With These Small Lifestyle Changes, You Can Reduce Your Power Bill & Tackle Climate Change Too!

India signed the Paris Climate Agreement on April 22, 2016. It’s now time to fulfill the commitments that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change made in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). One of the major commitments is to reduce carbon emissions by 33-35% by 2030, as compared to the 2005 level.

The government is also committed to expand its non-conventional energy generation capacity from 35 Gigawatt to 175 GW by 2022. The question that arises now is, how will India persuade the core areas of binding commitments like international technology transfer and use of Global Climate Fund. Climate change is affecting the lives and livelihoods of common people in India. The government should ensure larger people to people participation by involving of civil societies, NGOs, SHGs, local self governments, etc.

There is a need to introduce an upgraded syllabus in our academic structure exploring innovative methodologies for carbon reduction too. Additionally, we need to establish a balance between green technology and life style. Developing ecological etiquettes is the key to successful reduction of carbon foot prints.

Let us understand how we can reduce the annual CO2 emission and electricity and fuel charges within set dynamics of standard assumptions:

1. Use of Electrical Appliance at Home:

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Image source: Wikimedia
  • Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs result in drastic reduction of carbon dioxide emission and help in saving electricity too. If we replace five incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, the annual CO2 emission reduces by 278 kg, which is equivalent to planting 27 additional trees.
  • When we use a five star rated Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) fan, there is an annual reduction of CO2 emission by 46 kg per fan, which is equivalent to four additional trees. The annual electricity bill falls by Rs. 334 for every fan. Similarly, using five star rated frost free 280 litres fridge brings down the annual CO2 emission by about 102 kg reduction, which is equivalent to planting 10 additional trees.
  • A five star rated split air conditioner (1.5 tonnes), records an annual CO2 emission reduction by 197 kg per AC, which is equivalent to 19 additional trees. We save Rs. 1,428 annually.

2. Power your Home Using Solar Voltaic Energy:

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Image Source: Flickr
  • A 64 WP photovoltaic panel can power five tubelights and three fans for 300 days in a year. Such installation results in a drastic reduction in annual CO2 emission by 617 kg, which is equivalent to 61 additional trees. We save Rs. 4,480 on annual electricity bill.
  • When we install solar inverter of 1 KWp photovoltaic panel, it generates 4 KWh power if there is sunshine for five hours, occupying an area of 10 square metre. We can reduce the annual CO2 emission by 984 kg, which is equivalent to 98 additional trees. One can also save Rs. 7,140 on the annual electricity bill.
  • A solar water heater installation can reduce annual CO2 emission by 687 kg, which is equal to 68 additional trees. There is a saving of Rs. 4,986 on the annual electricity bill.
  • Do not use voltage stabilizers for equipment that don’t need them. By doing this, we can reduce the annual CO2 emission by 359 kg, which is equivalent to 36 additional trees.

3. Practice Energy Efficiency:

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Image source: Wikipedia
  • When we reduce temperature settings of a geyser from the factory setting of 60 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius, which is quite suitable for a comfortable bath, the annual CO2 emission comes down by 172 kg, which is equivalent to 17 additional trees. We can save Rs. 1,247 on annual electricity bill.
  • Use a water heater efficiently in quick successions, without keeping the geyser on for a long time. We record a marginal reduction in annual CO2 emission by 344 kg, which is equivalent to 34 addition trees.

4. Sustainable use of washing machine:

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Image source: Pixabay
  • Use the cold cycle in a washing machine to reduce annual CO2 emission by 64 kg, which is equivalent to six additional trees. We save Rs. 464 annually too. Drying clothes in sun can reduce annual CO2 emission by 371 kg.
  • Switching off all electrical appliances including the set top box at the plug point when you turn off the TV works to reduce annual CO2 emission by 135 kg which is equivalent to 13 additional trees. Such life habits save Rs. 977 annually.
  • Turning of lights and fans when they are not in use reduces the annual CO2 emission by 26 kg, which is equivalent to additional two trees.

5. Water Conservation:

Roof water cistern in Jenin, West Bank

Image source: Wikipedia
  • Installation of water efficient showers and faucets with careful use of water helps us to reduce the annual CO2 emission by 75-189 kg, which is equivalent to seven to 19 additional trees.
  • Changing the flush tanks in the bathroom helps reduce annual CO2 emission by 39-99 kg, which is equivalent to 4-10 additional trees.

6. Be Fuel Efficient:

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Image source: Pixabay
  • Regular inflation of vehicle tires reduces annual CO2 emission by 140 kg, which is equivalent to 14 additional trees.
  • Switching off the ignition at traffic red lights can reduce the annual CO2 emission by 85 to 122 kg, which is equivalent to 8-12 additional trees. We can save up to Rs. 2,532- Rs. 3,351 annually.
  • Walk if you need to travel short distance and reduce annual CO2 emission by nine to 63 kg.

7. Kitchen and Waste Management at Home:

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Image source: Wikimedia
  • Don’t waste food and reduce 1 kg waste per day to reduce annual CO2 emission by 118-470 kg which is equivalent to 11-47 additional trees.
  • Carrying a renewable bag when you go shopping, refuse additional packaging and reuse bags. Reduce one paper or plastic bag daily. This is how we reduce annual CO2 emission by 11-28 kg which is equal to 1-2 additional trees.
  • Practising fuel efficiency in kitchen by using pressure cooker we can reduce annual CO2 emission by 135 Kg which is equivalent to 13 additional trees. We can also save fuel cost by Rs. 1,265 annually.

– Kumar Deepak

Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: [email protected], or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia).

About the author: Kumar Deepak is an environmentalist working with United Nations Development Programme.

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