How we use and ration the use of energy is a global issue, with concerns ranging from the types of pumps available from pump manufacturers used in water systems to the light bulbs we use in our homes. There are a few myths out there with regards to how we can reduce our daily energy consumption, and in some cases following these might actually end up costing you money.
Myth 1: Switching lights on and off consumes more energy than leaving them on
It’s often said that switching lights on and off a few times uses more energy than if you just leave them on. The simple truth is that if a light is on it’s using energy, and if it’s is off it’s not using energy. The switching on and off process doesn’t use any extra energy. So when you don’t need a light, turn it off – you’ll save money.
Myth 2: LED bulbs are expensive
Actually Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs cost a lot less than regular light bulbs when you take into account that you’d need to buy eight normal bulbs for every one LED bulb you buy. And LEDs also use just a quarter of the energy of regular bulbs. So if you’re looking to save money, LEDs are a really easy way to do it. In fact, it’s estimated that you’ll save around £30 over the lifespan of one LED bulb. When you consider the number of light fittings in a home or office, it’s a massive overall saving.
Myth 3: Electronic appliances don’t consume energy if they’re turned off
Switching electronic items like TVs and game consoles to standby means that they’re still consuming energy. It’s estimated that using standby mode can cost the average family around £90 a year. So if you’re not using appliances, make sure you turn them off at the plug to avoid hidden costs.
Myth 4: Solar panels mean you’ll never pay for electricity
Having solar panels installed is one way of harnessing a natural resource to provide ‘free’ energy. But the reality is that solar panels only produce energy during the day. Most are connected to the grid so have no way of storing electricity for you to use in the night time hours, so you will still need to pay for electricity during that time. Overall, solar panels should save you some money over the year, but they won’t mean you’re free from energy bills.
So What Should You Be Doing?
Be conscious of your energy use. Turn things off at the plug when you’re not using them, use LED bulbs, only have the lights on that you need, wash clothes at 30 or 40 degrees, hang laundry out to dry when it’s sunny and check if you can get cavity wall insulation. There are lots of little things you can do.
You might have thought about limiting your water use, but you should also take into consideration the efficiency of any water pumps. Often hidden, pumps are an essential part of modern life in our homes, offices, hospitals and just about everywhere. Every time you turn on a tap, flush a toilet, have a shower, use heating or air conditioning, some sort of pump is involved.
In fact, water pumps use around ten per cent of the world’s energy. But it’s estimated that two-thirds of pumps are inefficient, using up to 60 per cent too much energy. This means there’s the potential for massive savings if the correct energy-efficient pump systems are installed. This is the challenge to pump manufacturers: the types of pumps they create can have a huge impact on the world’s energy use. The response has been to focus on energy-efficient pumps such as the self-priming pump, which is highly efficient as it doesn’t need ejector or vacuum pumps to start it up.
So when you’re considering energy-efficiency in the home or any other environment, there are lots of things you can do. And don’t forget those hidden water pumps – there are major savings to be made.