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Energy efficiency
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Using less energy

 Energy use, European style (Jan Smolik)

In order to reduce our own energy consumption, each of us has to consider how and where we use energy. This is illustrated in the adjoining sketch of a living room with its energy consuming appliances such as lighting, TV, radio and heating.
Energy use, European style (Jan Smolik)

Possible actions to reduce such energy use include –

  • switching off lights when leaving a room
  • switching off appliances not being used at the mains rather than the remote
  • reading a book rather than watching the television

If you had a garden, you should also consider growing your own fruit and vegetables thereby decreasing the ‘food miles’ associated with transporting and distributing such items.

? Survey your energy use over one day and identify where you could save energy?

Using energy more efficiently

We use many energy consuming products in our daily work, leisure time and at home. Apart from making less use of these products, we can often use them in a more efficient way. Many of these ways are logical and simple to execute. For example many appliances have an energy saving or sleep mode, which may need activation.

Other ways of efficient energy use include –

  • Washing clothes or dishes for a longer time at lower temperatures.
  • When cooking, a microwave oven can save energy as the heating process is more efficient for certain types of food and recipes
  • Cooking larger portions so that there will be sufficient food for two meals rather than one
  • Taking a shower rather than a bath
  • Placing reflecting panels behind radiators ensures that more heat is reflected into the room
  • Fitting thermostatic valves to radiators so temperatures can be varied in each room depending upon their usage
  • Descaling radiators (refer box)
  • Driving in economy mode as most cars now have computers which calculate fuel consumption
  • Car sharing

? What other ways can you identify of using energy more efficiently ?



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