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Energy Efficiency Measures: Do We Even Care?

Energy is one of the most fundamental parts of our universe. Without energy, life cannot exist. It is a vital part of one nation's survival and considered as the lifeblood of the economy. However, energy is not limitless. It is not free or cheap either. Yet, we use energy insatiably and inefficiently. Therefore, energy efficiency measures are important and should be made a priority.

Energy is one of the most fundamental parts of our universe. Without energy, life cannot exist; there would be no change, and nothing would ever happen. As such, it is an important part of human life, ecosystem, and Earth as a whole, essentially in terms of existence and survival. Because of energy, we are living conveniently and even pleasurably, e.g., through the use and availability of vehicles, appliances, and sophisticated gadgets which utilize energy. It gives us light, food, heat, and a lot more. In fact, in behalf of energy, new technologies were developed and discovered, let alone the studies and fields of research that somehow shape what we are and what the world is today.

Economically, energy (e.g., fossil fuel) is the main, if not the only, source of income in many countries. Through it, they govern and run their respective nations, some countries become rich and progressive, and others gain political power. Energy is a vital part of one nation's survival, and thus, it is considered as the lifeblood of the economy. In short, it is indispensable in achieving economic growth and critical in sustaining a nation's progress and prosperity. However, energy is not limitless. It is not free or cheap either. Yet, we use energy insatiably and inefficiently, disregarding its value, the mere effects, and outcome, and many of us would not even care less. In fact, in spite of the efforts and advances in efficiency and sustainability, more than half of the energy has been consumed in the last two decades, and most is used in the country of origin.

Apparently, consumption of energy is practical and inevitable, and so, depletion is constant and ever-increasing, compounded by other factors. Consequently, the existing energy resources that we have and enjoy today will not be enough, available, and/or up for grabs in the future, which could subsequently somehow hinder growth, devalue one thing, or end existence. Therefore, energy efficiency measures are important and should be warranted.

Energy efficiency measures could reap long-term beneficial benefits and, in concert with aggressive and focused research, development, and adaptation of renewable energy resources, will guarantee future energy supplies. Indeed, it is very important. If one nation must make a sustainable progress in development efforts with existing resources, energy efficiency measures should be made a priority. Besides, in the long run, engaging in energy efficiency measures has enormous economic returns, and conservation of energy, even at home, has benefits more than meets the eye. Thus, these measures should be encouraged and integrated as part of energy goals.

Classification of energy efficiency measures

In order to picture out and digest clearly what are energy efficiency measures, the following classifications are put forward.

1. No-cost measures

These are simple ways and day-to-day opportunities which at least could conserve energy. These include practices such as shutting doors to minimize air infiltration in air-conditioned rooms, turning out lights when not in use, increasing energy awareness, shutting down certain decors at night, switching off air conditioner, attitudinal changing, and switching to low worth energy sources (e.g., use of kerosene for heating water instead of electricity).

2. Low-cost measures

These require a low capital investment, and the payback period is less than a year. These include measures such as switching to low-energy-consuming appliances, installation of dehumidifier in building, installation of boiler headers, and replacement of incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL).

3. High-cost measures

These require a high investment capital with a payback period usually of more than 1 year. Examples are the following: retrofit of flow gas dampers, flow isolation controls and sequence control on main boilers, and presence-detector control of lighting.

Barriers to energy efficiency measures

However, energy efficiency measures are not easy to apply and implement. Adding insult to the injury, there are barriers that hinder its realization. Undoubtedly, great potentials for energy efficiency measures exist today, but there are also intrinsic barriers which militate against implementation. A number of these common to most societies are the following:

1. General lack of awareness

Due to lack of knowledge and information, there are people who do not know what these measures are. Also, many just do not even care.

2. Lack of investment capital

Leaders are hesitant to invest because of its uncertainty, indefinite outcome, and risk involved. Some choose to fund other projects instead.

3. Mind-set

Focus for its implementation has been derailed by other problems that seem practical to be resolved first at present. It is also because of beliefs and way of thinking of some people that what they are doing is energy efficient.

4. Dearth of experts and appropriate institutional framework

There are a few number of skilled personnel available to measure, interpret, and monitor such measures. Also, no policies and framework that recognize the roles and benefits of these measures are made.

5. Absence of industry energy policy

There are no industry energy policies implemented that could determine and compare efficient use of energy.

6. Distorted energy pricing and absence of performance-based reward system

Energy pricing is below its economic value. Also, no performance-based reward system is implemented that could somehow encourage people.

Conclusions

Energy efficiency measures are important and should be made a priority before it is too late. In order to derive maximum benefits offered by energy efficiency measures, there is a need to unfold and implement standard measures, and of course, barriers to energy efficiency should be addressed with great effort.

NB: The classification and barriers are based on the work of G.O. UnachukwuScience Articles, National Centre for Energy Research and Development.

Article Tags: Energy Efficiency Measures, Energy Efficiency, Efficiency Measures, Even Care, These Measures

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


As a Copy Editor and blogger, Rodrigo Gante is inclined to write articles in different niches, particularly in Media and Publication.



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