Energy Conservation and Management
What is Energy Conservation, Energy Efficiency and management?
Energy conservation: is the term used for reducing the consumption through using less energy service. Energy conservation is not about making limited resources last longer, but it is a process of doing nothing more than delaying a crisis until we finally run out of all our energy resources. Conservation is the process of reducing demand on a limited supply (for example natural gas) and ensuring that the demand is met by alternative means of supply. Most of the times the best way to do this is to replace the existing energy used with an alternate one. Energy Conservation is all about using energy only when it is required and using it as much as needed for the job and not wasting any amount of it. It requires a conscious effort from the user of energy to make sure that there is no wastage on a regular basis.
Energy efficiency: The phrase energy efficiency is often used to describe any kind of energy saving measure, though technically energy efficiency is different from energy conservation. For example, a compact fluorescent bulb is more efficient than a traditional incandescent bulb as it uses much less electrical energy to produce the same amount of light. Similarly, an efficient boiler takes less fuel to heat a home to a given temperature than a less efficient model.
Energy Management: is a term used for saving or reducing the use of energy in businesses, public sector or government organizations and homes. It is the art of using optimum energy to maximize profits and minimize costs thereby improving the economic competitiveness. Energy management can also be defined as the science involving planning and controlling the supply and consumption of energy to improve the productivity and comforts of the public and to minimize the energy costs and pollution with conscious and effective use of energy.
When it comes to saving the energy for the future, energy management refers to the process of monitoring, controlling and conserving energy in a building or an organization. This involves:
- Metering energy consumption and collecting the data received.
- Finding ways to save energy and estimating how much energy is consumed and conserved. One would typically analyze the meter data to find and quantify routine energy waste and investigate the energy savings by replacing the equipment that was causing high energy consumption or by upgrading the building insulation.
- Tracking the progress by analyzing the meter data to check the energy saving efforts.
Some of the practical methods and technologies for energy conservation and energy management are:
- Using Smart Grids: these grids improve efficiency by using technology to optimize the production and distribution. Through a combination of distributed resources, interactive technologies, renewable energy, two-way communications, and dynamic utilization, they provide businesses and consumers with information that allows them to alter their consumption based on supply, demand, and pricing. That improves the reliability and flexibility of energy use.
- Installing CFL lights: trying to replace the incandescent bulbs with CFL lights. CFL bulbs cost more upfront but last 12 times longer than the regular bulbs and will not only save energy but over time it is cost effective.
- Using maximum daylight: turning off the lights during the day and using daylight as much as possible will reduce the burden on the local power grid and will save a good amount of money in the long run.
- Getting the energy audit done: one of the primary ways to reduce energy usage is to conduct an energy audit. It is mostly done by a panel of trained professionals for analyzing the energy use and flow for energy in a building, process or systems to reduce the amount of energy input into the system without affecting the output. The recent development of smartphone apps will help the consumers to get their energy audit done at home.
- Building technologies and smart meters allow the energy users, both business and residential to see graphically the impact their energy use can have in their workplace. Advance real time metering allows people to save and conserve energy by their actions.
- Energy Tax: Some countries employ energy or carbon taxes to motivate the energy users to reduce their consumption. Carbon taxes allows consumptions to alter. Nuclear and other alternative methods of energy can help reduce environmental impacts. Taxes on all energy consumption helps reduce energy use across the board, while reducing the environmental consequences arising from energy production.
- Switching off the electric appliances when not in use.
- Drive less, walk more and carpooling: is yet another way of conserving energy. This will not only reduce the carbon footprint but will also keep us healthy.
Emerging Technologies in Energy Management:
- Smart and Wireless systems: Networking and communications technologies help reduce waste, improve efficiency and enable changes in behavior. The simplest example is lighting fixtures with integrated occupancy and/or daylight sensors. More advanced examples are lighting ballasts that can connect and talk to each other and to a central control system through a wireless mesh network. This type of system provides true plug-and-play capabilities, where luminaires can simply be installed or relocated and they will determine for themselves where they are and how they should function in relation to that location.
- Net zero energy buildings.The movement now is beyond simply reducing energy use in buildings to having buildings that produce energy and contribute it back to the grid. Renewable energy sources and on-site generation will contribute to a more distributed energy model, where individual buildings and sites are more active participants in the energy system. The development of energy storage capabilities will enable this type of interaction so that individual customers can decide when to buy from the grid, when to store energy and when to supply it back to the grid based not just on the load but also on price, the availability of renewable sources or even the carbon content of grid energy.
- Focusing more on renewable energy: to deal with the environmental issues. Countries should invest substantially in using renewable energy in their day to day life such as use of solar panels to supply their daily energy requirements.
- Using autonomous vehicles technology will help reduce the traffic congestion and will improve the fuel economy by 4-10 % by accelerating and decelerating more smoothly than a human driver. As we know that smog in industrial areas is linked to the number of vehicles, having autonomous cars will help reduce the air pollution. A shared autonomous vehicle system also offers benefits in terms of emissions and energy.
Basic principles for effective energy management:
Because of the rising energy costs, energy management has again become a priority for facilities managers. Many new energy saving technologies are available, such as automated management systems, but they do not support or guarantee a successful energy program. Facility managers should keep the following principles in mind, while considering innovative approaches to energy management:
- Without knowing how, when and where energy is used, there is no way to gauge the relative importance of energy management projects. Identifying and tracking energy use patterns is the first step in any energy program.
- Good maintenance practices and good energy management go hand in hand. Some of the highest rates of return on energy conservation are generated simply by performing maintenance. Preventive maintenance is still critical, and reactive maintenance (waiting for a crisis to occur) is still foolish, despite funding limitations. It is easy to ignore preventive maintenance when systems are new, calibrations are precise, seals are tight, and heat-exchanger surfaces are clean.
- Maintenance and energy management serve different purposes. One cannot be substituted for the other. For example, cleaning light-fixture lenses and re lamping them is good maintenance; installing more efficient lamps and ballasts is good energy management.
The government of India launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC) on Monday. With the adoption of ECBC 2017 for new commercial building construction throughout the country, it is estimated to achieve a 50% reduction in energy use by 2030. This will translate to energy savings of about 300 Billion Units by 2030 and peak demand reduction of over 15 GW in a year. This will be equivalent to expenditure savings of Rs 35,000 crore and 250 million tonnes of CO2 reduction.
ECBC 2017 was developed by BEE with technical support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the U.S.-India bilateral Partnership to Advance Clean Energy – Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program.
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