Wednesday December 13, 2017
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UNDERSTANDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The Ministry of Natural and Energy in collaboration with the Swaziland Electricity Company is in a bid to encourage all energy users in Swaziland to practice energy efficiency as a daily routine. Energy Efficiency is not only a national concern but a global concern. The UN-General Secretary launched a global Initiative to achieve Sustainable Energy for All by the year 2030. One of the key objectives under this goal is doubling the rate of improvements in energy efficiency.
Energy is one of the major inputs for the economic development of a country. Swaziland imports about 80% of its power from South Africa and some from Mozambique. Most of the power imported from South Africa is generated from fossil fuels (coal), which are considered to be environmentally unfriendly. It is therefore essential that energy is used efficiently and conserved to reduce the effects of climate change hence reduce the high dependency on fossil fuels. In order to save energy and the environment it is imperative that the end user is knowledgeable about energy efficiency and conservation. Efficient use of electricity directly contributes to the security of electricity supply, affordability, competitiveness and environmental sustainability.


ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION
Energy Efficiency and Conservation aim to reduce energy consumption at the end user level. Energy conservation refers to reducing energy consumption through using less of an energy service. Turning the lights off when you leave the room is an example of energy conservation. On the other hand, Energy Efficiency refers to methods of managing and restraining the growth in energy consumption by installing more efficient technologies that deliver the same services for less energy input. Replacing an incandescent bulb (Regular Clear Light bulbs) with a less energy demanding Compact Fluorescent Lamp (Energy Saver) is a good example of energy efficiency.

ENERGY MANAGEMENT

Energy management is a structured approach designed to manage energy usage and reduce energy costs, raising productivity and creating a better work environment. The fundamental Energy Management approach includes:
1.Understanding Energy Uses.
•To understand energy consumption patterns and review past facility operation logs and energy bills.
• With proper records, the benchmarking of energy performances across similar facilities or premises can be done, enabling you to focus further on your consumption trends.
2,Energy Management Opportunities Identification
•With a preliminary understanding of energy usage, an energy audit may help identify energy saving opportunities.
•An energy audit generally includes site measurement, a review of energy housekeeping practices and energy facilities from a system perspective, and results in customised energy management solutions.
3.Opportunities Assessment and Implementation
• All energy management opportunities should be assessed according to their technical and economic viability.
•High saving, low cost opportunities, such as better energy housekeeping practices, should always be adopted first.
• Opportunities that require larger initial investment or have longer payback (for example, those involving installation of new equipment or the retrofitting of existing equipment) can be progressively adopted through running pilot projects to gain experience before full scale adoption.
The Swaziland Standards Authority has adopted ISO 50001, Energy Management Systems — Requirements with guidance for use into a Swaziland National Standard, now known as SZNS ISO 50001. The purpose of this National Standard is to enable organizations to establish the energy management systems and processes necessary to improve energy performance, including energy efficiency, use and consumption. Implementation of this National Standard is intended to lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and other related environmental impacts and energy cost through systematic management of energy. This National Standard is applicable to all types and sizes of organizations, irrespective of geographical, cultural or social conditions. Successful implementation depends on commitment from all levels and functions of the organization, and especially from top management.

This National Standard specifies energy management system (EnMS) requirements, upon which an organization can develop and implement an energy policy, and establish objectives, targets, and action plans which take into account legal requirements and information related to significant energy use.

ENERGY AUDIT
Energy Audit is the key to a systematic approach for decision-making in the area of energy management. An energy audit is a preliminary activity towards instituting energy efficiency programs in an establishment. It consists of activities that seek to identify conservation opportunities preliminary to the development of an energy savings program. An energy audit identifies where energy is being consumed and assesses energy saving opportunities - so you get to save money where it counts the most. An Energy Audit can be conducted in a home setup and industrial set up.
Energy Audit can be classified into the following two types:
1.Preliminary Energy Audit
Preliminary energy audit is a relatively quick exercise to:
•ƒ Establish energy consumption in the organization
• Estimate the scope for saving
• Identify the most likely and the easiest areas for attention
• Identify immediate improvements/savings
•ƒ Set a ‘reference point’
•ƒ Identify areas for more detailed study/measurement
•ƒ Preliminary energy audit uses existing, or easily obtained data
2Detailed Energy Audit
A comprehensive audit provides a detailed energy project implementation plan for a facility, since it evaluates all major energy using systems. This type of audit offers the most accurate estimate of energy savings and cost. It considers the interactive effects of all projects, accounts for the energy use of all major equipment, and includes detailed energy cost saving calculations and project cost. In a comprehensive audit, one of the key elements is the energy balance. This is based on an inventory of energy using systems, assumptions of current operating conditions and calculations of energy use. This estimated use is then compared to utility bill charges. Detailed energy auditing is carried out in three phases: Phase I, II and III.
Phase I - Pre Audit Phase
Phase II - Audit Phase
Phase III - Post Audit Phase

BUILDING DESIGN
It is a known fact that most buildings in Swaziland are constructed without taking into consideration energy issues. Before constructing a building or house, it is imperative to know the climatic conditions of your area. This will provide guidance to the orientation of the building and the material to use for proper insulation. In general, buildings should be orientated to approximately true north. If buildings cannot be thus orientated, they shall be orientated to achieve the lowest net energy use.

Living spaces should be arranged so that the rooms where people spend most of their hours are located on the northern side of the unit. Uninhabited rooms such as bathrooms and storerooms can be used to screen unwanted western sun or to prevent heat loss on the south facing facade. Living rooms should ideally be placed on the northern side.

The Swaziland Standards Authority is in a process of developing a National Standard for Energy Efficiency in Buildings: SZNS SANS 204. The standard specifies the design requirements for energy efficiency in buildings and of services in buildings with natural environmental control and artificial ventilation or air conditioning systems.

ENERGY SAVING TIPS

LIGHTING
• Replace Incandescent lamps (regular light globes) with Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) (energy savers). CFLs use about 20% of the energy and last 6 to 8 times longer than Incandescent lamps. CFLs are available in two broad colour options - Warm White and Cool white. Cool white is suitable for visual tasks because it produces higher contrast. Warm white is better for living spaces because it is more flattering to skin tones and clothing. Energy efficient bulbs are now available in supermarkets and hardware shops.


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•Switch off lights in unoccupied rooms or areas.
•Use Light Emitting Diodes (LED) to save electricity


WATER HEATING.

In most domestic buildings, water heating using an electric geyser is the biggest consumer of electricity. It usually accounts for about 40% of the total energy consumption. The following recommendations are encouraged to realize savings.
• Set the thermostat of your geyser to be at 60 Degrees Celcius (ºC). Water at this temperature is more comfortable for the body.
• Use a shower more regularly than taking a bath. Using a bathtub requires high volume of hot water. If there is no shower available, use an adequate amount of hot water in the bathtub.
•Cover your geyser with an insulation blanket. More savings can be realized if the hot water piping is insulated.
•Install the geyser closer to the place where the water shall be used.
• Make sure that all hot water taps are always closed when not in use. Also, repair all leaking faucets promptly.
• Switch off the electric geyser when nobody is in the house. Better still, switch off your geyser when you get home after work and switch it back on after 22h00.
•Alternatively, using a solar water geyser as a pre-heater or main water heating system is more economically as it uses free energy from the sun.

SPACE HEATING AND COOLING.

Space heating and cooling is one of the biggest consumers of electricity in a building or house. In winter, a lot of energy is being used for space heating in cold areas, such as the Highveld, whereas in the Lowveld a lot of energy is used for space cooling during the summer season.
•In winter, wear warm clothes to avoid unnecessary usage of electricity.
•Close all possible inlets that can allow flow of hot/cold air to get into the building when the air conditioner is ON, e.g. windows.
•Use the air conditioning system when there people in the building or room.
•It is cheaper to use an electric blanket than to warm the room with a heater. Electricity blankets consume less electricity.
•Consider using an interior fan with your air conditioner to spread the cooled air more efficiently throughout the house.
•In summer, keep all curtains on north facing windows closed during the day to prevent solar gain in the house.
•In winter, keep all curtains and shades of north facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter the building and closed at night to reduce the chill from windows.


APPLIANCES

Most of the time consumers go to the shop to look for appliances that can do the job. Consumers tend to forget the operating cost over the life time of the appliance. All appliances come with energy guide label that inform the consumer on energy consumption of that appliance. For example, if an appliance is rated 1 kW, it simply means when you use the appliance for one Hour, you would have consumed 1 unit or 1 kWh.

Stoves and ovens
• Do not use the stove to warm your room.
• In order to conserve heat and energy, keep the lid on the pot when you cook.
• Make sure that the size of the pot matches the size of the stove plate in use – this can save you up to 25% on the electricity you use while cooking.
•Do not open the oven door often when cooking or baking. Each time you open the the oven door the oven temperature drops by 25 degrees.
•Turn off your electric elements several minutes before allotted cooking time is up. The Heating element will stay hot long enough to finish the cooking without using more electricity.
• Always use flat-bottom pans that make full contact with the heating element.
Refrigerators and Freezers
•Avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer often. The fresh air increases the temperature of the refrigerator thus increase the energy required by the compressor to keep the temperature at set point.
•Regularly defrost the fridge to avoid frost build-up. Frost build-up increases the amount of energy required to keep the compressor running.
• Allow hot foods to cool before refrigerating or freezing.
• Make sure the door seal are still in good condition and airtight.
•Vacuum the coils in the back of your refrigerator twice a year to maximize efficiency.
•Make sure the fridge is not exposed to direct sunlight, which canmake the appliance work harder.

Computers and other Home appliances
1.Unplug battery chargers when not in use.
2.Unplug Decoders, DVD players and TV’s when not in use or even at night. If you leave your appliances on standby mode, the standby light uses upto 50% of its operating power.
3.Turn off computers, printers, copiers and fax machines when not in use – don’t rely on the sleep mode. Use power management on your computer to save power when not in the office.
4. Printing is often the most energy intensive step of computer work – do your editing on screen and print only what you need.
5. Use your kettle to boil the exact amount of water that you need.
6. Do not listen to the Radio via digital TV. This can use over ten times more energy than listening through a Radio.


SAVE PETROL AND MONEY
MAKE EACH LITRE OF PETROL GO FURTHER

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All motorists encouraged to follow these consumption-conscious driving skills to make each litre of petrol or diesel go further.
• When possible establish lift clubs
• Service your car regularly
• Avoid speeding because the faster you drive the more petrol you use
• Close car windows when driving. An open window creates a drag that increases fuel consumption by as much as 20%.
• Switch to radial-ply tyres because they offer less rolling resistance and have a longer life than the cross-ply variety.
•Avoid driving with under inflated tyres because a tyre pressure that is too low not only increases consumption, it also markedly reduces a tyre’s life.
• Avoid stop-start driving
• Use air conditioning only if necessary. An air conditioner may reduce your fuel economy by 10%. Open your window if it is not too hot (however at 80 km’s per hour or above the air drag makes it more efficient to use your air conditioner to keep cool.
• Accelerate and brake gently (unless emergency
• Did you know that a clogged air filter could add 10% to your fuel consumption and so can binding brakes or a clogged exhaust system?
• Regular oil changes with the correct oil will also save fuel as clean oil has better lubricating properties cause less friction in your engine and transmission.
•Faulty wheel alignment will also increase the rolling resistance of your car, which will increase your fuel consumption and wear your tyres out quicker
• Remove anything from your car boot that you do not require – an extra 30 kg’s adds another 2% to fuel consumption and wear your tyres out quicker.

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