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Energy Saving Awards


“Additionally, for the third year in a row, Pella was honored with ENERGY STAR’S most prestigious Sustained Excellence 2011 award, in recognition of their commitment to successfully managing energy use and promoting ENERGY STAR products and practices within the organization.”

What is interesting about this article is that Pella manufactures and installs doors and windows, two of the biggest culprits in energy wastage – what about the roof over our heads? Well depending on the country and climate you live in too little seems to be done.  Hotter climates leads to more air-conditioning units to generate colder air yet for a few hundred dollars you may find that changing your ceiling insulation will cut down your electricy bill by a huge margin. Energy audits are becoming a huge thing in the USA and it’s not going to take long before this starts happening elsewhere – the authorities in some countries and/or regions won’t allow a house to be constructed without solar geyers being part of the architectural/technical plan.
Popular Mechanics magazine regularly runs articles featuring the use of waste products to generate energy – in many cases the people pioneering this trend are not scientists, just concerned citizens. It would be great if governments the world over would just on occasion approach these people to get their own feeling on the energy crises.

Smart Meter
Smart Meter

Smart metering has also started to become popular but what I find peculiar is that the concept has been around for many years – its just been a bit slow to implement or as I am lead to believe electrical suppliers don’t all use the same standards. I live in a household where electrical wastage is unbelievable and a smart metering system would be invaluable. Do I have one, not yet – I’m yet to find out which one will work. Not through lack of trying though – authorities are very evasive when they know very little about something and the clever guys are not always in authority – they make things happen.

Plasma Screen
Plasma Screen

Talking about smart meters and household wastage always check the power consumption and energy star rating on domestic appliances – plasma screens are energy hoggers. An old Sony plasma consumes nearly 500 watts – assumon 4 hours viewing per day over this season you’re looking at nearly 60KW/hour. Multiply that by electrical suppliers rates and that comes to quite a bit. Some households have more than one plasma – this is not the best way to save energy

During summer months if your electrical bill takes a dive, which it should, be rest assured the main contributor is the water geyser. In South Africa gas is not usually piped to the home, especially where I live, Cape Town. Gas is great for cooking but until government regulation kicked in cost an arm and a leg.  Gas cooking is much more efficient than electrical cooking unless you have an inductance cooker. Inductance heaters are pretty much expensive – I really don’t know why but one can be rest assured that in the near future all cookers will be of the inductance type and the price is going to drop considerably.  We ran an article a while back on inductance heaters –

While summer is here with us in the southern hemisphere has anyone noticed that the average Joe Soap barbecues a lot more often, whether by gas or wood.  Are you now aware that In Canada charcoal is now a restricted product under the Hazardous Products Act. Ouch, now that hurt. So by using an electrical cooker you are contributing to energy wastage and by having a barbecue you are going to die a long slow death due to smoke inhalation or get fined for pollution.
The antidote here is to use natural charcoal which contains no coal, oil, limestone, starch, sawdust or petroleum products and should be certified. I prefer wood myself – both gas and charcoal barbecues leave the meat or whatever you’re about to cinder with a strange taste.  That’s my feeling in any event.

You know, in my research on what is green and what is not I often came across mixed reactions – what may be green to one person may not be to the next. I’m not a sceptic but I do feel that it’s time that we walk the talk – my big gripe is that government does very little to curb our population growth, in fact they encourage mating (South Africa and Africa in general).  We should be looking at the merits of this game before we start pushing buttons about how to conserve energy.

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