Energy conservation

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Energy conservation is the effort made to reduce the consumption of energy by using less of an energy service. This can be achieved either by using energy more efficiently (using less energy for a constant service) or by reducing the amount of service used (for example, by driving less). Energy conservation is a part of the concept of Eco-sufficiency. Energy conservation reduces the need for energy services and can result in increased environmental quality, national security, personal financial security and higher savings. [1] It is at the top of the sustainable energy hierarchy. [2] It also lowers energy costs by preventing future resource depletion. [3]

Contents

Energy can be conserved by reducing wastage and losses, improving efficiency through technological upgrades and improved operation and maintenance. On a global level energy use can also be reduced by the stabilization of population growth.

Energy can only be transformed from one form to other, such as heat energy to motive power in cars, or kinetic energy of water flow to electricity in hydroelectric power plants. However machines are required to transform energy from one form to other. The wear and friction of the components of these machine while running cause losses of very high amounts of energy and very high related costs. It is possible to minimize these losses by adopting green engineering practices to improve life cycle of the components. [4]

Energy conservation day is celebrated on December 14 every year since 1991.

Energy tax

Some countries employ energy or carbon taxes to motivate energy users to reduce their consumption. Carbon taxes can motivate consumption to shift to energy sources with less emissions of carbon dioxide, such as solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity or nuclear power while avoiding cars with combustion engines, jet fuel, oil, fossil gas and coal. On the other hand, taxes on all energy consumption can reduce energy use across the board while reducing a broader array of environmental consequences arising from energy production. The state of California employs a tiered energy tax whereby every consumer receives a baseline energy allowance that carries a low tax. As usage increases above that baseline, the tax increases drastically. Such programs aim to protect poorer households while creating a larger tax burden for high energy consumers. [5]

Building design

Occupancy sensors can conserve energy by turning off appliances in unoccupied rooms. Light switch with passive infrared sensor.jpg
Occupancy sensors can conserve energy by turning off appliances in unoccupied rooms.

One of the primary ways to improve energy conservation in buildings is to perform an energy audit. An energy audit is an inspection and analysis of energy use and flows for energy conservation in a building, process or system with an eye toward reducing energy input without negatively affecting output. This is normally accomplished by trained professionals and can be part of some of the national programs discussed above. Recent development of smartphone apps enables homeowners to complete relatively sophisticated energy audits themselves. [7]

Building technologies and smart meters can allow energy users, both commercial and residential, to visualize the impact their energy use can have in their workplace or homes. Advanced real-time energy metering can help people save energy by their actions. [8]

Elements of passive solar design, shown in a direct gain application Illust passive solar d1.gif
Elements of passive solar design, shown in a direct gain application

In passive solar building design, windows, walls, and floors are made to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. This is called passive solar design or climatic design because, unlike active solar heating systems, it does not involve the use of mechanical and electrical devices.

The key to designing a passive solar building is to best take advantage of the local climate. Elements to be considered include window placement and glazing type, thermal insulation, thermal mass, and shading. Passive solar design techniques can be applied most easily to new buildings, but existing buildings can be retrofitted.

Transportation

In the United States, suburban infrastructure evolved during an age of relatively easy access to fossil fuels, which has led to transportation-dependent systems of living. Zoning reforms that allow greater urban density as well as designs for walking and bicycling can greatly reduce energy consumed for transportation. The use of telecommuting by major corporations is a significant opportunity to conserve energy, as many Americans now work in service jobs that enable them to work from home instead of commuting to work each day.

Consumer products

An assortment of energy-efficient semiconductor (LED) lamps for commercial and residential lighting use. LED lamps use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Assorted LED Lamps.jpg
An assortment of energy-efficient semiconductor (LED) lamps for commercial and residential lighting use. LED lamps use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

Consumers are often poorly informed of the savings of energy efficient products. A prominent example of this is the energy savings that can be made by replacing an incandescent light bulb with a more modern alternative. When purchasing light bulbs, many consumers opt for cheap incandescent bulbs, failing to take into account their higher energy costs and lower lifespans when compared to modern compact fluorescent and LED bulbs. Although these energy-efficient alternatives have a higher upfront cost, their long lifespan and low energy use can save consumers a considerable amount of money. [10] The price of LED bulbs has also been steadily decreasing in the past five years due to improvements in semiconductor technology. Many LED bulbs on the market qualify for utility rebates that further reduce the price of purchase to the consumer. [11] Estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy state that widespread adoption of LED lighting over the next 20 years could result in about $265 billion worth of savings in United States energy costs. [12]

The research one must put into conserving energy is often too time consuming and costly for the average consumer when there are cheaper products and technology available using today's fossil fuels. [13] Some governments and NGOs are attempting to reduce this complexity with Eco-labels that make differences in energy efficiency easy to research while shopping. [14]

To provide the kind of information and support people need to invest money, time and effort in energy conservation, it is important to understand and link to people's topical concerns. [15] For instance, some retailers argue that bright lighting stimulates purchasing. However, health studies have demonstrated that headache, stress, blood pressure, fatigue and worker error all generally increase with the common over-illumination present in many workplace and retail settings. [16] [17] It has been shown that natural daylighting increases productivity levels of workers, while reducing energy consumption. [18]

In warm climates where air conditioning is used, any household device that gives off heat will result in a larger load on the cooling system. Items such as stoves, dish washers, clothes dryers, hot water and incandescent lighting all add heat to the home. Low-power or insulated versions of these devices give off less heat for the air conditioning to remove. The air conditioning system can also improve in efficiency by using a heat sink that is cooler than the standard air heat exchanger, such as geothermal or water.

In cold climates, heating air and water is a major demand on household energy use. Significant energy reductions are possible by using different technologies. Heat pumps are a more efficient alternative to electrical resistance heaters for warming air or water. A variety of efficient clothes dryers are available, and the clothes lines requires no energy- only time. Natural-gas (or bio-gas) condensing boilers and hot-air furnaces increase efficiency over standard hot-flue models. Standard electric boilers can be made to run only at hours of the day when they are needed by means of a time switch. [19] This decreases energy use vastly. In showers, a semi-closed-loop system could be used. New construction implementing heat exchangers can capture heat from waste water or exhaust air in bathrooms, laundry and kitchens.

In both warm and cold climate extremes, airtight thermal insulated construction is the largest factor determining the efficiency of a home. Insulation is added to minimize the flow of heat to or from the home, but can be labor-intensive to retrofit to an existing home.

Energy conservation by countries

Asia

Despite the vital role energy efficiency is expected to play in cost-effectively cutting energy demand, only a small part of its economic potential is exploited in Asia. Governments have implemented a range of subsidies such as cash grants, cheap credit, tax exemptions, and co-financing with public-sector funds to encourage a range of energy-efficiency initiatives across several sectors. Governments in the Asia-Pacific region have implemented a range of information provision and labelling programs for buildings, appliances, and the transportation and industrial sectors. Information programs can simply provide data, such as fuel-economy labels, or actively seek to encourage behavioural changes, such as Japan's Cool Biz campaign that encourages setting air conditioners at 28-degrees Celsius and allowing employees to dress casually in the summer. [20] [21]

European Union

At the end of 2006, the European Union (EU) pledged to cut its annual consumption of primary energy by 20% by 2020. [22] The 'European Union Energy Efficiency Action Plan' is long-awaited. Directive 2012/27/EU is on energy efficiency. [23]

As part of the EU's SAVE programme, [24] aimed at promoting energy efficiency and encouraging energy-saving behavior, the Boiler Efficiency Directive [25] specifies minimum levels of efficiency for boilers utilizing liquid or gaseous fuels.

In 2050, energy savings in Europe can reach 67% of the 2019 baseline scenario, amounting to a demand of 361 MToe in an 'energy efficiency first' societal trend scenario. A condition is that there be no rebound effect, for otherwise the savings are 32% only or energy use may even increase by 42% if techno-economic potentials are not realised. [26]

India

The Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) is an Indian governmental body created in 1978 that engages in promoting energy efficiency and conservation in every walk of life. In the recent past PCRA has done mass-media campaigns in television, radio, and print media. This is an impact-assessment survey by a third party revealed that due to these larger campaigns by PCRA, the public's overall awareness level has gone up leading to saving of fossil fuels worth crores of rupees, besides reducing pollution.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency is an Indian government organisation created in 2001 that is responsible for promoting energy efficiency and conservation.

Protection and Conservation of Natural Resources is done by Community Natural Resources Management (CNRM).

Japan

Advertising with high energy in Shinjuku, Japan. 03-05-JPN153.jpg
Advertising with high energy in Shinjuku, Japan.

Since the 1973 oil crisis, energy Zeesun conservation has been an issue in Japan. All oil-based fuel is imported, so domestic sustainable energy is being developed.

The Energy Conservation Center [27] promotes energy efficiency in every aspect of Japan. Public entities are implementing the efficient use of energy for industries and research. It includes projects such as the Top Runner Program. [28] In this project, new appliances are regularly tested on efficiency, and the most efficient ones are made the standard.

Lebanon

In Lebanon and since 2002 The Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) has been promoting the development of efficient and rational uses of energy and the use of renewable energy at the consumer level. It was created as a project financed by the International Environment Facility (GEF) and the Ministry of Energy Water (MEW) under the management of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and gradually established itself as an independent technical national center although it continues to be supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as indicated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between MEW and UNDP on 18 June 2007.

Nepal

Until recently, Nepal has been focusing on the exploitation of its huge water resources to produce hydro power. Demand side management and energy conservation was not in the focus of government action. In 2009, bilateral Development Cooperation between Nepal and the Federal Republic of Germany, has agreed upon the joint implementation of "Nepal Energy Efficiency Programme". The lead executing agencies for the implementation are the Water and Energy Commission Secretariat (WECS). The aim of the programme is the promotion of energy efficiency in policy making, in rural and urban households as well as in the industry. [29] Due to the lack of a government organization that promotes energy efficiency in the country, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has established the Energy Efficiency Centre under his roof to promote energy conservation in the private sector. The Energy Efficiency Centre is a non-profit initiative that is offering energy auditing services to the industries. The Centre is also supported by Nepal Energy Efficiency Programme of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit. [30] A study conducted in 2012 found out that Nepalese industries could save 160,000 megawatt hours of electricity and 8,000 terajoule of thermal energy (like diesel, furnace oil and coal) every year. These savings are equivalent to annual energy cost cut of up to 6.4 Billion Nepalese Rupees. [31] [32] As a result of Nepal Economic Forum 2014, [33] an economic reform agenda in the priority sectors was declared focusing on energy conservation among others. In the energy reform agenda the government of Nepal gave the commitment to introduce incentive packages in the budget of the fiscal year 2015/16 for industries that practices energy efficiency or use efficient technologies (incl. cogeneration). [34]

New Zealand

In New Zealand the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority is the Government Agency responsible for promoting energy efficiency and conservation. The Energy Management Association of New Zealand is a membership based organization representing the New Zealand energy services sector, providing training and accreditation services with the aim of ensuring energy management services are credible and dependable. [35]

Nigeria

In Nigeria, the Lagos State Government is encouraging Lagosians to imbibe an energy conservation culture. In 2013, the Lagos State Electricity Board (LSEB) [36] ran an initiative tagged "Conserve Energy, Save Money" under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. The initiative is designed to sensitize Lagosians around the theme of energy conservation by influencing their behavior through do-it-yourself tips. [37] In September 2013, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State and the campaign ambassador, rapper Jude 'MI' Abaga [38] participated in the Governor's conference video call [39] on the topic of energy conservation.

In addition to this, during the month of October (the official energy conservation month in the state), LSEB hosted experience centers in malls around Lagos State where members of the public were encouraged to calculate their household energy consumption and discover ways to save money using a consumer-focused energy app. [40] To get Lagosians started on energy conservation, solar lamps and energy-saving bulbs were also handed out.

In Kaduna State, the Kaduna Power Supply Company (KAPSCO) ran a program to replace all light bulbs in Public Offices; fitting energy-saving bulbs in place of incandescent bulbs. KAPSCO is also embarking on an initiative to retrofit all conventional streetlights in the Kaduna Metropolis to LEDs which consume much less energy.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka currently consumes fossil fuels, hydro power, wind power, solar power and dendro power for their day to day power generation. The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority is playing a major role regarding energy management and energy conservation. Today, most of the industries are requested to reduce their energy consumption by using renewable energy sources and optimizing their energy usage.

Turkey

Turkey aims to decrease by at least 20% the amount of energy consumed per GDP of Turkey by the year 2023 (energy intensity). [41]

United States

USEnFlow02-quads.gif The United States is currently the second largest single consumer of energy, following China. The U.S. Department of Energy categorizes national energy use in four broad sectors: transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial. [42]

Energy usage in transportation and residential sectors, about half of U.S. energy consumption, is largely controlled by individual consumers. Commercial and industrial energy expenditures are determined by businesses entities and other facility managers. National energy policy has a significant effect on energy usage across all four sectors.

Another aspect of energy conversation is using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. (LEED) This program is not mandatory, it is voluntary. This program has many categories, Energy and Atmosphere Prerequisite, applies to energy conservation. This section focuses on energy performance, renewable energy, energy performance, and many more. This program is designed to promote energy efficiency and be a green building, which is part of conservation. As mention above “energy conservation are efforts made to reduce the consumption of energy.”
U.S. Green Building Council (2013). LEED Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction (v4 ed.). U.S. Green Building Council. pp. 318–466. ISBN   978-1932444186.

See also

Related Research Articles

Low-energy house House designed for reduced energy use

A low-energy house is characterized by an energy-efficient design and technical features which enable it to provide high living standards and comfort with low energy consumption and carbon emissions. Traditional heating and active cooling systems are absent, or their use is secondary. Low-energy buildings may be viewed as examples of sustainable architecture. Low-energy houses often have active and passive solar building design and components, which reduce the house's energy consumption and minimally impact the resident's lifestyle. Throughout the world, companies and non-profit organizations provide guidelines and issue certifications to guarantee the energy performance of buildings and their processes and materials. Certifications include passive house, BBC - Bâtiment Basse Consommation - Effinergie (France), zero-carbon house (UK), and Minergie (Switzerland).

Material efficiency metric which expresses the degree in which raw materials are consumed, incorporated, or wasted

Material efficiency is a description or metric which expresses the degree in which raw materials are consumed, incorporated, or wasted, as compared to previous measures in construction projects or physical processes. Making a usable item out of thinner stock than a prior version increases the material efficiency of the manufacturing process. Material efficiency goes hand in hand with Green building and Energy conservation, as well as any other ways of incorporating Renewable resource's in the building process from start to finish.

Negawatt market a theoretical unit of power representing the amount of electrical power in watts saved

A negawatt market is a theoretical energy market where the commodity traded is a negawatt-hour, a unit of energy saved as a direct result of energy conservation measures.

Renewable heat is an application of renewable energy and it refers to the renewable generation of heat, rather than electrical power. Renewable heat technologies include renewable biofuels, solar heating, geothermal heating, heat pumps and heat exchangers to recover lost heat. Significant attention is also applied to insulation.

Various energy conservation measures are taken in the United Kingdom.

Energy policy of the European Union Legislation in the area of energetics in the European Union

Although the European Union has legislated in the area of energy policy for many years, the concept of introducing a mandatory and comprehensive European Union energy policy was only approved at the meeting of the informal European Council on 27 October 2005 at Hampton Court. The EU Treaty of Lisbon of 2007 legally includes solidarity in matters of energy supply and changes to the energy policy within the EU. Prior to the Treaty of Lisbon, EU energy legislation has been based on the EU authority in the area of the common market and environment. However, in practice many policy competencies in relation to energy remain at national member state level, and progress in policy at European level requires voluntary cooperation by members states.

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 United States law

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is an Act of Congress concerning the energy policy of the United States. As part of the Democratic Party's 100-Hour Plan during the 110th Congress, it was introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Representative Nick Rahall of West Virginia, along with 198 cosponsors. Despite Rahall becoming 1 of only 4 Democrats to oppose the final bill, it passed in the House without amendment in January 2007. When the Act was introduced in the Senate in June 2007, it was combined with Senate Bill S. 1419: Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007. This amended version passed the Senate on June 21, 2007. After further amendments and negotiation between the House and Senate, a revised bill passed both houses on December 18, 2007 and President Bush, a Republican, signed it into law on December 19, 2007, in response to his "Twenty in Ten" challenge to reduce gasoline consumption by 20% in 10 years.

Efficient energy use Energy efficiency

Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. For example, insulating a home allows a building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature. Installing LED lighting, fluorescent lighting, or natural skylight windows reduces the amount of energy required to attain the same level of illumination compared to using traditional incandescent light bulbs. Improvements in energy efficiency are generally achieved by adopting a more efficient technology or production process or by application of commonly accepted methods to reduce energy losses.

Renewable energy in Spain

Electricity from renewable sources in Spain represented 42.8% of electricity demand coverage during 2014. The country has a very large wind power capability built up over many years and is one of the world leaders in wind power generation.

Phase-out of incandescent light bulbs Phase out of incandescent light bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient alternatives

Governments around the world have passed measures to phase out incandescent light bulbs for general lighting in favor of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives. Phase-out regulations effectively ban the manufacture, importation, or sale of incandescent light bulbs for general lighting. Use of existing bulbs, which have a relatively short lifespan, is usually unregulated. The regulations are based on efficiency, rather than use of incandescent technology.

Energy conservation in the United States

The United States is the second-largest single consumer of energy in the world. The U.S. Department of Energy categorizes national energy use in four broad sectors: transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial.

National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan for Climate Change taken by the Indian government to promote the market for energy efficiency by fostering innovative policies and effective market instruments. Its roots lie in the overall objective of The Energy Conservation Act of 2001. The mission document, which was approved in 2010, established the immense energy efficiency potential of India, which was about Rs. 74,000 crores. The Mission, upon its complete execution, envisages to achieve total avoided capacity addition of 19,598 MW, fuel savings of around 23 million tonnes per year and green house gas emissions reductions of 98.55 million tonnes per year. A recent World Bank study has estimated the country's energy efficiency market to be at 1.6 lakh crores.

Green retrofit, home energy retrofit, home retrofit, Deep energy retrofit and home performance retrofit are terms with overlapping meaning for retrofits that ensure the maintenance and preservation of buildings and the continued operation and maintenance of energy efficiency technologies. The meaning ranges from steps home owners can do themselves to buying up distressed properties and making them certifiably green. In the United States, the DOE issued a solicitation for $390 million for a "Retrofit Ramp-Up" program.

The German National Renewable Energy Action Plan is the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for Germany. The plan was commissioned under EU Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC which required member states of the European Union to notify the European Commission with a road map. The report describes how Germany plans to achieve its legally binding target of an 18% share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy by 2020.

Renewable energy in Italy

Renewable energy has developed rapidly in Italy over the past decade and provided the country a means of diversifying from its historical dependency on imported fuels. Solar energy production alone accounted for around 8% of the total electric production in the country in 2014, making Italy the country with the highest contribution from solar energy in the world. Rapid growth in the deployment of solar, wind and bio energy in recent years lead to Italy producing over 40% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2014.

Energy policy of Finland

Energy policy of Finland describes the politics of Finland related to energy. Energy in Finland describes energy and electricity production, consumption and import in Finland. Electricity sector in Finland is the main article of electricity in Finland.

Energy efficiency gap refers to the improvement potential of energy efficiency or the difference between the cost-minimizing level of energy efficiency and the level of energy efficiency actually realized. It has attracted considerable attention among energy policy analysts, because its existence suggests that society has forgone cost-effective investments in energy efficiency, even though they could significantly reduce energy consumption at low cost. This term was first "coined" by Eric Hirst and Marilyn Brown in a paper entitled "Closing the Efficiency Gap: Barriers to the Efficient Use of Energy" in 1990.

Denmark is a world-leading country in wind energy production and wind turbine production. The Danish wind company Vestas Wind Systems A/S has expanded from its domestic base and by 2015 had a revenue of €8.423 billion, with more than 18,000 employees globally and manufacturing plants in Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Romania, the United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Australia, China, and the United States. Wind power alone produced 42.7% of Denmark's electricity production in 2014 and is expected to increase its production by nearly 80% in the years to 2024.

Energy Efficiency Services Limited

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is an energy service company (ESCO) of the Government of India and is the world's largest public ESCO. It is 100% government owned, a joint venture of state-owned NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and POWERGRID. EESL was formed under India's Ministry of Power to facilitate energy efficiency projects. Innovative business and implementation models can significantly reduce consumption and costs. EESL also acts as the resource centre for capacity building of state electricity distribution companies, electricity regulatory commissions (ERCs), state-designated agencies (SDAs), upcoming ESCOs, financial institutions, etc.

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Further reading