For most people, many facts related to several things don’t make sense unless the facts have something extremely personal for them. The reason why the thought of associating with a great cause almost never crosses our minds is because the cause doesn’t have a direct personal effect on us. We are humans and we are selfish. However, if every human being thought that way, we wouldn’t have had initiatives like Green Peace or Earth Hour. This time under CSR, lets explore some such impersonal facts that make sense only when we view them closely and more personally
Take for example the facts about what inspired Earth Hour in 2008. When 2.2 million homes and 2100 businesses in Sydney turned off their lights for one hour on March 31, 2008, it reduced the city’s energy consumption by 10.2% for one hour.
Now how does it affect me? You would say. What if someone told you that this 10.2% energy consumption means taking 48,616 cars off the road for a year! Suddenly the thought of your favourite car dawns on you.
You would find it difficult in comprehending the fact that ceiling fans instead of air conditioners whenever possible can cut a lot of electricity cost. Lets look at another perspective of it. The difference in operating cost is approximately 30 paise per hour for fans as opposed to Rs 10 for air conditioning. Replacing the metal blades of a fan with fiber blades can save 20% energy overall. Makes sense?
However, if air conditioning is all that you have, each degree set above 22° Celsius will use 3-5% less energy. The recommended temperature to set the thermostat at is 25° Celsius, which is both comfortable and cost efficient.
Another effective way of using power wisely is going for multi-coated glazing windows that help in restraining cool air escape. It is also advisable to install weather-strips under doors, windows, and ducts to avoid air leakage. Getting multiple coated glazes on glass windows also reduces air conditioning energy usage by about 40 percent.
In a country like India and a city like Indore that gets a real long summer (including September and October), we can install green meshes on west facing windows and doors, so that it blocks direct sunlight heat and reduces the load on the air conditioners. This can be uninstalled in winters to let sunlight come in and reduce the need of heaters. Many businesses also have a large number of plants with drip irrigation, which helps to reduce the heat as it increases moisture in the air.
For more tips and interesting ways to use electricity wisely, watch this space.