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Sustainable energy use
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Active travel

Personal car use is a major source of emissions both local like NOX and global like CO2. However for short journeys, active travel involving walking or cycling is more energy efficient, environmentally friendly and socially desirable. For longer journeys, modal interchanges will enable journeys to be completed by bus, tram or train.

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.

All energy consuming and energy saving products are now labelled. This has resulted in a very significant increase in efficiency as manufacturers compete with each other to produce the most efficient appliances because the incremental cost is often small and consumers are becoming more aware of the cost of energy and its likely impact on the environment.

Energy labelling allows comparison between various models in terms of energy consumption on a scale of A+++ (lowest) to D (highest) and for performance from A (best) to G (lowest).

For example the washing machine label (illustrated) classifies both the energy consumption and drying performance. The latter will be important if you live in a flat.

EU energy label for washing machines.

The introduction of labelling has had other beneficial effects including –

  • buying an appliance that is closest to your needs
  • comparing initial and running cost
  • establishing a dialogue between buyer and seller as to which appliance is closest the buyer’s needs
  • enabling minimum efficiency standards to be set for energy consuming or energy saving products; this has resulted in the least efficient products being withdrawn from the market

The greatest increase in efficiency has been in lighting where incandescent bulbs have been replaced by compact fluorescent and LED bulbs with a corresponding increase in efficiency increase from 10% to over 90%.



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