Energy Smart Tips for the Home
An Energy Smart Home is more comfortable to live in, cheaper to
run and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, protecting the environment
for the entire community. Follow these simple measures to reduce
your energy consumption and save money on your power bills. For
further information visit www.energysmart.com.au
- Use a AAA rated showerhead to save money on water and energy
- Solar, heat pump hot water and/or high efficiency gas are best
for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Insulate your hot water system to reduce heat loss.
- Insulate the ceiling and walls of your house. This will make
your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer and save on your
heating and cooling bills.
- Compact fluorescent lights use only 1/5 of the electricity of
ordinary globes and last for up to 8 times longer.
- Maximise the use of daylight.
Stop draughts and heat loss by:
- Sealing gaps around external doors and windows.
- Putting close fitting curtains on the windows.
- Closing doors to conditioned areas.
- Blocking off open fireplaces.
- Cook toast in a toaster and not under a grill.
- Put lids on pots while cooking.
- Microwave ovens, followed by gas cookers and then fan forced
ovens are the most energy efficient appliances and thus produce
the least amount of greenhouse gases.
Heating and Cooling
- Remember that a 1 degree fall in temperature in your home adds
10% to your heating bill. Conversely an increase in temperature
during summer adds significantly to the energy required for cooling.
Take heed of the points listed above regarding insulation and
weather sealing and choose the most energy smart system available
to suit your needs.
- Choose the most appropriately sized system for your house.
Washing and Drying
- Use the clothes line or clothes horse for free sun and wind
- Select high star rating appliances.
- Front load washers are usually more efficient.
- Wash with cold or warm water, not hot.
- Maximise north facing living areas, minimise west and east facing
- Use shading that keeps the sun out in summer but allows it in
during the winter months.
- Switch to Green Power and have your electricity supplied from
renewable energy sources. Call 136 206 now or visit www.greenpower.com.au
How can you find out more? Call SEDA's Energy Smart Information
Centre for free advice; Phone 1300 138 638 or call in and see us
at level 6, 45 Clarence St, Sydney (Close to Wynyard train station)
Opportunities for Energy Savings in Industrial Plant
The term 'industrial plant' covers a very wide range of equipment,
technology and installations. This makes it very difficult to give
a comprehensive guide to making industrial plant more energy efficient.
However, there are a range of widely used practices and techniques
that can be used as a starting point. Further information is also
available at www.energysmart.com.au
Compressed air systems
Compressed air is often considered industry's fourth "utility"
and is generally the most expensive industrial utility. Three quarters
of the cost of owning a compressed air system over ten years is
made up of the energy costs. A US study found that energy consumed
by motor driven compressors on average accounted for 10% of plant
energy use. Things to investigate in the compressed air system include:
- temperature of intake air - decreasing temperature of intake
air by 3 degrees can reduce energy use by 1%;
- operating pressure - reducing system pressure by 100kPa can
reduce energy use by 8%;
- repair air leaks - in a typical plant air leaks account for
20% of air usage (Ingersoll Rand);
- control of compressors and size of compressors/loading optimisation;
- removal of unused compressed air lines;
- elimination of compressed air use.
Steam distribution systems can be a significant source of energy
savings, with a typical industrial plant likely to realise savings
of 20% in steam related energy. Things to investigate include:
- leaking steam traps - persistant steam leaks can reduce steam
production by 3-5%;
- insulation of steam and condensate lines - insulation can typically
reduce energy losses by 90%;
- correct sizing of steam traps;
- initiate regular steam trap maintenance program - between 15-30%
of installed traps are likely to have failed if maintenance has
not been done for 3-5 years;
- minimise operating pressure;
- condensate return - reduces energy and water usage.
Cogeneration means using the one fuel to generate two
or more forms of energy. So for instance a gas boiler can be used
to make heat and electricity. Any form of fuel can be used to make
the electricity - gas, coal or waste products. Capturing more of
the energy released by the input fuel has considerable environmental
and financial advantages. Anyone who uses heat (or cooling) and
electricity may benefit by installing a cogeneration plant. The
technology is already mature. Commercial buildings, industrial plants,
swimming pools, hospitals, hotels and RSL clubs are already cutting
their power bills and increasing their energy efficiency by using
cogeneration. Cogeneration can
- reduce power costs,
- double energy efficiency,
- reduce carbon dioxide emission by two-thirds,
- improve security of electricity, and
- any power not used can be made available to the grid.
One of the most common industrial technologies, the boiler, can
provide significant energy savings. Despite having been under continuous
development for centuries there are many boilers that were not designed
with energy efficiency as one of the primary focuses. As a major
piece of capital equipment, many boilers are destined for years
of service before being replaced. However if the opportunity arises
to overhaul or replace a boiler don't simply go for the existing
system or performance without considering opportunities for saving
energy. These include:
- optimisation of boiler size and loading;
- analysis of flue gas and optimisation of air to fuel ratio;
- establishment of regular burner maintenance;
- heat recovery of waste heat from flue gas/blowdown for preheat
of feedwater or air;
- switching to a less carbon intensive, and hence less greenhouse
intensive, fuel ie, where possible switch to gas fired boilers
over electric and coal fired boilers;
- consider installing a cogeneration plant.
Electric motors account for about 25% of Australia's electricity
use. Various studies indicate that large savings can be made through
improvements to motor systems.
Things to investigate in motor systems are:
- establishment of a purchasing policy for premium efficiency
motors - they do cost more up front, but the energy savings will
pay the extra back very quickly;
- correct sizing of motors - studies have found that up to 60%
of all motors in service are oversized for the application;
- ensure system components are not undersized - larger pipes and
valves will reduce pressure drop thereby reducing energy consumption
of the motor;
- consider installation of variable speed drives if motor is not
always fully loaded;
- improve your rewind practices and limit the number of rewinds
- each motor rewind reduces efficiency by 2-5%.
Furnaces, Ovens, Kilns
Things to investigate in these systems include:
- automation of controls;
- waste heat recovery for use in other applications;
- improvement of insulation, seals and refractories;
- changing from indirect heating to direct firing;
- optimisation of temperature, and minimisation of warm-up time;
- product flow optimisation for improved energy and quality assurance.
Opportunities for Performance Improvement in Commercial Buildings
Experience has shown that in almost any commercial building there
are large savings to be made if only the plant and equipment can
be inspected by someone with sufficient expertise in the area of
energy efficiency to be able to pick the winners.
Investing in equipment maintenance and upgrades that reduce energy
use can often pay back the capital needed in only a few months from
the savings produced. Even if it takes three years to recover the
cost of upgrading a piece of equipment with a ten year working life
that means that the initial investment has made a 30% return and
has seven years of working life in which to make continuous savings.
A list of common opportunities for energy savings found in commercial
buildings is provided below. Advisors who can turn these opportunities
into real savings are scattered throughout the Directory. Look for
firms who conduct energy audits and do building retrofits.
Implement a monitoring program to identify and track energy consumption
and building performance. Though monitoring in itself will not save
any energy it will provide the base line information to monitor
trends and identify improvement opportunities. In addition, there
are many examples where simply paying attention to energy accounts
have highlighted errors in billing that result in significant cost
reductions and identify consumption anomalies pointing to faulty
plant or opportunities to shift consumption onto lower tariffs.
Rate Your Building
Establish performance benchmarks. Once you know how much energy
you are using you can set a realistic target on how much energy
you should be using. The Building Greenhouse Rating Scheme is a
simple benchmarking tool that you can use to establish your performance.
The rating scheme not only gives you a simple indicator of how you
rate in the current market, but also gives your organisation the
market kudos of being a good performer when you have achieved good
energy performance. Visit www.abgr.com.au
and rate your building now!
Maintenance and Adjustment
Building tune up. You don't necessarily need new equipment to improve
building performance. Proper maintenance and adjustment of existing
systems may achieve significant improvements at little or no cost.
Optimise operating parameters. Review the services that are provided
in a building and ask, 'are they necessary'? There are probably
many low cost, or no cost solutions for saving energy including:
- Changing set points on air conditioning systems - allowing wider
yet comfortable temperature variations;
- Looking at what lights are on and when - do all the lights in
a building need to be on for cleaning and security; and
- Considering the hours in which services are provided - does
the whole building need to be air conditioned for just one person
Review lighting. One of the best opportunities for improvement
in many buildings is in lighting. Improvement opportunities include:
- Delamping - removing some of the light tubes (or bulbs) from
areas that don't need current level of light;
- Relamping - replacing existing tubes with energy efficient versions
either as a project or as part of normal maintenance;
- Upgrade lights to more efficient systems - lighting upgrades
often have very short payback periods so make good financial sense
even if you don't own the building.
Equipment purchasing policy. Whether for major plant or office
equipment a policy that places preference on energy efficient equipment
could pay dividends. Not only will you save on ongoing operating
costs but there are often spin-offs in improved performance and
reliability and reduced load on other equipment.
Even if the initial costs are higher the total ownership costs
could be significantly better.
Fan system optimisation. Fans used for ventilation are often an
opportunity for performance improvement. Many buildings have fans
that are oversized or are not operating effectively. Opportunities
- Car park fans are a commonly ignored and expensive waste of
energy. Reducing the hours of operation or installing CO monitors
that start the fans on demand can save significant energy and
- Many fans have variable air volume (VAV) supply systems that
are not correctly adjusted. As a consequence the VAV system does
not deliver the savings that it is capable of achieving. A simple
adjustment could significantly improve performance.
Equipment upgrades. As part of normal maintenance seek to improve
or install better performing equipment. It is also an opportunity
to investigate the operating requirements of equipment and 'resize'
it to suit current building operations.