A conversation about Energy Conservation
Under the LCC 2030 Challenge, Energy Management is one of the five components evaluated. This component is evaluated in terms of Energy Efficiency and adoption of Renewal Energy. First, let’s take a look at Energy Efficiency.
What is Energy Efficiency?
In the simplest of terms, Energy Efficiency is using less energy to produce the same results. Energy efficiency can be achieved by reducing energy waste and removing redundancies which in turn results in cost savings.
Thus, to effectively increase your energy efficiency, it involves not only using less energy but also requires you becoming more aware of how energy is used, where wastage occurs and how it can be used more effectively and efficiently in everyday life.
How can we improve our energy efficiency?
The key premise for improving our energy efficiency is to create a more sustainable energy management system that reduces wastages and improves effectiveness. The following are some of the innovations that have been introduced to aid in increasing energy efficiency
Building designers have begun to embrace the need for more optimized designs that improve building efficiency and then incorporate renewable energy technologies, which leads to the creation of self-sufficient energy buildings.
By retrofitting existing buildings, existing infrastructure can be made more efficient with reduced energy usage and costs. Retrofitting measures could include small steps, such as choosing LED light bulbs and energy efficient appliances, or larger measures such as insulation upgrades, replacement of chillers and adoption of weatherization measures.
2. Energy Generation and Distribution
On a larger scale, Combined heat and power systems capture the “waste” heat from power plants and use it to provide heating, cooling, and/or hot water to nearby buildings and facilities. These systems increase the energy efficiency of power generation from approximately 33 percent to up to 80 percent. More efficient power generation is then paired with grids that have increased distribution capability and reduced leakages.
3. Community Design
City Municipalities have also begun to embrace the need for greener solutions towards energy generation and power supply. Communities that previously relied on power generators powered by fossil fuels have been slowly phased out in favour of alternative energy grids.
By switching to a more efficient power supply, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are reduced and energy is more effectively harnessed. Planning by the city municipality also allows for greater levels of monitoring and planning as they continue to shift towards lowering carbon emissions.
What methods can we adopt immediately into our lives?
Being mindful of our electricity usage represent one of the most important factors in improving our personal carbon footprint. The simple act of turning off the lights and other electrical appliances when not in use can help prevent wastage and reduce our electricity bill.
Setting the air conditioning in the office and in the home to 24°C can provide better cooling comfort and higher energy savings. It is estimated that increasing the temperature setting by just 1°C can save up to 5% of electricity consumption.
An energy-efficient 12-watt LED bulb uses 75-80% less energy than a 60-watt traditional bulb but provides the same level of lighting.
When you purchase your next electrical appliance, make sure it is a 5-Star rated energy efficient appliance. The energy efficiency label shows the estimated energy consumption of the appliance – 5-Stars means it is the most energy efficient.
Making the conscious decision to be energy efficient
Being consistent and establishing habit-forming practices are essential in creating an environment with greater energy efficiency.
So long as we continue to make the conscious decision and improve our awareness on being energy efficient, further strides can be made in ensuring that our path towards a low carbon future can be achieved.
 ACEEE (American Council of Energy Efficiency Economy)