Conserve Energy For A Better Quality Of LifeConserve Energy For A Better Quality Of Life

When you conserve energy in your home, you can maintain or actually improve the quality of your life. To conserve energy doesn't always mean to 'cut-back.' Conservation can simply be a result of increased awareness. A small example would be to turn off the lights when you leave a room.

By noticing how you use power, you can also find where you're wasting power, and change that by taking some painless and positive steps.

A seemingly endless supply of electricity streams into our homes without any effort on our part. The only time most people think about it is when there's a black-out or power outage due to weather, and when it's time to pay the monthly bill.

The first benefit of conservation is that your electric bill is less - giving you more money to spend on other things.

I don't have an electric bill. My home is off-grid. That is, all the energy used in my house is created with my own systems: solar panels, a small hydro-electric generator, and a wind generator. Because my system creates all the energy we use, my family has a heightened awareness of the ways to avoid wasting electricity, and we still have a very high living standard.

Forget the image of a rustic cabin with two light bulbs and a wood stove. The truth is that our house is just very energy efficient by design, with state of the art appliances: dishwasher, washer and dryer, three computers, a sound system, TV and DVD, and definitely more than two light bulbs.

We are able to have all these conveniences on our stand- alone power system because of our practices of conservation. We run our entire house on about 3 kilo- watts a day - less than the daily usage of most refrigerators.

The reason this is possible begins with our heating and cooling system. This is the biggest energy user in most houses. If you're starting from scratch and building a new house, simply design an energy efficient building from the beginning - properly situated houses can use passive solar for heating, and ventilation with overhangs for cooling.

Existing buildings can be remodeled, or fitted for gas. To use electricity for heating is utterly wasteful. Heat is a by-product of electricity. Gas is an alternative that is much better.

The second reason we can run a modern house using so little energy has to do with appliances. As the ones you currently have come due for replacement, make their efficiency your top concern in choosing new appliances.

Our refrigerator, for example, is so well designed for energy efficiency that in a 24 hour period it draws less power than a 100 watt incandescent light bulb would in 5 hours. The fridge was more expensive initially, but over time the reduced electric bill (or in our case the fewer solar panels necessary) makes it worth it.

Take heart. You can be conservative about power without remodeling or buying expensive new appliances. A very easy and cost-effective place to begin is by using compact fluorescent light bulbs. They give excellent light for 23 watts, compared to a regular 100 watt bulb.

The compact bulbs come in every style and size so you can use them for everything from lamps to overhead fixtures. They last much longer than incandescent bulbs, and the best part is that they are affordable now. When they first came on the market they could cost as much as $19 apiece. Now you can get them for $2 or $3 if you watch for sales.

When you conserve, you save money, and have more disposable income. That adds to the quality of your life. But what's even better is that a consciousness about how your electricity is being used is actually a source of satisfaction.

It takes Earth resources to create most of our electricity: rivers are dammed, coal is mined, etc. If everyone does a little bit to conserve, that much less drain on Earth occurs.

by Roy Macklin
References and Bibliography

Roy Macklin has been a journeyman electrician for 12 years, and is passionate about renewable energy. Visit FB Home , FMP Tools , and Full Storage for articles by Roy Macklin.

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