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Domestic sector

Distribution of electricity end-use in domestic sector in India
Fans : 34%
Lighting : 28%
Refrigerators : 13%
Room AC : 7%
Evaporative coolers : 4%
Televisions : 4%
Others : 4%

Did you know that to bring a megawatt of electricity to your homes, 30–40 million rupees is spent? Building a new power plant would cost millions. Isn’t this reason enough for you to begin conserving energy in your house?

Electricity saved is money saved; in fact, it is worth much more than electricity generated. Every time your electricity bill reaches home, you realize there is no need for so many lights and fans around you. All you have to do is be slightly more alert and careful. And the best thing is, you can start right away. Involve the rest of your family in this effort, and see the difference.

Here are some tips that will help you conserve energy.

In the household...

bullet.gif (62 bytes) Begin by switching off the lights and the fans in the rooms that are not occupied. Make sure that everyone in the family does the same.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Use CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) instead of ordinary incandescent lamps. These lamps may be more expensive but they last longer than the ordinary bulbs and are very energy efficient as they consume much less power.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Use the washing machine at full loads, as the consumption of water will be the same whether you put in half a load of clothes or a full load.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Mix hot water in the bucket for a bath rather than using a geyser shower. Showers consume more power and up to 90 litres of water for a bath.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Change the heat element in the geyser every 5–6 years; this will enable heating to be faster and also save valuable power.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Try using the air conditioner an hour or two less every day. Switch on the air conditioner only when you go into the room and switch it off after a few hours as the room will remain cool for the next few hours. Keep the doors and the windows shut even after it is switched off. Clean the filter at least once a fortnight. A choked filter means improper cooling and more power consumption.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Plug on your iron only after you get all your clothes together.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Replace traditional chokes of tube lights with electronic chokes. They save two-third energy lost in chokes.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Use light colours on the walls of your rooms; this helps reduce lighting requirements up to 40%.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Keep the lights and fixtures clean and dirt free. Dust and dirt reduce lighting levels by as much as 30%.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Clean and lubricate your fans regularly and replace old regulators with electronic regulators. This helps reduce electricity consumption significantly at low speeds.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Cool the food properly before storing in the fridge. Check on the gasket lining or the seal of the fridge. Avoid opening the door frequently. Defrost the fridge regularly, this reduces the power consumption.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Buy only those appliances that are essential and try to get the maximum benefit from them.

In the kitchen...

bullet.gif (62 bytes) While cooking, use wide bottom vessels with lids. Allow food articles taken out of the refrigerators to attain room temperature before cooking them.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Soak cereals and dals for some time before cooking them to reduce the cooking time as well as the fuel consumption. Use just sufficient water for cooking.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Pressure cookers used with separators lead to substantial fuel saving. Reduce flame by bringing the burner knob to the simmer position as soon as the water starts boiling.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Try to eat together to avoid repeated warming of food. This not only saves fuel but also preserves the nutritional value of food.
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Light the flame only after all preparations have been made and the vessel is ready to be put on the stove
bullet.gif (62 bytes) Use hot water from solar water heaters for cooking if the facility is available. Try to use a solar cooker if facility and time permit.

Whenever you save energy – or use it more efficiently – you reduce the demand for gasoline, oil, coal, and natural gas. All these sources of energy are used to generate power. Less burning of these fossil fuels means lower emissions of carbon dioxide, the major contributor to global warming, and other harmful gases.

It has been estimated that good housekeeping measures, use of more efficient equipment, and better control methods can save 35%–40% electricity in the domestic sector.

Consumption levels of some commonly used appliances

Appliance Capacity Consumption
Instant geyser 3000 W 3 units/hour
Immersion rod 1000 W 1 unit/hour
Air conditioner 1500–2500 W 8.5–14.5 units/day
Air cooler 170 W 1.7 units/day
Fan 60 W 0.6 unit/day
Refrigerator 200 W 2 units/day
Electric kettle 1000–2000 W 1–2 units/hour
Hot plate 1000–1500 W 1–1.5 units/hour
Oven 1000 W 1 unit/hour
Toaster 800 W 0.8 unit/hour
Iron 750 W 0.65–0.75 unit/hour
Incandescent bulb 100/60/40 W 0.5/0.3/0.2 unit/day
Fluorescent lamp 40/20 W 0.28/0.15 unit/day
Slim tube 36 W 0.26 unit/day
Compact fluorescent lamp 7/9/11/13 W 0.06–0.09 unit/day
Source Energy Management Centre, Ministry of Power, Government of India

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