Summer energy saving tips
We all wait expectantly for the summer months. With it, summer also brings sweltering heat, the need to keep spaces cooler by running air conditioners more often, and the urge to take more showers. Electricity is expensive here in Japan and as temperatures rise, energy use and cost follow suit.
Everything vital to our lives seem to involve the use of water and energy, such as transportation, entertainment and our general well-being. We never really give much thought as to how much energy we are using when we leave things turned on. We need to stop and consider how much money this is costing the installation and how much energy is being wasted.
There is a need to conserve energy. Conserving energy not only helps conserve resources, but it also translates into financial savings. Conserving energy is always easier when everyone pitches in, especially during the summer. So before turning the air conditioning down another 10 degrees or taking yet another shower, use these energy-saving tips to help lower energy use this summer:
- Turn off printers, fax machines and any other office equipment when not in use. Also use the energy-saving sleep mode on computers and all office equipment.
- Use power strips to turn-off equipment when not in use.
- Avoid setting thermostats to a colder setting than normal when you turn the air conditioner on. It will not cool your space faster. Set thermostats as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperature, the lower the overall electric bill will be.
- Install energy-efficient light bulbs that run cooler. Only about 10 to 15 percent of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light, the
- rest is turned to heat.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room and in unoccupied spaces.
- At the times of the day when the sun is at its hottest, close blinds, drapes or shades to block out warm rays.
- Instead of using your oven every day, consider using your microwave or grilling outside this summer. Using the oven daily adds more heat to interior spaces and therefore requires the air-conditioning cooling system to use more energy.
- Take cooler and shorter showers. Turn down the temperature of the hot water, and decrease the duration of your shower.
- Wear lighter clothing in the summer to help stay cool without turning on the air conditioner.
- Doing laundry, using the dishwasher, or using the oven, creates extra heat and moisture, so perform these activities in the early morning or late evening whenever possible.
By applying these tips to your daily life, you will not only save energy but also help your community spend less on these utilities this summer and every summer afterward.
Oduneye is a resource energy manager with the Energy and Utilities Office, Facilities Engineer Division, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific.