Reducing Household Energy Use

Domestic Energy use is defined as the total amount of energy used in a house for household work. This depends on various factors including number of occupants in a house, standard of living in a country, and level of wealth. The average U.S. household consumes about 11,000 kWh annually, but this figure varies across regions. Generally, electricity use is higher in developed countries due to the higher quality of life. Reducing the energy use on your home has several benefits including saving money, decreasing the demand for energy, and reducing the pollution that is emitted due to the use of non-renewable energy. Reducing energy usage also helps in the shift to alternative power as the current technology for popular choices such as solar do not scale well into higher demand use cases. Therefore, a residence with the lower energy usage is more likely to be suitable for alternative power sources which can reduce costs even further, while improving sustainability. Several popular methods of reducing household energy use are discussed in this article.

The energy usage of an average American household is primarily used for Heating, Hot water, and lighting. This differs in other countries based on the climate as heating is generally non-existent in most tropical countries. Focusing on these elements of energy usage will be the most effective at reducing overall energy usage and can be done by replacing existing equipment with more energy efficient variants such as LED lighting, hot water service Warrnambool, more efficient air conditioning units or better arrangement of lighting and ventilation in the building.

General Power Saving Methods

Lighting consumes a large portion of energy and is almost unavoidable in modern households as it is a necessity to work and study in darker hours. To reduce the energy consumption due to lighting appliances, one of the most effective methods is to replace most frequently used lighting appliances with LED bulbs. They use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last much longer. However, they are expensive although its features result in money saved in the long run. A more difficult but similarly effective strategy is to plan out a schedule that makes maximum use of daylight hours which reduces the need for artificial lighting when daylight is absent. This is generally not feasible as daylight is unreliable even during the day, especially for work and study purposes. For new buildings, various elements which maximise natural lighting can be used such as wider windows, glass partitioning, courtyards etc. which reduces the need for artificial light. Similarly, a building can be designed around natural ventilation through much of the same elements, although climate conditions necessitate temperature regulation, for which building design helps little.

Power strips can be used to distribute power from outlets to various electronics which gives the advantage of being able to disconnect all appliances from the strip and eliminate idle power use, which is the small amount of power consumed by idle electronics when not unplugged.

Other good practices such as turning off electronics (and unplugging them) when not in use, avoiding use of excessive and unnecessary lights etc. can also help in reducing domestic power use.

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