Energy Conservation: The First Step to Moving to Carbon Net Zero
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A review of the published literature on the theory and practice of Energy Conservation was conducted. The purpose of this review was to assess relevant information on the application of Energy Conservation as a step in moving to a net carbon zero environment. This research is part of the overall Kenson Group Carbon Net Zero Capability Portfolio that positions Kenson as a viable provider in this area.
It was found that electricity is the biggest source of energy used by humans and currently is generated primarily through the burning of the fossil fuels, i.e. coal, oil and natural gas. The combustion of these fossil fuels results in the production of the harmful greenhouse gas carbon dioxide even as these fuels are a non-renewable source of energy i.e. it does not get replenished once. As a result, practicing energy conservation will not only prolong the life cycle of our fossil fuels but subsequently reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted in the environment.
Energy Conservation is the process of reducing consumption either through reduction in demand or improvement in efficiency in generation and is the first step to combating climate change. Reducing energy usage will help in the reduction of electricity being produced and thus require fewer fossil fuels to be burnt.
Energy conservation is done through numerous ways:
- Replacing less efficient light fixtures with higher efficient LED lights that produce the same amount of light using less energy
- Turning off all lights and computers and other electrical equipment once not in use to prevent phantom charges
- Replacing old technologies with newer more efficient ones
- Conducting an energy audit
Examples of energy conservation and energy auditing were found in India, where an audit was conducted on a school to reduce their overall energy usage by implementing more efficient lighting fixtures and fans. It was found that 823.78 kWh were saved per year with the new, efficient equipment. It was also found that an additional 222.30 kWh were saved by implementing a sensor-based switching model that automatically turned on and off the lights and fans according to the levels of infrared radiation picked up by the presence of humans. In total, an overall energy saving of 55.3% or 1045.4kWh was achieved by implementing these two energy efficient features which can be translated into bigger annual cost savings.
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