How to be Energy-smart.!!
How to be Oorja-smart.! (an energy-saver)
"Oorja" a Sanskrith/Hindi word which means Energy/Power
Most of us want to save on power bills at home, or even at your work-place, Isn’t it.! here, being Oorjasmart means saving power smartly!!
The demand for power is always increasing in India, as peak demand during 2009 it was 1,19,166.Megawatts, and now as on March 2020, it is 1,83,804.MW. (Ref: https://www.powermin.nic.in) on account of increasing population & power demand for growing infrastructure/ facilities, apart from addition of new appliances at home, like ACs, Fridges, washing machine etc. were luxury items once!, but now they became essential part of our daily life.
Saving on energy/power reduces our nation’s demand for the resources needed to produce, and improving energy efficiency is like adding another clean source to our electric power grid.The objective of this topic is to help & learn to practice in reducing utility/power bills and hence to save on money as well in the lone run.
While we consider for residential use -Improving energy efficiency can also improve the comfort of our homes and hence quality of life. Not only, money worth equivalent of power units saved, but also..
By saving on every 1000 units/KWHrs. of power we save C02 emission of about 449.056 Kgs. and also to avoid every ton of Co2 emission, we save proportionate no. of trees, and hence it contributes to greenery and environment.
Before getting on to different ways of savings, let us know where we stand!, means what is your daily average power consumption. How do we know rather…?
How do we audit our own home/office’s electric-power usage?
1. By hiring any qualified /experienced Energy auditors (for bigger areas)
2. For Own house audit or a small do it yourself audit
consider 2nd point, it’s a simple home work to do it yourself: how??
First take your past one year current bills, if possible, then note: total no. of Units/KWh (In India, 1.Kilo-watt hour = 1 Unit of electricity/power)
Note: all your appliances and gadgets in use, like: from a bulb, Tube-lights, no. of fans, TV’s, AC’s etc. and their approximate usage in no. of hours per day and overall in a month
You may use the following sample chart (considering a flat/house of 1000sft area) :
*taking power consumption on the higher side upto 900watts per day.
**14020 watt hours = 14 Kilo watt hours (KWH), = 14 units per day, with A/c in summer for 4 months or 120 days (i.e. between mid. of April till July, in Hyderabad, India.)
Whereas the power consumption without A/c, is far much lower @4,420 kwh (or 4.4 units/day). So the average consumption per year is (4.4 x 245 + 14 x 120) = (1078 + 1680) = 2,758 units per anum. Now taking Rs.7 per unit electricity cost as per TSSPDCL, the average cost for these no. of units is = 2,758 x Rs.7 = Rs.9,226/ per year.
So per month average bill, is coming = Rs.9,226. / 12 months = Rs.769/=.
In fact for my flat in Secunderabad, India, I managed to reduce my current bills around less than Rs.600 per month, including use of IFB washing machine.
Compare your power bills and cross check if it is in-line with your appliances usage, In fact, monthly average power bill can be still reduced or kept on control by adopting many natural & technical ways to save on energy: few are listed as I observed:
(1), Choose energy efficient designing of your House/Flat while purchasing
In the very beginning, while buying or constructing your own house/flat, go for proper designing.
(a), Doors/windows are significant source of energy wastage, which can amount to 10-25% of your total heating bills or A/c power consumption. To prevent heat loss through, you can replace single-pane windows with double-pane ones. In summer climate, heat gain through windows may be a problem. In addition to minimizing heat loss, light-color/white coatings on windows can reduce heat gain by reflecting more light and lowering the amount of thermal energy diffused into your home.
Choose proper energy efficient or well ventilated house, also it is known as weatherizing.
Its better to choose energy efficient doors & windows, this in fact lets you in positive energy in to your house with proper ventilation, gives a better energetic feeling while being at home.
For homes in cold regions, insulated windows with special paint coatings can significantly reduce your heating expenses. In addition, interior or exterior storm windows can reduce unnecessary heat loss by ten to 20 percent. You should especially consider storm windows if your region experiences frequent extreme weather events. (like at sea-shore areas).
(b), Also Insulation plays a key role in lowering your utility bills through retaining heat during the winter and keeping heat out of your home during the summer. The level of insulation you should install depends on the area of your house. Particularly when using Air-conditioners, the power consumption will go up, if no proper insulation near windows (like use of thermal sheets, paint roof –coolants, grow plants on terrace/ have a roof garden etc.), If A/c not in use, allow cross ventilation for fresh air, Your attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawlspace are the five main areas where you should consider.
(c),Proper roofing is important: as Concrete is a very dense material, when concrete gets heated, during summer, it retains the heat for a very long time. This heat is radiated into the below rooms at night, and hence it is better to use roof coolant white paints in summer. This helps room cooling naturally and reduce the AC current consumption.
Also check if the ceiling is leakage proof: sealing air leaks around your home, is a great way to reduce your heating and cooling expenses. The most common sources of air leaks into your home are vents, windows, and doors. To prevent these leaks, you should ensure that there are no cracks or openings between the wall and vent, window, or door frame.(d), Proper Electrical /House wiring:Go for good quality wiring by a well experienced electrical contractor: - choosing proper required gauge/thickness of a quality electrical/ copper wires is very essential for house wiring along with proper earthing. Also you may ask contractor for facilitating Solar & inverter ready-wiring for the house. Try to keep maximum shadow free roof area for future provisions to be Solar ready.
(e), Give some space for plantation and develop greenery around the house if possible for better air flow. Few people out of passion they even nurture rooftop gardens, this cools the top-floor roof in summer. This is an indirect contributor for saving on room cooling. (2). Replace your old lights & Fans:Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume excessive amount of electricity and must be replaced by energy efficient alternatives. Halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) use anywhere from 25-80% less electricity and last 5 to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs. In India, ISI certified LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs/ Tubes use up to 80% less energy than old incandescent bulbs.
If you’re replacing an inefficient 100W (watts) incandescent bulb, look for an energy-saving bulb that puts out about 1,300 lumens, by replacing with an LED Tube/Bulb worth 22watts, that could give over 1800 Lumen worth bright light.
In similar manner, bulky/old or non-branded fans of over 80watts, can be replaced with energy efficient new technology fans worth 25-40watts are there in Indian market, (like.. Atomberg/Gorilla or equivalent in Orient/Crompton/Philips etc., fans with 5 star rating)
(3) Choosing energy efficient electrical appliances:
For AC’s and also Fridges the users can choose 5 star rated & Inverter based air-conditioning systems. Replace old in-efficient fridge with latest Fridges we can choose only, 5 star rated
Many of us keep fridge on, for 24/7, 365 days, and hence around 30% of house current bills happen to be of fridge alone. For example, a branded refrigerator of 200/220 litres, consumes 260 – 300kwhs (or 300.Units) per year, add 10% inverter losses ie. 30 kwh, so total power consumption is about 330 kwh per year (taking on the higher side)
Now average consumption per day of 24hours = 330 X 1000/ 365 = 904 Watt hours.
So per hour consumption, = 904/24 = 37.67 watts. Per hour for 200.ltrs fridge.
In similar manner Air –coolers, which are mostly used in dry places during summer only. Choose an ISI or 5 star rated ones. Similarly LED TV’s are now very much in use by public.
(4), Practice on power saving habits:
Many of us use Computer with UPS along with home Inverter & batteries for backup. Switch of these appliances including, Motors, Lights & Fans when not in use.
The older the battery it takes more power to retain its charging to float-on. So it is recommended to have sine-wave energy efficient home-inverters with branded good quality-rated batteries. Its better to have branded low maintenance type tubular batteries with Standard rating. Avoid use of less-efficient local automotive batteries with UPS/Home inverters.
Regular maintenance of batteries, by pouring sufficient distilled water on time, will enhance better life of the batteries and hence saves power.
Also good quality sine-wave power-Inverters take lesser power to charge battery quickly, (Ref.: http://www.oorjasmart.com/blog).
Avoid putting dry clothes in washing machine, better dissolve clothes in one bucket of water properly before putting in washing machine, by this practice you can save on water usage & power by your washing machine for rinsing with water.
(5), Benefiting out of Solar/ renewable energy use:
(Ref.: http://www.oorjasmart.com/blog. or https://youtu.be/AQ6R_K_vluQ.) Solar energy is natural renewable energy source available for free at open land/rooftop. Installing a Solar power System helps reduce power bills, If you’ve already made your Home/Villa/housing society, as energy efficient as possible, and you have sufficient sunlight on the roof , then consider to generate own electricity with a solar power system. Now that, there are subsidies offered by the govt., and expected to continue the subsidy offers in 2020, post Carona effect in India. (for latest updates on subsidy, please Ref. MNRE, Govt. of India, website).
Apart from subsidy advantage now in 2020, compared to 2015 the overall costing on solar projects has drastically come down, and are now affordable with reasonable return on investment (Please ref. our YouTube-“Oorjasmart” channel on basic awareness on solar power systems)
For gated communities within major towns/cities in India its of great advantage to save on power bills of common utility, ranging from Rs.5,000 and above.
Solar panels can be installed onto ground/roof-mounted racks, are available to integrate solar cells with battery-bank to storage or netmeter to export to grid making them much viable now in 2020 Ref. :http//www.oorjasmart.com & Youtube channel of “Oorjsmart”(https://youtu.be/AQ6R_K_vluQ) on basic awareness on Solar power systems.
You should consider few factors to install a solar power system, such as shadow-free space, sizing and configuring the system as per user requirement, electrical meter capacity and category, proper earthing etc. (for more details please send us email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com. Note: in India, the total renewable energy has a share of23.39% in the total installed generation capacity in the country i.e. 368.98GW,(as on 29/02/2020), out of which, Solar capacity increased in the last 5.5 years from around 2.6 GW to more than 34 gw; world's largest renewable energy expansion programme 175GW till 2022.(ref: https://mnre.gov.in)
Solar energy systems also often make sense if you drive a plug-in hybrid or an Off-grid type system for back-up Industries, Villas or form-houses etc. (note: off-gird solar systems work on battery bank for required load only).
If any clarifications: please do write in the comments below: or send email: firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com.