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Thread: Why would you save energy?

  1. #1
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Why would you save energy?

    I'm very interested to know how you would motivate saving electricity. I think that the carbon saving story which is being told at the moment is a relatively weak one in terms of actually calling people to real action (that is just my opinion).

    So, what would motivate you to actually change to energy saving technologies? What story captures your attention and resonates within you?
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    Full Member AndreMorgenrood's Avatar
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    The oldest one in the book, money. The less fuel I use the more money I save, the less electricity I draw from the grid the more money I save.

    Sure there are all those GOOD reasons, but for most people it will be pocket related if you ask me. But nothing wrong with saving a few rand AND making the planet a better place is there?

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreMorgenrood View Post
    Sure there are all those GOOD reasons, but for most people it will be pocket related if you ask me. But nothing wrong with saving a few rand AND making the planet a better place is there?
    That's pretty much the approach I've been taking so far. Tell it from the direct benefits angle - cost being a big one.

    Nice to see you around again André
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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Maybe I should frame this question differently: does anyone actively seek out energy efficient technologies for either your home or your business?

    If you had all the information available, would you choose energy efficient technologies? What would be your key criteria for evaluating the choices?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    At the moment, doing my little bit to keep the lights on countrywide is a pretty healthy motivation.

    This morning our Minister of Minerals and Energy, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, was on SABC2 appealing for energy efficient electricity usage. Energy efficient lighting was one of her major points as a way to help BTW.

    Now we can be critical of the fact that we are even in this situation, but she acknowledged that we (gov/Eskom) had not done well in maintenance of our power system. And you know, when people admit that they haven't done a good job, I'm way more inclined to help them get out of the hole than when they trot out a line of excuses.

    Of course, she's only been in charge since May 2006 so the problems were inherited. But the first step in fixing the problem is admitting to the cause.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  6. #6
    Silver Member Graeme's Avatar
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    Saving Electricity

    I switched to energy-saving light bulbs about 5 months ago. 12 of them. I am seeing a monthly reduction in my electricity bill of about R90. Of course this could be obscured by other factors, but I don't think so.

    I see that the EU intends banning incandescent light globes for home use in the near future so there must be something in it?

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    Platinum Member SilverNodashi's Avatar
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    Taking it to a different level.

    How many people can REALLY afford to save energy?

    For example: to replace say 20 globes ( I can count 23 in & around our home ATM) is an expensive exercise for most people, since normal globes are about 5 times cheaper. Yes, I now, it's not a lot of money.

    But, what about replacing the outdated (and heavy on power) geyser, stove, fridge(s), heaters, kettle(s), toaster, microwave, washing machine, tumble dryer, etc? All the appliances we use daily, and don't think that it's using electricity, since we turn it off after use? Yet, our kettle use 2200W !!!! We have a small inline (instant on, no reservour) geyser in the kitchen, but it still uses 8000W electricity while we use it for dishes.

    Then, our security systems (alarms, electric fence, security lights, cameras, etc) stay on all the time.

    At work / business, it's a total different story.

    There's a switchboard, some servers, routers, firewalls, security systems, cameras, fridge, aircons (in server room, on 24/7), etc, which we need just to operate the business. And we're a small company, when you take a look at something like Pick `n Pay / Checkers / Woolworths / other super markets, which have say 20 + tills, a few hundred flood lights, security systems, many many servers, plenty industry size fridges. If these were all powered off, to save electricity, then how would a few thousands of people be able to buy food and clothing?

    I'm not being negative, just realistic

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I'm rather concerned about where we are headed as a mobile society. Consider this report for a moment.
    IEA sounds alarm on oil supply crunch in five years
    London - World oil demand would rise faster than expected to 2012 while production lagged, leading to a supply crunch, the International Energy Agency (IAE) has said.

    In its medium-term oil market report, published yesterday, the adviser to 26 industrialised countries said demand would rise by about 2.2 percent a year up to 2012 - a 0.2 percentage point increase from the previous forecast.

    The outlook, which updates an IEA forecast issued in February, coincided yesterday with London Brent crude prices jumping by 65c to $76.17 a barrel (R3.33 a litre), within sight of the record high of $78.65 hit last August, on concerns of a tightening market.

    "Despite four years of high oil prices, this report sees increasing market tightness beyond 2010," said the IEA. "It is possible that the supply crunch could be deferred - but not by much."
    full story from Business Report here
    The laws around supply and demand mean that cost of energy is likely to skyrocket. And if you want to get an idea of "skyrocket," take a look at a few other resources where demand has outstripped supply recently. Prices doubling over very short periods of time is not uncommon.

    But take careful note of this little bit - the prediction of the shortage becoming critical is based on a 0.2% difference between original estimates and the new ones.

    0.2% makes a substantial difference. Now if we can all do our bit just to reduce energy consumption by 1%..... Perhaps the nightmare scenario can be avoided.

    Just imagine the price of petrol doubling over 3 months. Or the price of electricity doubling over 3 months. And then doing it again over the next 3.

    Feeling motivated to save some energy yet?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Eugene's Avatar
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    Duncan, I can see that you are a avid energy saving type of guy. While I'm sure that we are trying our utmost best to save on domestic (and business) electricity usage, I believe that the alternative energy sources available is not utilized or it might be too costly to install. My brother in law is an engineer and we explored the possibility to make use of heat pumps for my house, but it seems too expensive to maintain and install.

    I have also read up on wind generators, but geez, they are also out of the normal person's price range. I even considered solar panels and there are so many fly-by nights on the market trying to get their sub-standard products sold that I scrapped the idea. I was quite interested in professor Vivian Alberts' photovoltaic cells that he developed at Wits I think. Unfortunately they are only manufactured in Germany I believe. At the end of the day, I replaced my stove with a gas hob and installed a gas geyser, but feel that more could be done, but what?

    Does anyone have any suggestions on utilizing other alternative energy source that would be more cost effective?

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