California Energy Saving Ideas
Energy Saving Ideas
The non-linear economic impact of conservation is
that in addition to the immediate savings, many of the steps will
permanently lower your energy usage, and thereby also lower statewide energy
demand which will in turn lower energy prices leading to additional cost
The Electric Power Research Institute points out
that a 10% reduction in demand can reduce wholesale prices by as much as
If the deficit is going to be 5,000 megawatts out
of 55,000, that will mean that for a few hours a day, 10% or 3.4 million
Californians will be without power. That is ten times the number
affected in the two May days!
If we can attain 10% conservation for those few peak
hours in the 30 or so days of maximum demand, we will not have blackouts.
The 5,500 megawatts would be the equivalent of building
5 nuclear reactors! The state now has 4 nuclear reactors, and a fraction
of the three in Palo Verde, Arizona.
The 10% savings could be achieved by a permanent
5% savings and a temporary 5% over the maximum demand hours on hot days.
If you are angry and frustrated at the Administration,
the Congress, and FERC for refusing to act to help California, wouldn't
it be nice to conserve and show the energy moguls that we won't be needing
all of their 1,900 power plants that they want to build?
It is estimated by the National Energy Marketers
Assn. that a 1% drop in demand would lead to a tenfold drop in spot market
Overcome the primal fear of the dark and turn off
lights in rooms that nobody is in.
Air conditioniners can have leaks that can lessen
their efficiency. If your's seems less efficient, have it serviced.
Having grown up before air conditioning was universal,
I will list the ways that we managed then.
Wear a sweater indoors in the winter, and light clothes
in the summer. This will help you keep the heating and cooling down.
Get a warm comforter or an electric blanket for the
winter, and a light blanket for the summer.
Open the doors and windows in the evening and use
a fan to bring in cooler air.
Get outdoor cheap plastic roll-up blinds and keep
them down during the day to keep sunlight away from house windows.
Cover windows with reflective material.
Use a one room air-conditioner for the main room
that you are in.
Close vents and close off rooms that you are not
using so that you only need to heat or cool the room that you are in, presuming
that the thermostat is in that room.
Unplug your second fridge. Turn off the ice
Get a toaster oven and/or a George Forman grill.
These generate a lot less heat than an oven or broiler, and require less
air conditioning to recool the house in the summer.
Use the kitchen fan with an oven to vent heated air
in the summer.
To encourage conservation, the local areas that should
receive highest priorities for rolling blackouts should be those that have
the least reduction in usage from past years. That way, areas will
be encouraged to conserve, in order to avoid blackouts.
Blackouts should also target household areas that
use the most electricity per household, since they will affect the fewest
households to get the power savings that are needed.
You should calculate each energy savings at the marginal
rate for the bracket that you are in, just as you do for taxes. At
the $0.25/kwh new maximum proposed rate, replacing a 100 watt bulb by a
fluorescent one at 25 watts, used for 7 hours a day, saves a half a kwh
per day, or about 200 kwh per year. At $0.25/kwh, that is $50 per
year savings. The fluorescent bulbs can be found for as low as $10.
Incandescent lights use up about 90% of their energy
as heat, and only 10% is converted to light. This heat is okay but
perhaps inefficient in the winter, but must also be countered by air conditioning
on hot summer days.
Local and network TV stations in California should
have a bottom strip or corner on the screen that broadcasts the minute
by minute cost of power, and reminders and information on how to conserve
energy at that time. A website should be set up for this broadcast
to users at their business computers.
For each degree higher or lower the thermostat is
set for air conditioning or heating, the consumer can save 3% on such costs.
Fluorescent Energy Star versions of Halogen torchier
lamps are available that use about 25% of the energy.