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What is Energy Efficiency and Why it’s Crucial for Your Home and Business

Even if you haven’t heard the term ‘energy efficiency’, I am sure you must have heard about energy-star appliances.

Yeah, the same ones that come with a star-rating sticker from 1 to 5 with 5 being the maximum score and 1 being the lowest.

The purpose of that is to tell you how efficient they are in terms of saving energy or electricity. The more the stars, the more efficient the appliance.

Regardless of the score, all of these energy-labeled systems ensure some sort of energy conservation.

 

Given the rapidly depleting resources, growing utility bills, and over-dependence on technology, it is high time to replace your old appliances with new Energy Star systems and make energy efficiency mandatory at home, office, and everywhere else.

 

What is Energy Efficiency?

Energy efficiency is the concept of using the least amount of energy required to run a machine or carry out a task.

 

In terms of a household, it means using appliances, vehicles, and electronics that are built to last while consuming less energy or fuel.

 

At the same time, it involves all the energy-saving practices that you should do, such as switching off the light and fan when you leave the room or using the generator/ inverter for emergency tasks and chores only.

 

Apart from saving energy costs, implementing energy efficiency can reduce your household’s carbon footprint on the environment and help fight climate change.

 

As one of the most cost-effective and fastest carbon dioxide mitigation solutions, energy efficiency is claimed to be the ‘first fuel’ in our quest to clean energy transitions.

 

The Importance of Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is the single biggest step taken to avoid the increasing demand for energy in the Net Zero Emissions (NZE) Scenario by 2050.

 

And for valid reasons, including:

Financial benefits

  • Cost cutting.
  • Boosting the economy.
  • Strengthening energy security.

Environmental benefits

  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Conservation of fossil fuels and non-renewable resources.

Societal benefits

  • Better public health.
  • Improved quality of life.
  • Energy equity for all.
 

Other than these practical uses, energy efficiency agns with several global initiatives such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Net Zero Carbon Emissions.

 

Combined with renewable energy such as solar or wind and the electrification of home appliances and commercial systems, energy efficiency provides better flexibility in attaining a balance between supply and demand, and hence, ensures electrical security for all.

 

Home Energy Efficiency

 

The practice of home energy efficiency is particularly useful for households with a low income.

 

There are dozens of energy efficiency and conservation programs launched by governments to help us afford the high initial cost of energy-efficient appliances and systems.

 

Some of them include Energy Star, Masco’s Environments for Living, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for green homes.

 

Why Home Energy Efficiency Matters?

As one of the largest spaces after industrial and commercial sectors, residential buildings consume over 20% of our planet’s energy.

 

Out of which, about 44% comes from electricity.

 

Given the soaring prices, it’s in our best interest to adopt energy efficiency and rely on smart gadgets and appliances to reduce our need for conventional electricity.

 

Using solar power or other renewable sources can further down our consumption of non-renewable resources. Eventually, cutting down the costs by up to 40%.

 

Simple Ways to Improve Household Energy Efficiency

Optimizing your home’s energy efficiency should be the first of your priorities should you choose to move to a new house or renovate your existing one.

 

Here’s how you can do that cost-effectively:

  1. A Home Energy Assessment or audit can give you a clear picture of your house’s energy consumption.

    Having a proper breakdown can help you make necessary changes in the way you use power.

  2. Insulation, Weatherization, and Sealing for protection against weather changes and improving your home energy efficiency in the process.
  3. Lighting/Smart Lighting and natural light can reduce your electricity bills by 90% while lasting 25 times longer.
  4. Heating and Cooling (Air Conditioning) make up for more than 50% of your home’s annual energy usage.

    Therefore, regular maintenance of these systems is vital to make them energy-efficient.

    Using smart automatic thermostats is yet another way of adjusting the temperature.

  5. Appliances and Electronics should be replaced with smart ENERGY STAR appliances that consume less energy than standard models.
  6. Water heating can be improved by insulating the water heater and hot water pipes to avoid heat loss!
  7. Windows, doors, and skylights could be upgraded to double-pane or triple-pane with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings.
  8. Smart home systems such as smart vacuum cleaners, geysers, fans, and so on give you easy access through apps and provide remote management and automation.

Besides, the key to using energy efficiently is things such as unplugging the devices that are not in use to avoid “phantom” energy loss, sun/ air drying your laundry, fixing leaks, and planting trees in the surroundings.

 

Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

 

As far as non-residential buildings are concerned, the use of non-renewable energy is concerning.

 

With electricity accounting for 64% and natural gas for 34% of the total energy used commercially, the need to practice energy efficiency in commercial buildings is all the more crucial.

 

The Importance of Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

Since commercial buildings occupy the maximum floor space, they also use more energy than other spaces.

 

With 35% of total energy being used by commercial buildings, out of which 32% is for space heating alone, the need to opt for energy efficiency practices is at an all-time high.

 

Strategies for Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

There are many benefits of enhancing energy efficiency in commercial buildings including cost-cutting, sustainability, safety, and a healthy environment for all.

 

To achieve that, here are certain strategies:

  1. Design and architecture should focus on building insulated and airtight structures.The position of buildings should allow them to use maximum natural air and sunlight. Green roofs and walls can also improve the air quality and insulation.
  2. Efficient HVAC Systems for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning for they consume a lack of energy. Variable Speed Drivers (VSDs) to regulate fans, pumps, and compressors based on the requirement.
  3. Smart Lighting and Sensors use less energy while ensuring a longer lifespan at no extra cost. As the second-highest end-use of energy in commercial buildings, there is a special need to implement energy-efficient lighting technologies. For instance, ‘electronic ballasts,’ which consume 30% less energy than magnetic ballasts.
  4. Energy Management Systems such as BAS or Building Automation Systems to monitor and control building systems and optimize the overall energy consumption.
  5. Water heating and usage should be carried out responsibly.
  6. Renewable energy like solar can be used to generate free electricity of your own without depending on the power grid.
  7. ENERGY STAR office equipment and appliances can help buildings achieve a score of 75 or higher (on a 1–100 scale) to be eligible for the ENERGY STAR label.
  8. Waste heat management and utilisation to recover waste heat from the exhaust and preheat fresh air from outside.

Other than that, the building admins should behave responsibly and educate the occupants about the dos and don’ts of energy consumption.

Timely maintenance and renovation can also enhance energy efficiency thus reducing cost and carbon footprint, and improving the lifestyle of the users.

 

Human Behavior and Energy Efficiency

Perhaps the biggest step that you can take to achieve maximum energy efficiency is to behave responsibly.

 

And then, by educating the staff and occupants about crucial energy-saving tips and practices.

 

A pre-planned schedule for maintenance and day-to-day operations such as cleaning, repair, and renovation, helps streamline the process without colliding with users’ routines and working hours.

 

Speaking of planning, you can always use energy management software to manage a building’s energy consumption.

 

One such smart energy management system is the combination of Emerald and Enciser.

 

Enciser’s Vision and Mission

 

As a smart energy management app, Enciser can be downloaded on your Android or iPhone for better insights into your energy usage.

 

Compatible with all types of energy-efficient appliances, Enciser can help you achieve energy efficiency by setting your budget in advance.

 

With real-time data on energy usage, personalised recommendations, and up to 15-20% reduction in electricity bills, it’s the only thing you would need to control energy-efficient home solutions.

 

How does it do that?

Well, by connecting with a technological marvel called ‘Emerald.’

 

Introducing Emerald: Your Partner in Energy Efficiency

 

Known to be a smart energy tracking device, Emerald is a wireless gadget that can connect with the Enciser app to give you real-time insights into the electricity consumption of your home.

 

With features such as advanced electricity budgeting, seamless connectivity to smart meters, and personalised recommendations about energy consumption, Emerald is coming out as a must-have accessory for smart homes.

 

Thanks to such technologies, the implementation of energy efficiency is on the rise too.

 

The Future of Energy Efficiency

The scope of energy efficiency is broadening as we speak with a lot of focus on affordability and security.

 

While almost every country has some sort of minimum energy performance standards in place, the need to accelerate the replacement of old, inefficient equipment with new, compliant appliances can certainly boost the progress and adoption of energy efficiency across all spaces.

 

FAQs

Q 1. What are the benefits of energy efficiency?

Ans: Energy efficiency can help reduce your electricity bills and the carbon footprint on the environment which helps fight climate change too.

 

Q 2. How can I improve energy efficiency in my home?

Ans: By switching to smart home systems, energy-efficient appliances, and using energy and fuel more responsibly without wasting them

 

Q 3. How does energy efficiency impact the environment?

Ans: Energy efficiency not only reduces pollution by limiting carbon and greenhouse gas emissions but also helps combat climate change on a bigger scale.

 

Q 4. What are some tips for energy efficiency in commercial buildings?

Ans: Use smart HVAC systems, energy management systems, Energy Star appliances, and equipment, and implement waste heat management among other things.

 

Q 5. How can Enciser’s Emerald help in managing energy usage?

Ans: As a smart energy-monitoring device, Enciser’s Emerald can give you clear insights into your household’s energy consumption and how can you use it wisely.

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