When considering an alternative energy system, the very first thing that must be addressed is conservation. No matter how your energy is produced, it is cheaper to not use it in the first place.
Every dollar spent on conservation = five dollars spent on generation
With energy prices across North America skyrocketing, we are getting a lot of calls from customers who are on the grid, fed up with electricity or natural gas bills that are much higher than they were a year ago. What can they do? First thing to examine is conservation.
In any given household, a savings of upwards of 50% of the electric bill can be realized with very little effort, really. We are not suggesting that you turn all the heat off, do away with modern appliances and go back to candles! There are a lot of simple things that can be done with minimal effort::
Lighting can often be one of the largest consumers of power in a business of a home. Take a look around during the night time. Entire office towers are lit up. Houses have lights on in every single room. Here are a few simple suggestions:
These products below will help you determine how much electricity a given appliance is using. Great for intermittent loads such as refrigeration that is hard to determine exact power used.Heating
Heating is generally one of the largest single consumers of electricity. We are hearing stories on the news of people on fixed incomes that are not able to afford electricity for heat. This is a sad point that we have reached. There is, however, lots that you can do to reduce your heating bill.
of Canada Climate Change Site
Natural Resources Canada
Office of Energy Efficiency
of Portland's Office of Sustainable Development
Resources Canada Renewable Energy Division
Energy Council of Canada
United States Environmental
and Renewable Energy Network
Up? A Co-nect energy project for grades 4-10.
But never again will electricity be so cruelly ignored! This four week Co-nect online project gives students everywhere the opportunity to truly appreciate the wonders of electricity.
Through this project, students monitor electricity use in their school, compare this data with other schools, develop and implement a conservation plan, and try to significantly curtail electricity use and spending
Energy Consumption of Major Household Appliances Marketed in Canada - Trends for 1990-1997, April 2000
This report outlines the changes in the energy use and distribution of major household appliances, based on the actual distribution of the various types of appliances marketed in Canada between 1990 and 1997, using data collected through the cooperation of the Canadian Appliance Manufacturers Association (CAMA). Each chapter in this report covers a specific type of appliance: refrigerators, clothes dryers, clothes washers, dishwashers and ranges.
This guide provides information on the latest energy-efficient technologies, practices, and approaches that can help small retailers save money and strengthen their business. Implementing some of the efficiency measures suggested in this book can help retailers achieve energy savings.
The Special Surveys Division of Statistics Canada conducted the 1997
Survey of Household Energy Use (SHEU-1997) for the Office of Energy Efficiency
(OEE) of Natural Resources Canada. This report presents the results of
the recent survey while referring to data obtained from other sources,
including the 1993 survey. Chapter 1 describes the inventory of houses
as determined by this new survey; Chapter 2 describes the characteristics
of the thermal envelope; Chapter 3 describes the equipment used for heating
houses and the heating habits of their residents; Chapter 4 deals with
air conditioning and ventilation of houses; Chapter 5 reveals the penetration
rates and characteristics of major household appliances; Chapter 6 describes
water heating equipment; and Chapter 7 presents lighting.
KPMG : Solar Energy, From Perennial Promise
to Competitive Alternative
As part of its drive to see fossil fuels phased out in favour of renewable sources of energy in order to prevent further potentially disastrous climate change, it is very important to Greenpeace that solar energy becomes widely accepted and used. However, the big breakthrough for solar energy is still to come. The predominant reason for this is the price of solar technology, and so long as this remains high, solar energy will remain a perennial promise. The extent to which market mechanisms could be used to rapidly produce a competitive price for solar power via economies of scale is a question that needs to be resolved.
The question Greenpeace put to KPMG was: "Can the large scale production of solar panels lower the price of solar energy to such an extent that solar energy can compete economically with conventional forms of energy? And if it can, what action is necessary on the part of government, customers and industry to break through the current impasse?"
The conclusion from KPMG is clear: "Scaling up the production of solar panels is technologically feasible using current technology. To achieve a reduction in the price to the level of conventional energy, production needs to be scaled up to 500 MWp per year. There are costs involved in creating the required market size, and either industry, government, or energy users will have to pick up the cost of transition."
Wind Force 10: A blueprint to achieve 10% of the world's electricity from wind power by 2020 (Report by Greenpeace, European Wind Energy Association and Forum for Energy & Development, October 1999)
Wind power today is a success story supplying electricity to millions of people, employing tens of thousands of people and generating billions of dollars revenue. The benefits of wind power are compelling; environmental protection, economic growth job creation, diversity of supply, rapid deployment, technology transfer and innovation. The fuel is free, abundant and inexhaustible. Yet these benefits remain largely untapped; most energy decisions taken today overlook wind power, and it faces many obstacles and barriers.We have produced this report in order to update our understanding of the contribution that wind power can make to the world. It is deliberately conservative. The report is a practical blueprint to show that wind power is capable of supplying 10% of the world's electricity within two decades, even if we double our overall electricity use in that time. The collaboration of our organisations highlights the triple benefits that wind energy offers the world: for the environment, for industry and for development
Efficiency & Solar Pay Off - HomePower Article. This couple improved their homes efficiency first, and then invested in renewable energy systems that met their budget.
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