Last week, I did an online training on my company's training portal and learned quite a lot on energy saving.
I thought I should share these simple tips and information in English. :)
For those who were afraid of science and math classes in school, let's do a quick review.
There are a few different units for energy, but the one that you see on your electricity bill is kWh, or kilo-Watt hour.
1 kWh on the bill means that you have used as much energy as boiling 36 liter (L) of water from 0°C to 100°C.
The same energy also allows you to do 1 of the following things:
- Iron your shirts for 1 hour, or
- PC and monitor on for 5 hours, or
- TV on for 7 hours, or
- Use an European A+++ refrigerator for approx. 3 days, OR an A refrigerator for 2 days only, or
- Charge your mobile phone for approx. 300 hours
How to Save Energy on Air Conditioning (A/C) and Heating?
If you turn your A/C up by 1 degree Celcius, let's say from 25°C to 26°C, you will save approx. 6% electricity.
Same for heaters but in the opposite direction, let's say from 25°C to 24°C.
If you live in Central Europe, you will most likely have this type of thermostat at home:
It senses your room temperature and sends control signals to your heater.
On the thermostat:
* means maintaining at approx. 6°C (for basement)
1 means maintaining at approx. 12°C (for stairs)
2 means maintaining at approx. 16°C (for bedrooms)
3 means maintaining at approx. 20-22°C (for office & living room)
4 means maintaining at approx. 24°C (for bath room)
5 means maintaining at approx. 28°C (for swimming pool)
There is another way to save energy:
In summer, open windows/door FULLY in the morning & evening only for approx. 30 min. Then, close them during the day.
Use blinds and awnings to keep the sunlight from heating up your rooms.
In winter, open windows/door FULLY in the morning & evening only for approx. 5 min. Then, close them during the day.
In spring and fall/autumn, open windows/door FULLY in the morning & evening only for approx. 10-20 min.
You get the point!
How to Save Energy on Lighting?
Lighting is responsible for 30% of the electricity in office buildings.
So turning off the lights whenever you can DOES make a difference.
The best is to use natural daylight. Move your desk near windows but treat your windows with anti-glare film.
When there is not enough sunlight, consider using fluorcent lamps (aka energy-saving lamps).
Their energy consumption is only 20% of conventional lamps/bulbs.
Their lifetime lasts approx. 15000 hours.
So you will save 735 kWh by using a fluorcent lamp until it is broken.
A conventional lamp's energy consumption rate (power) is around 60W.
A halogen lamp's is around 42W, whereas a fluorcent lamp is only around 11W.
How to Save Energy on Computers/Minotors/Laptops?
Computing is responsible for 25% of the electricity in office.
- Set power management to ECO-saving mode in your PC/laptop's settings
- Turn off the monitor when not used (reducing 40W to 0W)
- Set PC/laptop to hybernation when you know you are leaving for awhile (reducing 40-70W to 3W)
- Choose "blank" as screen saver for your LCD monitor
Myth clarified: A computer protects data better when it is OFF. Do not worry about how often it is turned on/off.
How to Save Energy on Printing & Copying?
Each year, my company uses approx. 39 million sheets of A4 paper.
That is 4600 trees in a forest sized around 62 football fields.
- Turn off the printers/ copy machines after work
- Print in black & white instead of in color
- Print double-sided or more pages on each side of the paper
- Use lower contrast
How to Save Energy on Water and in the Kitchen?
Each day, an average Central European person uses 130 liters of water at home (not counting in the office).
- Turn off the refrigerator when it's empty
- Use ECO-saving mode for refrigerator/ dish-washer/ washing machine, etc.
- Turn off the coffee machine when not used
- Boil only enough water to be used each time
There are toilets with water-savig button that saves 3 liters of water per flush (saves 50% water)
A dripping tap (10 drops/min) can lose 3 liter of water per day. Be careful!
For other tips on refrigerator, please read another of my article 冰箱正確省電 by 研發人員.
How to Save Energy on Fuel?
20% of CO2 emission in Europe is caused by traffic.
Only approx. 1.2 people carpool to work. So on average, you can only find a car with > 1 person in every 5 cars during rush hours.
To save petro/fuel. you can:
- Save upto 25% if you shift gears quickly, avoid high speed (> 60 mph or > 95 km/h), and avoid fast acceleration/decelleration
(in other words, if you take your foot completely off the pedal often, you will lose a lot of fuel)
- Maintain optimal engine performance
- Keep A/C off because it costs around 2 liter fuel per 100 km
- Keep windows down at high speed (> 60 mph or >95 km/h) because air draft slows your car down and your engine has to work harder to maintain your desired speed
- Avoid short-distance journeys (within 1-4 km), because a middle-size car consumes 40 liter per 100 km at start-up,
consumes 20 liters per 100 km after 1 km, and
then its normal miles-per-gallon MPG or liter-per-100km after 4 km.
How to Save Energy on Elevators?
Elevators can be responsible for upto 8% electricity in a office building.
You can... climb the stairs!! It's good for your health anyway, white-collar office workers :)