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World Energy Conservation Day: Save on your power bills, save the planet

You can go green by using appliances and gadgets that are energy-efficient; this helps bring down not only carbon emissions, but also your electricity bills

mumbai Updated: Dec 14, 2016 09:48 IST
Snehal Fernandes
Snehal Fernandes
Hindustan Times
World energy conservation day,save power,go green
Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak uses solar panels to meet its energy requirements.

How energy-efficient is your home? In other words, are you running up your electricity bill while slowly contributing to the planet’s destruction?

Homes can help conserve energy by using appliances that use the power fed to them wisely. A recent survey, however, found two of five households in Mumbai have poor knowledge about electricity consumption and energy-efficient appliances. The survey of 500 families by Navi Mumbai’s Lokmanya Tilak College of Engineering spanned four years (2012-2015). It found just 40% of those surveyed knew of energy use and efficient appliances.

So what are these appliances, and how can you buy the right one?

An energy-efficient air-conditioner, for instance, can cool more on a single unit. Based on this efficiency, appliances are rated — a one-star appliance fulfils the minimum requirement, a five-star is extremely efficient.

Few are aware

The study found 35% were not aware of what star-ratings for ACs was; only 5% owned 5-star rated ACs; 46% did not know of star-rated refrigerators and just 6.3% used 5-star ones. “Residents do not maintain appliances effectively, which also results in the city consuming a lot of electricity. Few are replacing traditional appliances with energy-efficient ones,” said professor Santosh Dalvi, who did the study.

That fewer people are buying these star-rated appliances also shows how little people know of the link between energy efficiency and pollution, experts said. Here’s how it works. Any appliance that guzzles power releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, while running on power produced using coal. Old refrigerators and ACs use hydrochlorofluorocarbons, a chemical that contributes to emitting carbon dioxide that warms the planet.

Not just for planet

Energy-efficient appliances not only help the greater cause of going green for the planet, but also use reduce those exorbitant electricity bills. “A consumer’s buying decision comes with market maturity to understand these links,” said an energy expert from Delhi.

Why city must adapt

Mumbai’s energy demands touch 3,000MW a year. A significant proportion of domestic power supply is consumed by ceiling fans, ACs and tube lights, an evaluation of consumption by 51 households by KJ Somaiya College and Environmental Policy and Research India found. The study’s findings revealed an interesting prospect: Average power consumption a month was 399 units. When all appliances were replaced with energy-efficient ones, consumption fell by 46% — and monthly bills from an of Rs2,324 to Rs1025.

“Consumers need to know benefits of energy-efficient appliances. The civic body should send letters to housing societies on the need to adopt cost and energy saving appliances,” said Avick Sil, regional director, EPRI.

First Published: Dec 14, 2016 09:13 IST