Currently, in a country with 25 cr. households, 31% urbanisation (Census, 2011) and a per capita income of Rs. 39,143 (CSO, 2013) approximately 1274 TWh 1 of energy is used by the residential segment which is mostly for electricity based end use and cooking. Electric appliance ownership is significantly increasing both in rural and urban households due to rise in income levels and gradual increase in reliable access. The product life of these appliances is about 10 - 15 years. Therefore, the efficiency (or inefficiency) of these products gets locked - in once they are bought. Hence, it is extremely important to ensure that the new stocks of appliances are efficient.
The energy saving potential via the use of energy efficient appliances is significant across all the categories of appliances. Substantial and urgent efforts are required to completely realize the saving potential from improved appliance efficiency. The Integrated Energy Policy report (IEP, 2006) and the interim report of the Low Carbon Committee (LCC, 2011) of the Planning Commission have estimated a potential for electricity - use reduction of about 15 - 20% of total generation through energy efficiency.
Ceilings fans can use light - weight brushless DC (BLDC) motors that minimize rotor losses significantly reducing the electricity consumption as compared to fans using induct ion motors. Television sets with Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology combined with features like back - lighting with light - emitting diodes (LED) and auto brightness control offer both high energy efficiency and better picture quality over the TVs using Cathode Ray Tube. The efficiency of refrigerators can be increased by a number of measures including reducing leakage of heat through the gasket, using high - efficiency compressors, and increasing the efficiency of the evaporator and condenser. Technologies like electronically controlled variable speed compressors that match the compressor speed to the cooling needs can significantly reduce the consumption in room air - conditioners.
Barriers in transition to energy efficient appliances
- Energy Efficient appliances are more expensive than less efficient appliances even though they may be cost - effective if life - cycle costs are considered. They value cash today over future savings and hence they are reluctant to buy the expensive appliances even if they have a potential of saving money in future.
- Limited availability of accessible, easy to comprehend information on availability and benefits of energy efficient products.
- Consumer uncertainty about performance is also a common cause of reluctance to purchase an energy efficient product.
- Like most new products in the market, efficient appliances suffer from lack of trust, limited product warrant y or lack of credibility about warranty.
- There are also split incentives which come into play especially with new buildings. A builder may be inclined to adopt cheaper designs and less efficient appliances in the buildings to reduce the upfront costs as the benefits of purchasing more efficient appliances does not accrue to the builder.
Energy conservation while using kitchen appliances
- Dry grinding of food in mixers and grinders takes longer time than liquid grinding.
- Microwaves ovens consume 50 % less energy than conventional electric / gas stoves.
- Electric stoves can be turned off several minutes before the specified cooking time.
- Flat-bottomed pans that make full contact with the cooking coil reduce loss of heat.
- Pressure cookers should be used as much as possible
- Refrigerated items like vegetables, milk, meat etc. should be brought to room temperature before heating / cooking.
- Solar Water Heaters can be used to replace electric water heaters / fuel based heating systems.
Tips to conserve energy during use of household electronic devices
- When devices like TV, Computers and Audio Systems are not in use, the power should be switched off.
- If computers have to be left on, the monitor should be turned off.
- Screen savers on computer screens are not energy efficient. Shutting computers down when not using them reduces system wear and saves energy.
- Regularly defrosting manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers makes them more energy efficient.
- There should be enough space left between a refrigerator and the walls so that air can easily circulate between them.
- Refrigerator door seals should be airtight.
- A strange but true fact is that a full freezer uses less energy than an empty one. It is because, in an empty freezer, the cold air escapes and the warm air takes its place every time we open the door. The fridge has to work almost double the time to cool it again. Hence, its suggested that zip lock bags filled with water can be placed in the freezer. The stocked up ice will not allow the cool air to escape – so the fridge doesn’t have to work extra time and energy is saved. Moreover, the ice filled bags will keep the fridge cool during power cuts
- Avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the refrigerator.
- Washing machines should be used only with full loads.
- Air conditioners having automatic temperature cut off should be preferred.
- The ceiling fan should be operated in conjunction with the air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively throughout the room. The air conditioner can then be operated at a higher temperature.
- Doors and windows should be sealed properly.
- Planting trees or shrubs to shade air-conditioning units makes them use less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
Source: Portal content team
- Guide on Energy-Efficient Room Air Conditioner
- Energy efficient appliances: Look for energy label
- India Energy Security Scenarios 2047