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Energy efficiency or energy conservation is the effort of reducing the amount of energy required to provide products and services. Energy conservation is a responsibility of both corporations and individuals. While most of us will have little say in how our workplaces are managed, we can make significant energy savings in our homes and every day lives. Energy efficient measures can reduce energy use by 33%, according to the IEA.
Buildings: energy efficiency by design
Reducing energy use at home
This is an often overlooked area of energy efficiency but is one that fast can give significant benefits in terms of reduced carbon output and lower energy bills. Many gadgets and everyday household items now consume electricity, and the easiest way to reduce their power usage is simply to turn them off when they are not in use. An easy way to do this is to use a junction box; these have a switch allowing all sockets in the box to be disconnected, hence avoiding you to need to pull out every plug manually at the end of the day.
Items such as televisions, stereos, computer monitors and even battery and mobile phone chargers all consume electricity even when in standby mode. Turning these devices off when they are not in use will have a significant long term impact on the amount of energy they consume.
When a lightbulb in any of your lamps break down you should evaluate existing low-energy-options on the market. Compare initial cost, estimated life-time and energy-use. Another thing to consider is the light quality: brightness and "light-colour". There is plenty of different alternatives in shops, but for most a LED-based light bulb will be the best choice.
Reducing energy use in industry
Conventional engineering practice can be used to improve energy efficiency in many industry processes, this exciting field is expanding rapidly.
Die casting is an example of an industry process where this is being applied.
Recycling old and unused/unwanted objects and materials (such as glass, tin cans, aluminium cans, plastic bottles, paper from newspapers, magazines) in the process of creating new objects will save some amounts of energy as opposed to creating those objects from new unprocessed raw materials. However materials must be sorted properly to not be contaminated with other parts or materials that will destroy the process.
Some countries have created national/regional schemes that pay the customers small symbolic amounts per can and bottle, to make them bring back all old containers and useful materials to the shop (for transport back to the producers factories)
See: Industrial ecology (which deals largely with the elimination of physical waste but includes an awareness of energy efficiency).
As energy conservation efforts can (in the best case scenario) only save about 33%, the beneficial effect will be eliminated anywhere in between 2050 and 2100.
- Sophie Hebden (2006-06-22). "Invest in clean technology says IEA report". Scidev.net. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/the-good-earth/World-population-to-hit-10-billion-but-15-billion-possible-UN/articleshow/10497518.cms World population size anywhere in between 10 to 15 billion by 2100 A.D.