Choosing the right upgrades that can help save money on energy bills, while also adding value to the home is an important consideration for domestic energy consumers.
Since most homeowners in Pakistan aren't well-versed with retrofitting, it's best to start with simple upgrades that are effective in lowering the energy utilization and save them money on bills. For instance, installing weather stripping across doors or sealant around windows are inexpensive yet effective “quick fixes” with a noticeable effect on the inside temperatures and cooling needs. However, these simple fixes definitely won’t add much value to the property.
Since domestic retrofit has never gained much traction in the country, domestic consumers are always shy in committing to any larger upgrades, until the time it becomes necessary. Lack of awareness of the potential benefits and fewer options for the upgrades, as well as, high upfront cost deter domestic users to commit to larger retrofit upgrades; even if it adds value to their homes.
When we talk about domestic energy use patterns, it's important to realize that the domestic energy consumers in Pakistan are paying one of the highest energy prices in the region, while by implementing simple retrofit upgrades, they may save thousands on monthly energy spending.
Here in this blog, we will be looking at some simple retrofit upgrade options that can help domestic users to significantly reduce energy consumption and save large on energy bills.
- Utilization of efficient Appliances
In the last decade, much progress has been made in manufacturing of modern energy efficient appliances. Switching to newer technology appliances, which are efficient and consume less energy would be the first logical step for domestic energy consumers to save energy.
Fortunately, the market is flooded with newer and energy efficient substitutes such as DC fridges, DC inverter air conditioners, and other appliances that are worthy of investment and can reduce overall domestic consumption and save the amount spent on monthly energy bills.
- Thermostat and timers control appliances
Unnecessary and unattended appliances add much cost to the monthly energy bills. Fortunately, modern appliances are available with options like; timer and thermostat that allow a domestic user to increase the cooling and heating effect in the room without wasting much energy.
A programmable thermostat helps to achieve the optimum temperature at minimal cost by allowing its user to adjust their environment control system. You can also turn down the temperature when the room temperature is maintained according to your desire, or have it shut down when no one is in the room. A thermostat will adjust the temperature automatically without manual adjustment every time, once you programmed it.
- Use of efficient water geysers
Old water heaters are not only inefficient but can also cause severe damage if bursted. Although, there are very limited options available when it comes to saving energy and cost on water supplies new efficient water geysers are available in the markets that are high in demand now, such as Heat pump water heaters, solar water heaters, and Tankless water heaters, etc.
- Tankless heaters produce hot water on demand, unlike the older ones that store that hot water until it is used.
- Heat pump water heaters use electricity to transfer heat from one place to another instead of producing heat for providing hot water.
- Solar water heaters use the sun's heat to provide hot water.
Replacing old geysers with new energy-efficient heaters can result in less energy consumption and more savings.
- Not leaving appliances on Standby
Leaving the appliances on standby mode is one of the most common energy wastage patterns amongst domestic users. It's important for domestic consumers to realize that even on standby mode appliances continually receive the power until they are not completely turned off. The good practice is to switch off or shut down the devices when they are not in use. Although individual devices consume less energy on standby mode of what they usually do; the more devices you own, the greater the effect of their ongoing consumption on your energy bills.
- Set AC on the lower temperature
Air conditioners have become the necessity of daily life. However, AC consumes a lot of electricity that eventually increases the cost of electricity bills. However, maintaining the right temperature can help you minimize the energy consumption. It is suggested that keeping the AC temperature at 24 degree Celsius or lesser can help you save much energy annually. Remember, while the amount of energy an AC consumes does not depend upon the temperature you set it at, still running it at low temperatures can reduce the overall energy consumption.
- Use of renewable energy
Solar power and solar thermals are the fastest growing forms of renewable technology. Solar panels are specially designed that convert solar energy into electricity to power businesses and homes. Solar energies have a great impact on the environment and provide numerous benefits to domestic users. The use of solar panels reduces the amount of energy that you use from the grid. Solar batteries are available that can be used to store the energy to lighten up the homes at night as well. The cost of installing a solar panel is quite high but it reduces the significant cost, energy and also decreases the number of pollutants released every day.
- Use of efficient fans and lights.
Switching to CFL or LED bulbs can easily lead you to save money. Modern lighting can provide the same quantity of light as older fluorescent lighting while consuming as little as one-third of the energy. Similarly, LEDs are three to four times more efficient than the traditional incandescent lamps they are designed to replace.
Similarly, energy efficient ceiling fans are effective in keeping rooms cooler, and now they have become a lot more sophisticated. Advanced Energy Star Certified ceiling fans are a great way to enhance the energy of domestic homes. There are different fan system available approved by NEECA
- Constant Volume Fan Systems: it does not change the air volume supply under different load conditions.
- Variable Air Volume (VAV) Fan Systems: it changes the air volume as per the load condition.
These fan systems are specially designed to consume less energy depending upon the load.
Remember, Pakistan have faced chronic electric shortage for long, however with the right approach and more efficient consumption pattern we can save much energy to not just save massively on energy bills but also contribute our bit towards a greener and cleaner environment.