Energy is essential to life and the key to human progress. Its conservation is essential in the Modern Industrial Societies, As the population in our country grows and the pace of Urbanization increases, energy use is bound to increase. At present, India is the fifth largest consumer of energy in the world. Do you know what the total electricity generation by power utilities was in 1947? It was meagre 1362 MW. It has increased 150 times in about 65 years projected, 2012 fig. 212000 MW. The power shortages in the country are so large that almost 10000 MW of additional capacity is required every year. This alone would require a capital investment of the order of Rs. 40,000 Crore per year on generation and matching investment would be required on transmission and distribution networks. Any idea, where this magnitude of investment can be sourced from?

Energy and Environment
Many major environmental problems we face today are linked with the energy sector. To a large extent, the energy production technologies and energy use are responsible for green house gas emission, global warming and the consequent climate change.

Energy Conservation
Energy Conservation is cheaper and more environmentally benign compared to increased energy Production. We need to encourage it amongst all categories of consumers.
Energy Conservation is a practice for –
           ensuring judicial usage of energy, and
           decreasing the quantity of energy consumed while achieving a similar outcome of end use.
Energy Conservation can be a result of several processes or developments, such as increase in productivity, technological progress resulting in more energy efficient technologies and most importantly a positive attitude towards efficient energy usage.

Sector-wise Electricity Consumption
A report of the National Development Council Committee on power reveals sector-wise consumption of electricity in our country, Industrial consumption (~36.5%) is the highest, followed by agricultural (~31%), domestic (~20%) and commercial (~6.5%).
SSHI will emphasize on the domestic and commercial sectors in the first phase of awareness program.

Domestic and Commercial Sectors
Domestic sector consisting of individual house hold. Electrical power is mainly used for the following purposes.
           cooling (fans, refrigerators, desert coolers, air conditioners etc.)
           heating (geysers, water heaters, room heaters etc.).
           domestic appliances (washing machines for dishes and clothes, toasters, mixers,grinders,entertainment systems, computers etc.)
           building air - conditioning and limited use for heating (HVAC).
           swimming pool water filtering amongst the urban elite etc.
In the commercial sector which consists of offices, shops, schools, hospitals, banks, etc., lighting and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air-conditioning and Cooling) constitute the bulk of electricity use.
Huge quantities of electrical energy can be saved for less than the cost of generating and transmitting the same amount of electricity if we understand that
“Consumers don’t want to buy electricity or fuel they want well-lit rooms and hot tea”.
Except in the form of food, no one needs or wants energy as such. That is to say, no one wants to eat coal or uranium, drink oil, breathe natural gas or be directly connected to an electric supply! What people want are energy services – those services which energy can provide uniquely in an efficient and desirable manner. For instance, we should be happy to use an energy efficient Fridge versus a standard fridge provided that both provide the same services (i.e., they both keep our food cool). Thus, the more efficient the ways of providing energy services required by the consumers are, the greater would be the energy savings. Air conditioning is more prevalent in the commercial sector than in the domestic sector. In both these sectors, the bulk of energy consumption is within buildings and appliances. We know that buildings consume a large chunk of the available energy and rely more on artificial lighting than on natural lighting and ventilation.
There are various opportunities and techniques available for reducing energy consumption such as efficient motors and transformers, day lighting, variable speed drives, solar hot water systems etc.

Lighting Efficiency Improvement
Lighting, of course, is a very ‘visible’ consumer of energy. Almost two thirds of the lighting points in India are fitted with incandescent lamps (ordinary bulbs).
           Use Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) throughout your home to provide high quality and high efficiency lighting.  A22 Watt CFL has about the same light output as 100 Watt incandescent bulb. CFLs use 50-80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. CFLs use 1/3rd the electricity and last upto 10 times as long as the incandescent bulbs.
CFLs reduce Air and Water Pollution, A single incandescent bulb replaced with a CFL will keep half a tonne of Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over its life time.

Improving Energy Efficiency of Building & Appliances
Much of energy use occurring within buildings consists
of requirements for space heating / cooling, water heating, cooking, lighting and appliances.
Commercial building energy consumption can be reduced by an average of 55% primarily through controlling lighting and air conditioning loads.
Specific technological measures that can be taken to conserve energy within buildings include;
           Improved levels of insulation in walls, roofs and floors to reduce heat losses through these elements.
           Draught-proofing and heat recovery systems to reduce heat loss through ventilation whilst retaining   sufficient fresh air within the building.
           more efficient boilers that require a smaller fuel input to achieve a given level of space or water heating, together with improved insulation of pipes to reduce heat losses.
           energy-efficient lights that require much smaller amounts of power to provide a given level of illumination, e.g., CFLs along with the choice of the lamp type/number according to the needs of various areas within a building envelope.
energy efficient appliances such as refrigerators, cooling ranges, washing machines, TV sets and hi-fi equipments in the domestic sector is improving day by day; More efficient computers, copiers and other business equipment are being used in the commercial and institutional sector. These consume less energy whilst delivering the same level of services as their inefficient predecessors.

Community Energy Planning
Municipal Governments, planners, developers, businesses and residents should make sure that home and communities are built in a way that conserves energy. This can be done by encouraging clustered housing, implementing building codes for improving energy efficiency, making mandatory the use of double glazed windows particularly in buildings having energy consumption above 500 KW etc. This is also being mandated in India according to the National Building Energy code for Indian buildings.

 What you can do at the Individual Level
A great deal of energy can be saved by us in our homes. Let us begin by posing some questions. At the individual level, are you not concerned about your rising electricity bills and energy costs? You also want to be responsible to the environment. What kind of efforts do you need to make? Will your efforts pay off? How much energy and money will you actually save?

Points to Remember
1.         Switch off lights when not needed.
2.         Use high efficiency home and office equipment and appliances.
3.         Electricity saved means electricity generated.
4.         1 unit saved by the end user is equal to 2 units generated at the power plant.
5.         Conserve energy to reduce energy costs and protect the environment.

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