Saving on Electricity costs & Alternative Home Energy sources
Electricity has actually become an integral part of our life. Just imagine a picture of having to live without power. Among the major concerns on the planet today is depletion of energy resources. As a concerned citizen, all of us must make a concerted effort to be conscious citizens and conserve and be conscious in using electricity. By conservation of electricity you will pay lower electricity bills too.
Electricity used to be as basic as flicking a switch. Not anymore. The markets have been liberated and the pie has actually been shared between major suppliers – the ball is now in the consumers’ court. Not only that, global warming is making us think differently about the way we utilize energy. By partnering with an electricity supplier that understands their needs, small businesses are discovering how they can help the environment and save the environment and money.
Electricity for Business:
An electricity supplier dedicated to providing low-cost energy to small and mid-sized businesses, does not pretend to be a green company, but it does believe in helping businesses/services conserve energy. “We do not use wind or solar power” there isn’t enough green energy produced yet. Electricity provided at present is majorly made from burning fossil fuels.
By encouraging the consumers to cut unnecessary consumption, we can save their money and help protect the environment too.
So how do electricity costs mount up?
Not so long back, you could walk into a store and the only devices you would find was a telephone, a cash register and perhaps a computer. Now there are dozens of gadgets and appliances sucking up energy practically everywhere you look – printers, fax machines, air conditioning units, promotional pieces, laptop and mobile phone chargers, refrigerators, ventilators, modems and routers, coffee machines, power tools, machinery/equipment, and the list goes on and on. They are never disconnected from the mains and generate heat even when not in use. Think about the cost to you, and to the environment.
Fortunately there are many ways to conserve energy and not even notice it, except when you look at the bill at the end of the month. And with increasing awareness of the effect our actions have on the environment, staff may no longer dismiss the in charge as a penny pinching miser for insisting on turning the lights out after work. Thinking positive and a little awareness is all it takes to make a difference.
The most essential method to reduce electricity consumption is to instill a culture of energy conserving in your company, business and at home. Generally, electricity is not so much used inefficiently as wasted, leaked and lost. Fixing this problem begins by asking some basic questions about how a device is used and maintained. Is the photocopier used frequently enough to justify it being “ON” all day? Is the refrigerator door properly sealed closed and opened as seldom as possible? Are the computer’s energy saving settings on? Was that ventilator always clean? Why are the windows not closed if the heating is on?
Then there are the devices itself. Replacing 38mm (T12) fluorescent tubes with 26mm (T8) tubes utilizes around 8 percent less energy, while compact fluorescent lamps/ lights utilize 80 percent less energy than tungsten GLS lamps/ lights. And when buying office or workplace equipment, look for energy conserving devices with stand-by features that bear the Energy Star logo. And if your employees are wearing T-shirts in November, remember that each extra degree can add up to 8% on your heating expense.
There are a lot more ways of saving money on your electricity, whatever your line of business. Please read below all the information you need to get going. The Energy Efficiency Advice has everything on how to identify and rectify bad energy habits, where to get advice and how to claim energy related tax benefit and loans.
10 ways to cut on your electricity bills
- By doing an energy audit you will know how and when you use energy and where the wastage is happening. You will be able to make an “energy savings strategy” by identifying precisely how you can cut back on energy consumption. Some ideas may be as easy as don’t leave the coffee maker on at all times.
- Consider resetting the thermostat ten degrees lower during the night. You will save 10% on electricity without sacrificing comfort by doing this approximately eight hours a day. Insulate the house in winter by shutting the drapes.
- Check all insulation in the house. If you increase attic insulation to around 12 inches the electricity consumption will decrease by 20 percent.
- Plant more trees around your home. These will cool the house in summers and insulate the house in winters. Studies reveal that a green surrounding cover benefits in many ways.
- Check electricity wires and outlets for leakage. Check all fuses and appliances.
- Fluorescent light bulbs are energy efficient. Ordinary light bulbs consume approximately double the energy. These have a longer life and add to excellent savings.
- Use energy efficient home appliances. These utilize less energy.
- When you are away even for a couple of hours or days, you should turn off and unplug all electrical appliances and turn settings on the thermostat, water heater, and refrigerator to the lowest setting.
- By using a water-saving shower head. Water heating expenses for a household can be reduced by at least US$ 250 a year.
- Weatherize your home. This helps reduce heating expenses by 20% and cooling by at least 10 percent. Even when constructing a home or decorating it, use weather friendly products, those that are not good conductors of heat and cold. Install windows and glass panes in the roof in such a way that you utilize sunlight to illuminate the rooms/spaces during day light hours. When leaving a room, Switch off lights and fans. Ensure that the filters in air conditioners and heating units are constantly cleaned and free of blockage and dust. This helps decrease heating expenses by 20% and cooling by at least 10 percent.
If you live an energy efficient lifestyle you will see the numbers on the energy bill actually decreasing. The power to cut energy expenses is well within your control. It is as simple as washing full loads and that too in cold water. Use the hot wash option only for extremely dirty clothes. Cook food only when you are ready to eat. That way you can save considerably on the reheating costs as well as refrigerating charges of storing the food. Set the thermostat of that refrigerator to minimum in cold or cool weather. If it is not in use, switch off the freezer. These small contributions can add up to substantial amounts of power saved.
Power saved means money saved
Types of Alternative Home Energy
Home energy consumption is among the primary issues of people today. The truth is – we all need electricity to power our lives. However, many people believe that the price they pay is simply too much for the quantity of electricity they get to consume.
In the true spirit of mankind, people did what they always do whenever there’s something that does not entirely satisfy them about life:
Alternative energy has actually been on the roll ever since people have made designs efficient enough to make them feasible. People may think that alternative energy is just a recent development, however in reality, alternative home energy has actually been around even prior to electricity was discovered.
Let’s consider about these types of alternative home energy:
1) Wind energy — Windmills are used to run small generators in homes. These generators produce and store electricity to be utilized in running small home appliances. However, windmills have actually been around for a very long time. If you take a look at the word “windmill” you will understand that this type of alternative home energy device was used for a purpose other than producing electricity.
Yes, the windmill was undoubtedly, used to mill grain. As you may well know, grinding grain by hand is extremely hard work. So in order to make life more convenient and the production of flour more efficient, windmills were used to turn the big grinders.
Seeing as how this was so effective, it was inevitable that the windmill evolved in the 21st century in order to be used as a source of power.
2) Solar energy — Many people consider this type of alternative home energy as something that’s technologically highly advanced. In a sense, utilizing the power of the sun to produce electrical power is. However this alternative home energy has already been in use for a long, long time.
Consider this word for a second: clothesline. Aha, you get it now, don’t you? Yes, we have actually been using solar energy to dry our clothes for God knows how long. Think about that spin dryer or hair dryer you have and believe about how much electricity it uses to do a job that the sun has actually been able to do for years, but at a slower constant pace.
This alternative home energy is utilized nowadays for a variety of tasks. Some use it to heat their homes, others use solar power to heat water, and other people use solar cells to power small home appliances and save a little on that electricity bill. The efficiency by which we are now able to convert solar power into electricity is of such a degree that it is really possible to power an entire house! Now, isn’t that remarkable? This alternative home energy is utilized nowadays for a variety of tasks.
3) Hydro Power — This kind of alternative home energy utilizes water currents in order to turn turbines to run generators. Once again, this is not actually a new technology. Waterwheels, like windmills, were often used to harness the power of a nearby river in order to grind grain into flour.
4) Bio-Gas — This is another alternative home energy source. Biogas is produced naturally through the decomposition of various biological products. By using biogas instead of the common LPG, home owners can cut down on their heating expenses.
As you can see, there are various types of alternative home energy. What you need to do is explore these alternatives and find which type is the best for you to use. Now you know as to how we have used these energy sources in the past and how they are being utilized today.
Unfortunately, some of the techniques of utilizing these various alternative home energy types may yet seem to appear impractical to the common homeowner. Nevertheless, as technology continues to evolve, you can be sure that the use of alternative energy will be more efficient.
By using alternative home energy, you accomplish two things: you save money on your expenses and you help create a much better world. Alternative home energy sources do not produce harmful effects to the environment. The energy is relatively free by utilizing these resources. Some people may say that the devices used to harness these sources may be too expensive, however in the long run, you’ll end up saving so much more than you initially invest.
Some people continue to grumble about the wind as it dries their skin and blows their hair all over. Yet there are a lot of advantages to the wind including pollination of various plants and flowers. Among the most efficient ways in which wind can be used for energy is by converting it into a source of power. It has become a very reliable source of electrical power at many locations on the earth.
The process of converting wind into power requires the use of either wind mills or wind turbines. Both of them include blades that turn around as the wind blows. The faster the wind, more electricity can be processed from it. The best location to put these turbines and wind mills is out on the open plains. With no barriers to break up the wind, it is full strength when it comes across there.
Some areas have wind power for just a number of houses out there in the open. There are farmers and ranchers that have decided that their land is more valuable to place turbines on than animals or crops. They permit the turbines to be put there by other companies that supply all the electricity for entire towns. The owners of the land are paid an excellent price for using their land to put the turbines on. These farms are known as wind farms or wind parks.
While it initially does cost money to get the process of generating power from the wind, it is one that will pay for itself in many ways. This type of power is eventually cheaper and it doesn’t cause any type of harm to the environment. There will always be wind so there will never be a time when we don’t have enough of it to provide power. With using electricity prices continuously rising, this is excellent news for everyone.
The Federal government has actually offered considerable benefits for the introduction of wind power as well. These kinds of incentives make it more affordable to get things in place to begin the process. As a result there has been more wind power used for electricity in the past five years than in previous three decades.
One of the most effective ways in which wind can be utilized for energy is by converting it into a source of power.
Basic Introduction of Fuel Cell Technology
So you think that the gasoline for your vehicle is very highly priced? Or perhaps you are also worried about the environment? For years, scientists and researchers have been working on an energy alternative that holds promises to alter the way we live by changing the source of fuel for some of our most basic energy-using engines. This new technology, called fuel cell, is in progress. A fuel cell supplies a DC (direct current) voltage that can be utilized to power motors, lights, and variety of electrical appliances.
Electrochemical energy conversion device is the technical name for a fuel cell. The chemicals hydrogen and oxygen react in a fuel cell, producing water. In that process, electricity is produced. Other electrochemical device that is in use nowadays and has been there for decades is the well-known battery. The differentiating distinction between a basic battery and a fuel cell is that all the chemicals are stored inside the battery. The battery in turn converts those chemicals into electricity however in due course it “goes dead” as the chemicals are consumed and at times you can either throw it away or recharge it.
However with a fuel cell, chemicals continuously flow into the cell so as long as there is a flow of chemicals into the cell, the electricity flows out of the fuel cell. The gasoline engine, that is the Combustion engine, burn fuels and batteries convert chemical energy back into electrical energy when needed. Fuel cells do both tasks more efficiently.
Basically, the construction and materials in a fuel cell release electrons from the hydrogen gas producing electricity and the waste product is water, after the electricity is utilized to power an electrical device, formed with the negative hydrogen and the oxygen. A single fuel cell produces only about 0.7 volts with this reaction. To get this voltage up to a reasonable practical level, several separate fuel cells must be integrated to form a fuel-cell stack.
However one significant problem with using hydrogen is that it is cannot be stored easily for consumer use. Amongst the other alternatives, options could be natural gas, propane gas, and methanol gas. Reducing the pollution is the primary objective of using fuel cell technology. Fuel cell is also very efficient. 80% of the fuel usage in these cells is converted into usable energy as compared to just 20% for a gasoline powered engine and about 30% overall for a battery powered electric automobile.
The future holds greater promise for fuel cell, undoubtedly. However, the fuel cell technology needs to still gather all the pieces of finding the ideal ‘fuel’ source that is both easy to store and deliver to the consumer, efficiency of the automobile using fuel cells, and the cost for the total overall package plan.