We all want a brighter tomorrow, but to achieve this we need to be a bit brighter about how we use energy, at work and at home. Its not enough to lean back and let the politicians and activists try to sort it out, we need to do our part. The best part is that by helping us, we help others and help ensure a bright future for our children, their children and so on. We can help each of us, the best part is that its easy.
What do we know about energy consumption? It goes up every year and now we know that we can not maintain the current rate of consumption if we expect to secure a future for our children and grandchildren. Where does this leave us now? We have choices, we do something or we do nothing, so easy. We can all help, we just need to know how.
The European countries have been ahead of North American countries in energy saving because of the high cost of energy in their countries. If we assume some of their methods, we will be ahead of what will finally go to our doors. A method of controlling the energy needs during peak hours is to use smart meters to measure electrical usage and charge at different speeds for a full day. Higher hours correspond to higher costs, of peak hours are lower costs, quite simple. We may not think too much about it today but we will need it in the near future. The Province of Ontario, Canada is currently installing these smart meters and will assume the variable rates when the installation of all meters is complete.
Simply add less load: less maintenance, which means lower maintenance costs, which in turn saves the final consumers money. It also limits the need to build more production capacity and the need to have less efficient capacity during peak hours, it also saves consumers money and reduces harmful emissions. The prerequisite is to charge more when it costs more so that the consumer is forced to become more efficient, more aware of how they use their energy. We can go ahead of this trend by making small changes now, which will benefit us immediately as well as in the future.
How can we do this? We assume some proven European methods and with some effort become more energy efficient help the environment and save us some money as a bonus. One of the easiest ways to get started is to benefit from programmable devices and utilize them during holidays. Peak hours vary slightly in different states and premises, but you can be sure that the highest demand always falls around 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. until around 8:00 pm P.M. range, this varies with seasons depending on lighting and heat / cooling requirements. This makes the goal of using your highest energy consumers outside these highest requested hours. This may not seem possible, especially in the evening when we get home from work and start cooking, screw down A.C in the summer or heat up during the winter months, but it can be achieved.
Here we take advantage of programming our appliances and heating and cooling systems to work for us while we are at work or asleep or do something else. This is a real benefit now because we can save time, energy and money. For heating and cooling, we simply install a programmable thermostat and program it to avoid peak hours. Cool your house at night when you are looking for holidays, and you do not have to fight the sun. Draw shades of the day and let the temperature get a little bit up. For heating, close it a bit at night and use an extra blanket and open shades of the day to let the sun help warm the house.
Simple so far, lets take the next step now. Use programmable devices to utilize off peak hours. Use a programmable crock pot to come on when you leave the job so that the dinner is cooked when you get home. Crock pot is also effective and has minimal energy requirements compared to an oven or stove, so even when used during holidays it is much better than using the option. Crock pot is also useful for overnight use during low hours, simply remove the insert and place it in the fridge, heat up when you get home. This will also reduce the heat emitted in the house, which means less air conditioning. Take advantage of other effective options like toasters and microwaves to help as well. Opportunities continue to grow and when we get into this sense of mind and start enjoying the savings and amenities it will only get easier.