The best renewable energy is the energy you don’t consume. Saving electricity can be a lot easier than you might think. A few simple changes in lifestyle and habits can make a significant difference and positive impact on the environment.
Cooling and air conditioning represents 70 percent of the UAE’s electricity use during the summer months, according to Powerwise, an Abu Dhabi government office focusing on awareness of electricity use.
DEWA recommends to set your air conditioning thermostat at 24°C/75°F. It is also recommended to turn up your air conditioning to 25°C/77°F if the house is going to be empty during the day. Even turning the thermostat up by one degree can save up to 6 percent of your electricity consumption, Powerwise says.
Fully or partially close your blinds during the day. Closing window blinds to reduce direct sunlight can reduce the energy used at home. On hot summer days, when the sunlight shines into your windows it heats the interior, causing the air conditioning to work harder to cool your home. By closing the blinds, you keep direct sunlight out of your home and reduce unwanted solar heat gain.
It may seem counterproductive to run your fan and your air conditioning at the same time, since both use energy to operate. When you run both the AC and a fan, you have the potential to subtract up to 2 degrees Celsius from the number on your thermostat—in other words, you can set your thermostat at 25.5°C/78°F and perceive it as 23.5°C/74°F. That’s because fans circulate the cold air coming from the AC much more efficiently than the central AC is able to handle on its own. As heat rises, cold air sinks closer to the floor. Your AC vents push cold air out, but the air tends to settle instead of circulate. Meanwhile, if your home has a second floor, all the heat is trapped in the upper rooms of the house. Using a fan to disrupt the settled cold air and push it up and outward allows the cold air to move into hot spaces and disperse. It creates true air circulation, lowering the temperature and your electricity consumption.
AUS houses are often equipped with multiple water heaters and not all of them may be in use. If you have a bathroom that is not heavily used, it is recommended to turn off the heater. The heaters do not require a large amount of time to heat up, so it is even possible to turn off the other water heaters during the day if you are not going to be in your unit. Turn the water heater back on 15 minutes before you are going to take a shower/bath and you will have a hot shower.
Additionally, in your kitchen, the dishwasher and washer/dryer (if located in your kitchen) both have heating mechanisms, and do not require the water heater to be on. Therefore, it is possible to turn the water heater on when you enter the kitchen to start cooking and the water in the faucet will be sufficiently hot within 15 minutes, to disinfect and kills germs when washing hands or washing dishes.
Around 90 percent of the energy used in washing machines is required for heating the water temperature. Running a cold wash uses almost one quarter the energy required for a warm or hot wash cycle. Washing at 30°C/86°F is sufficient for most laundry. Washing at cooler temperatures reduces the fading of materials and will help to keep clothes looking new for longer.
It is also important to wash full loads of laundry, allowing you to more efficiently use not only the energy but also the water consumed during a cycle of laundry.
In the UAE, it is reasonable and feasible to line dry your clothes year round. Doing so not only saves a lot of energy, but also reduces the wear on your clothes, though line drying in direct sun light can contribute to fading of clothes
In order to keep food safe, your fridge must be set between 0-4°C /32-40°F and your freezer below 0°C /32°F.The ideal refrigerator temperature is 1.6°C /35°F.
Every time we open the refrigerator door, we allow cold air to escape, and this prompts the refrigerator’s compressor to run in order to maintain the set temperature. Every time the compressor is on, the refrigerator consumes electricity.
You should never put warm or hot food into the fridge as this will make the fridge work extra hard to try and keep it cold. Always allow food to cool on the counter first. It is also better food safety practice to allow food to cool before refrigerating it.
Lighting accounts for 10 to 15 percent of household electrical energy usage. The first line to savings is to switch off lights when leaving a room and to use natural light when possible. To benefit more from natural lighting, you may need to rearrange the furniture in your rooms, putting your favorite reading chair by a south facing window, if possible.
Switching to energy-efficient lighting is sure way to reduce energy consumption. LED lights use less energy, produce less heat and are long lasting. ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only about 20 to 25 percent of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Today, households have a number of electronics that consume electricity even when not in use. It is recommended to turn off power outlets when you are not using them. This will reduce your household electricity consumption with little effort or notice on your daily life.
Many water dispensers offer a hot option that heats water for immediate use, though few people use the hot water feature as it is often not hot enough for tea or other uses. On many water dispensers it is possible to turn off the heater and just use a kettle for when you need hot water. The kettle will use more energy than the dispenser, but it is only used for a minute versus 24 hours a day, making the kettle a much better option.