saving the energy...i always hear people saying but we pay for our electricity...and look at all the lights left on in the show rooms at the car sales houses...and look at the street light left on all day...and look at all the lights in the car parks in the shop centres...etc...etc...etc...

    we need to start with the attitude...then the people who have so many lights... like the new revamped edgars you need sunglasses when you walk into the store some fool must have been getting commission for the brighter the shop the bigger the commission... and all they are doing is burning more energy than needed...if there was a little thought put into the design they could have used more energy efficient light fittings...and put a system in place that at certain times there is no need to have 1500 light fittings burning in a parking lot with 1 car parked in it.

    so it is going to take a totally different mind set to solve these issues...and everyone from the man on the street to the engineer who designs the building and the control system of the buildings to solve these problems.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murdock View Post
    so it is going to take a totally different mind set to solve these issues...and everyone from the man on the street to the engineer who designs the building and the control system of the buildings to solve these problems.
    It is quite interesting to see this whole energy crisis playing out at the moment. Two years ago Cape Town was in darkness for quite a while, and the general attitude was changed significantly by that. Now we just have a national problem. Sometimes pain is the only way to change ingrained attitudes. Things are changing. Now we just need to provide people with ways of helping save energy.
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 28-Jan-08 at 10:04 AM.

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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    I dont believe that the trick is saving electrical consumption in general, because if it is "saved" at the wrong time, there is no benefit.

    The trick is to reduced demand at peak times.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Adjust your air conditioners for more efficient operation. Eskom estimates that HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) makes up 15% (5400MW) of SA's peak consumption.

    The best (short term) solution is to turn off you air conditioners! Check your building insulation and make sure you are not trying to cool (or heat) a sieve for hot air.

    If turning off your aircons is not an option, then at least run them more efficiently. In the mornings use the fan to circulate cool air from outside into the buildings. As the day heats, turn them to cooling, but try to run them as close to the outside temperature as possible, and always within 10º of the outside temperature. Ensure that aircons are turned off (or adjusted) when the building starts to empty. (read the complete details on Eskom's HVAC page)

    I was quite interested to see that China has energy police who enforce that aircons are no lower than 26ºC!

  7. #7
    Interesting replies. To be honest, I haven't thought much about saving electricity, but I am definetly going to start... TODAY! I'm sure that just by saving electricity in your house we can help solve this problem.

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Welcome Seymour7!
    Love your blog, I will definitely frequent it!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Chatmaster View Post
    Welcome Seymour7!
    Love your blog, I will definitely frequent it!
    Cool, the more people the better. I love this forum too. That reminds me. I'm not too sure if I'm allowed to advertise this here, but I'm gonna need some more writers for my blog, you know, to keep it as active as possible. If anyone is interested in being an author/writer for www.eskomplain.co.za PM me. Maybe you, Chatmaster?
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 03-Feb-08 at 05:38 PM. Reason: removed email address

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I've been really happy to see that both Pick n Pay and Checkers have pamphlets and marketing campaigns around saving energy.

    You can check out Pick n Pay's really good energy saving tips on their website, and take the "power pledge".

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