Global Community Assessment Centre ( GCAC )This section was originally part of a complete report on the measurement of world sustainable development.
GCAC is about the restoration of the planet, our home and our Global Community.
for discussion and joint action
on issues of local and global concerns.
GCAC offers services to the Global Community.
1. Introduction2. GCAC Objectives
3. Theory, measurement, valuation and management of Sustainable Development and the Scale of Values and measurement of the Gross Environmental Sustainable Development Index (GESDI)
3.5.14 Energy Auditing of the Home
A. Conducting an Energy AuditSection 3.5.14 Assessment Scoring
Energy efficiency of a home is dependent and will be limited by the interaction of four elements: people, equipment, available resources and home environment. Energy efficiency is dependent on the performance of the weakest elements of this interaction.
You save money by using less electricity and you save the environment too as 90% of the electricity generated in Alberta, Canada, comes from coal. Using less electricity has the effect of producing fewer emissions and less mining and, therefore, decreasing the need to build more power plants which in turn has the effect of keeping the future cost of electricity down. Building less power plants (or using less electricity) rates as a positive aspects on our assessment of environmental impacts.
An Energy Auditing of your home will help you recognize where and how energy is being used in your home and identify saving opportunities; establish an effective energy management program and control energy consumption; start energy conservation measures and save on your energy costs.
One approach in applying a sound behavior towards energy is to consider the interaction of four elements: people, equipment, available resources, and the home environment. This means energy efficiency of a home is dependent and will be limited by the performance of its weakest element. The excess capacity of any of the elements beyond that of the weakest element is wasted capacity. The most cost-effective way to improve performance is to identify and improve the weakest element. Most often when energy efficiency drops the weak element is people. Either energy conservation has not been made a priority or members of the household are not aware, concerned and motivated about energy conservation.
For energy efficiency to be successful there must be support of all household members, realistic goals, designated responsibility, account of all household meters, auditing energy use, establishing priorities, developing the program and evaluation and monitoring.
An energy audit provides information about how to identify energy use, reorganize sources of energy loss, reduce energy consumption and save both energy and dollars. To control our energy consumption means to conserve our energy resources and can also contribute to substantial dollars savings in the home.
A. Conducting an Energy Audit requires information on:
* electric power costs; consumption readings
for the past 12 months (as obtained from your utility bills);
Collecting data and conducting a walkthrough audit is followed by a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether changes are worthwhile. Substantial dollar savings can be made from small changes in the home. Energy wasting practices and inefficiencies can be eliminated with little capital investment. Analyzing your electrical usage can help you control both energy use and peak demand and therefore will help you save energy dollars.
Your energy meter registers consumption. Consumption is the amount of electrical energy used during each billing period and is measured in kilowatt hour (kW.h). In addition to paying for the amount of electrical energy consumed the homeowner also pays a charge based on the maximum or 'peak' load, which you are paying so as to allow the electric utility to maintain the capacity to supply the maximum power you may need based on your highest requirement.
An energy audit is a systematic energy analysis of the house which identifies where energy is being used and how it can be used more efficiently. Energy auditors visit the site and collect all relevant technical data through observations and interviews. It is intended to provide general suggestions on ways to save energy in the house. Energy efficiency measures are suggested to the homeowner.
An Energy Audit will provide to the homeowner:
* Using energy balance calculations
(which make use of the average cost of natural gas and electricity);
The energy audit report includes total annual energy costs and consumption, potential kw.h and dollar savings, separate dollar savings listed for temperature setback and weatherstripping, building skin insualtion, ventilation natural gas savings, ventilation electric motor savings, lighting, electric motors, pipe insulation, water heater insulation, hot water use, fuel consumption, etc.
____1. Is electrical equipment turned off when not
needed (additional switches, timers or sensors may be added for better
B. Energy efficiency and energy conservation in the home
The prodution and use of energy affects the environment. Burning coal, oil and natural gas release emissions into the air that are believed to be changing the earth's atmosphere: CO2, NOx, SOx, CH4, CFC's and VOCs. Using energy efficiently plays an important role in our lives. Energy efficiency has economic and environmental benefits. Using less energy saves money. Environmental benefits include a decrease in fossil fuel pollttants. Energy conservation achieved through efficiencies and demand reduction can cut emissions significantly. With increased awareness about energy and for importance of using energy efficiently individuals will be able to make informed decisions about their own lifestyles.
There are many ways to reduce energy use and its impact on the environment. Reductions are simple to achieve and they apply throughout your house or your apartment. Energy use at home can be reduced without discomfort or major expenses. In fact, most expenses are recovered through savings in fuel bills and in a very short period of time. A typical homeowner (parts of this also apply to people living in apartments) could reduce its gas, electricity and water bills by thousands of dollars with only a small input of time and money. Besides giving you long-term financial benefits, reducing heat loss and being more energy-efficient, makes your house more comfortable to live in. By eliminating drafts and cold areas, you may also increase your home's resale value. A homeowner can reduce the use of energy in four basic ways by:
* ensuring that mechanical and
electrical equipment is operated properly;
Appliances and lighting can consume 25% of the total energy used in the home. By avoiding models and products that waste energy, and by choosing efficient alternatives, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in energy costs. Other benefits are specific to particular appliances. For example, energy-efficient dishwashers use less hot water which means there will be more water left in the tank for other uses. The energy saving features on a dryer can actually prolong the life of your clothes, and certain energy-efficient features available on your kitchen range will improve its cooking performance.
The price tag of our lifestyle is not just what we pay at the cash register but also there are two more costs that must be added: the costs of maintaining and using what we got, and the associated environmental price tag, i.e. the impacts on the environment and our health.
Price Tag = Price of the item + Price of using item through its lifetime and maintaining it + The associated price tag on the environment and our health
This Price Tag applies to every appliance and lighting you buy in the store.
Heat loss occurs from all parts of the house structure, including walls, roofs, floors, windows and doors. The rate at which heat is lost is proportional to the difference between the temperature of the heated air inside the house and the temperature of the unheated air outside. The larger the temperature difference the larger the rate of heat loss. Reducing this difference will save on heating costs.
Energy conservation in the form of home insulation is one of the best investments that a homeowner can make, paying large dividends immediately in the form of decreased heating costs. Your initial cost will be recovered in a few years.
Reducing the waste of lighting energy is the key to lower electric bills. Lighting energy is wasted by using a lamp or a fixture which converts electricity to light using more watts than necessary to produce the lumens; by transmission losses for when the light source is too far away from the place to be illuminated, or there is an obstruction blocking off the light; by overlighting, which is happening when natural substitutes (daylight, light color paint, etc.) are neglected, or when you use lights for no reason.
It is easy to save electrical energy dollars, as much as 50%, is commonplace.
Lamp efficiency is measured in limens per watt. A lumen is a unit which measures the amount of light. The lamp giving off the most lumens per watt is the most efficient lamp. The incandescent lamp is the most common type of lighting in homes and is also the most energy inefficient of the many lamps available. The pressure sodium lighting is very energy efficient but produce a very pronounced yellow light, which makes it suitable to use outdoors for security lighting. Compact fluorescent bulbs use about one-quarter of the energy of incandscent bulbs and last about 10 times longer, and provide the same light at less than half the cost. Energy-saving versions of fluorescent tubes are much more efficient and last longer than incandescent bulbs and they produce less heat which makes them ideal to use near drapes.
Lighting typically accounts for less than 10% of your monthly electric bill. If you replace a 60 watt incandescent bulb that is on for 10 hours a week with a 15 watt compact fluorescent, you will save about 25 kW.h a year, or about $2.00
____1. Do you turn off lights when not in use?
More than 50 percent of most household electrical energy dollars are used to operate kitchen appliances. Make sure you use the appliance or cooking mehtod that consumes the least energy and produces the best meals.
In a microwave oven almost all the energy is absorbed by the food as opposed to warming the air around the food in an electric oven. A microwave oven is therefore one of the most efficient cookers which uses less than half the energy of a conventional oven and takes one-third of the time to cook the food. It saves money, preserve the nutrients in the food, and the kitchen stays cool. It is more efficient to boil a cup of water in the microvave oven than to use an electric kettle.
An electric frying pan consumes less energy than using a conventional oven for the same job (heat a casserole, bake potatoes, etc.). Toaster/broiler ovens use one-third as much electricity as a conventional oven and can handle jobs such as reheating food, baking potatoes, cakes, muffins and cookies, and cook small casseroles.
____1. Do you use a steamer to cook vegetables?
B.3 Electric Range
The electric range is one of the most often used appliances in a home and it involves a substantial investment of money. Special care must be made in buying it. Look for the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) symbol indicating the appliance has been tested and approved by the CSA for electrical safety.
____1. Do you make sure not to use the large stovetop
element eventhough you really need to use the small one (the large stovetop
element costs about 14.4 cents per hour, 2.4 kW.h, to operate and the small
one about 7.8 cents per hour, 1.3 kW.h)?
B.4 The freezer
____1. Is the freezer located away from sunlight or
heat sources such as range, dishwasher, laundry equipment, or furnace?
B.5 The refrigerator
____1. Do you use a manual defrosting unit (an average
two-door, 12 cubic foot, manually defrosting refrigerator consume about
100 kW.h/month, costing $6.00; a similar frost-free unit consumes 174 kw.h/month
and costs $10.44)?
B.6 The clothes washing machine
____1. Do you use full loads in your washing machine
(it costs about 1.2 cents, 0.2 kW.h, to wash a full load of clothing, and
14.4 cents, 2.4 kW.h, to dry the same load)?
B.8 The dishwasher
____1. If your dishwasher does not have an energy-saver
feature, do you turn it off at the end of the rinse cycle and open the
door to let the dishes air dry (a normal cycle uses about 1.6 kW.h, costing
10.4 cents; cutting out the drying and using full loads, that is reduced
to just 0.4 kW.h and costs 2.6 cents; in a month, using the dishwasher
once a day, you would save 36 kW.h of energy and $2.34 in operating
costs, and the cost of the water)?
B.9 The furnace
A combustion-efficient furnace can save a homeowner money while maintaining comfortable living and working conditions. In Alberta, most furnaces burn natural gas. The energy audit program can show you the potential for at least 10 percent for natural gas savings through improving combustion efficiency. In many cases savings are achieved through maintenance measures such as replacing or cleaning filters regularly, adjusting or replacing fan belts, or lubricating motors and fan bearings. More complex servicing are done by specialists: removing and cleaning heat exchangers, and adjusting the pilot flame. Improving combustion efficiency can be done by cleaning burners and adjusting fan speed to achieve manufacturer's specified air temperature rise, adjusting primary air shtters for proper air/fuel mixture, and cleaning the blower and fan blades.
____1. Have you converted the fan on your furnace
so that it operates only when the furnace is on (a continuously operating
fan consumes an average of 182 kW.h/month, costing $10.92; a model which
operates only when the furnace is actually on consumes just 66 kW.h/month,
B.10 The hot water tank
____1. Have you insulated your hot water tank (an
electric hot water tank uses 120 kW.h of power per month and costs $7.20;
an insulated blanket could reduce heat loss by 80% representing a saving
of 350 to 500 kW.h and $21. to $30./year)?
B.11 Heating the home
____1. Do you have deciduous or broad leaf trees to
provide shade in the summer and let winter sun shine through?
B.12 The air conditioning
____1. Did you seek professional help to determine
correct size for your needs (make sure it has a high 'energy efficiency
ratio'; this means the unit has more cooling power for the amount of electricity)?
____1. Do you use cold water when using the garbage
disposal (this saves using hot water and prevents fat or grease from melting
and clogging the drain; clean by filling the kitchen sink with cold water
and running the disposal, and do not use cleansers)?
B.14 Other energy conservation practices
____1. Do you write to encourage manufacturers to
make energy efficiency a priority for their plant and office operations
as well as for the appliances, cars, or electrical products they manufacture?
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Back to Index of the Scale of Values and measurement of the GESDI
Section Assessment Scoring
I(normalized) = 0.250
In this assessment, the values used for I(normalized) are the
same as those obtained and described in section 2.3 The Mathematical
Model. The two tables in The Scale of Values obtained from
the survey, guess-estimated and standard give all normalized
values in their last columns. Although most values were not given here,
they were obtained a few years ago by evaluating each impact as shown in
2.3 under Impact equation example: Forestry. It is obvious
now that one has to keep updating these impact equation calculations every
year as the world is changing very fast. Their calculations are a very
powerful educational tool and should be used in school to educate students
in thinking globally and in terms of interactions and their multidimensional
effects within themselves and on all four major interacting quality systems.
To become responsible in sustaining Earth has to start at early stage in
someone's life and calculating impact equations would be one of their first
= Sub-section % total
= GESDI for
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