ou will see many energy-efficient labels on appliances, many mentions on advertisements, and even promises from the government, but what does this term really mean?
What is energy efficiency
The device that lasts longer or works better than a traditional version will be labelled as energy-efficient. The key is in delivering the same performance but by using less energy. Ultimately, energy efficiency means doing more with less energy and not letting any go to waste.
The term energy efficiency can also be used in a wider sense. Instead of focusing on a single appliance, we can also look at the energy efficiency of buildings and households.
Our planet’s natural resources are close to being depleted and we are destroying vital habitats and polluting the air without which we cannot breathe. Energy efficiency is the best shot we have to save wildlife habitats, safeguard the planet, and make sure there is energy left for future generations. This is why an energy-efficient lifestyle is key.
What are the benefits of an energy efficient lifestyle
Energy efficiency is playing an increasingly vital role in our lives for countless reasons:
Saving the environment
The more energy we use, the more carbon emissions are pumped into the atmosphere, increasing global warming and destroying eco-systems. Moreover, the reserves of natural resources such as oil, coal and gas are being depleted.
The global economy is based heavily the fossil fuel industry that is now fighting for survival. Oil and coal have caused financial and social imbalances around the world throughout history. Energy poverty is a reality in many areas of society and it’s about time we do something about it.
Lower utility bills
Being energy efficient makes financial sense as why would you want to pay more for your basic necessities? The concept is to fulfill your energy needs while paying as little as possible. Even small changes can lead to big savings down the road.
A greater comfort
One way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to improve insulation. Not only will this help you save energy, but it will also keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Moreover, by going green, you can do cool things such as preheat your oven by the time you get home thanks to smart-energy friendly appliances. These devices will help you save energy and money while providing you with greater comfort.
Many of the resources that consumers rely on for electricity are finite, which means one day the supply will be depleted. Installing solar panels will allow you to power your home using Sun’s energy without relying on utility companies. Powering you home with renewable energy will also protect you against future electricity price increases and again, benefit your bank account. Although the initial cost of installing these systems is high, they will pay off themselves over time.
Energy efficient home upgrades
If you want to know how to be more energy efficient, the first place to start is to make sure your home, usage and electrical appliances are as energy-friendly as possible.
Eliminate phantom energy waste
Your fridge needs to work non-stop, but what about your TV? For practically everything else electrical, you can stop these devices from draining energy when they are not in use. An Ecobutton that plugs into a USB port of your laptop can put your computer into its most efficient energy-saving mode when it’s not in use. Moreover, you will be able to how much money and CO2 you’ve saved.
Switch to energy-saving devices such as LED lightbulbs
LED lightbulbs consume as much as 80% less energy and have significantly longer lifespans. But please note that it isn’t energy efficient to throw out all your old products and replace them with new, energy-saving ones. You should wait until they wear out and then replace them.
Cut heating costs
If you’ve had your boiler for more than 15 years, it’s probably time to consider upgrading to a newer and eco-friendlier model with which you could reduce your heating bills by up to a quarter. Moreover, getting a programmable thermostat will greatly reduce your energy usage. Insulating your roof and walls, fixing draughts and leaks, update your heating system and just taking a bit more care about keeping doors and windows shut will make a difference. Just by lowering your heating thermostat by 1°C and putting on an extra jumper or blanket can cut up to 10% off your heating bills – so just imagine how much you’ll end up saving if it’s automatically off when you leave the room.
Hot water and heating make up around four-fifths of most fuel bills so these changes can greatly benefit your budget. While you’re at it, make sure you do your research on available deals as gas providers such as Infinite Energy have many different rates. If your current rate does is not the best fit for your usage, it could easily add up several hundreds of dollars to your electricity and gas bill.
Paint to use natural light
Going green can be as simple as painting your home with light-colour paints to improve the level of light. The equation is simple as this will directly reduce the need to use artificial lights during the day.
If you are not too keen on investing in expensive upgrades, there are plenty of things you can still do. For example, invest in low-cost blinds, shades or thick drapes to place them on the sunny side of your home to keep it cooler during summer so your AC does not have to work as hard.
Go ahead and reap the rewards of living an energy-efficient lifestyle. Regardless whether you are going green to benefit your bank account, save the planet or enhance your quality of life- going green is a decision you will never regret.