ENERGY SAVINGS IS ATTITUDE!!!
Basically, saving the energies is depending to our attitudes. While there are a number of factors influencing the attitudes and opinions towards energy savings – most notably the increasing cost of energy and a rising social conscience – it is likely to be legislative drivers that have the greatest impact on changing behaviors and practices. Respective governments internationally are introducing energy saving targets and effecting regulations to ensure they are met. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global target set at the Earth Summit in Kyoto in 1997 and finally ratified by 169 countries in December 2006 enabling the Agreement’s enactment in February 2005.
Under the Kyoto Protocol industrialized countries have agreed to reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% by 2008-2012 compared to the year 1990 (however, compared to the emissions levels expected by 2012 prior to the Protocol, this limitation represents a 29% cut). The target in Europe is an 8% reduction overall with a target for CO2 emissions to fall by 20% by 2020.
Of the six greenhouse gases listed by Kyoto, one of the most significant by volume of emissions is carbon dioxide (CO2) and it is gas that is mainly emitted as a result of electricity generation and use, as well as direct thermal losses in, for example, heating.
Up to 50% of CO2 emissions attributable to residential and commercial buildings is from electricity consumption. Moreover, as domestic appliances, computers and entertainment systems proliferate; and other equipment such as air conditioning and ventilation systems increase in use, electricity consumption is rising at a higher rate than other energy usage.
The ability to meet targets by simply persuading people to act differently or deploy new energy saving or energy efficient technology is unlikely to succeed. Just considering construction and the built environment, new construction is far less than 2% of existing stock. If newly constructed buildings perform exactly as existing stock the result by 2020 will be an increase in electricity consumption of 22%. On the other hand, if all new construction has energy consumption of 50% less than existing stock, the result is still an increase of 18%.
In order to reach a fall in consumption of 20% by 2020 the following has to happen:
- All new buildings constructed to consume 50% less energy
- 1 in 10 existing buildings reduce consumption by 30% each year
Significantly, by 2020 in most countries 80% of all buildings will have already been built. The refurbishment of existing building stock and improving energy management is vital in meeting emission reduction targets. Given that in the west, most buildings have already undergone thermal insulation upgrades such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and glazing, the only potential for further savings is by reducing the amount of energy consumed. Action on existing built environment will almost certainly become compulsory to meet targets fixed for the coming years.
As a result, governments are applying pressures to meet the ambitious targets. It is almost certain that ever more demanding regulations will be enforced to address all energy uses, including existing buildings and, naturally, industry. At the same time energy prices are rising as natural resources become exhausted and the electrical infrastructure in some countries struggles to cope with increasing demand.
Technology exists to help tackle energy efficiency on many levels from reducing electrical consumption to controlling other energy sources more efficiently. Strong regulatory measures may be required to ensure these technologies are adopted quickly enough to impact on the 2020 targets.
The most important ingredient however, lies with the ability of those in control of industry, business and government to concentrate their hearts and minds on making energy efficiency a critical target. Otherwise, it might not be just the Kyoto targets on which the lights go out.
The message to heed is that if those empowered to save energy don’t do so willingly now, they will be compelled under legal threat to do so in the future.
All sectors are concerned and regulations impact not only new construction and installation but as well the existing buildings in industrial or infrastructure environment.
In parallel Standardization work has started with a lot of new standards being issued or in progress.
In building all energy use are concerned:
- Cooling and AC
For industries as well as commercial companies Energy Management Systems standards (in Iine with the well known ISO 9001 for quality and ISO 14001 for environment) are under process in Standardization Bodies. Energy Efficiency Services standards are as well at work.