My energy pledge for the year 2020 is to work closely with people, government and businesses to help build a new era that boasts a culture of energy efficiency in India. One question that I regularly get asked is what actions common people can take to help build a culture of energy efficiency in India.
I strongly believe that citizen participation that builds the cultural fabric of the society wields the most influence on both government and businesses. Therefore, it is a social imperative that people take positive action, which in turn, shows that they care about their environment in their day-to-day life, to bring about a unity of purpose in energy efficiency.
There are many things that citizens can do, but here are my top five that all of us can do mindfully to help the society make a fast and successful transition towards a climate resilient and energy secure future:
- Demand visibility in your energy consumption: Demand that power consumption in every appliance, every home and every office be made visible on a real-time basis. You’ll be surprised that a very simple demand from the consumers, will usher in a complete transformation in how energy use will be viewed in our society. This requires no expensive technology and can be implemented at a minimal incremental cost.Having visibility in to how (and how much) your appliances and homes utilize energy will empower you to make informed choices about energy use and its conservation.
- Commit to use energy efficient appliances: Make a commitment to buy a 5-star appliance for your home and office. The additional upfront cost that you pay, can be recovered in most cases, within 3-5 years, and the appliance will cost you less to operate over its lifetime. This kind of intent and purchasing behaviour from consumers drives government to tighten the energy efficiency standards and motivates manufacturers to innovate and invest in development of more energy-efficient technologies. And it will earn you the gratification that you are doing your part to help fight climate change and secure a healthier environment for your childern.
- Reduce the energy footprint in your office and home and power it with renewable energy: Play a game with your family and friends regarding the monthly energy cost and energy consumption of your home by comparing yours with theirs and share your most brilliant idea to save energy. Ask your DISCOMs if you can use renewable energy generated electricity (with significantly lower emissions than coal-generated electricity) to power your home and business – you’ll be surprised to know that it can be done.
- Slay the energy vampires– Unplug or turn off the power switch for devices and chargers that are not being used. You can help save the country a few thousands of crores of ₹ (billions of dollars at the national level) in eliminating waste of energy through such simple but effective behavioural changes.
- Use public transportation, Ola/Uber or even rented bikes: Do your bit to minimize the numbers of cars on the roads. Avoid buying a car even if you can afford it; and if you must buy, consider buying an electric vehicle or the most fuel-efficient vehicle that your money can buy. Replace driving – to the extent possible – with public transportation options such as the Metro, Ola/Uber, and even rented bikes. If you want to purchase a 2- or 3-wheeler, visit AEEE’s Green Vehicle Rating website to look at their overall economic and environmental impact before making a final purchasing decision. Get creative with your commute – not only will you skip the parking hassle, butyour choices will help make many cities in India breathe easy.
Ask yourself what is your energy pledge for 2020? Are you taking ownership of your daily energy usage and spending? Are you sending the right signal to businesses and to the government through your actions in your daily life? Are you making it known loud and clear that responsible use of energy and preserving your environment matters to you? Let us proactively work together to bring about the change that we want to see in our society. Indeed, that is the only way change will happen at speed and scale. Stay energised!
This blog is written by President and Executive Director (AEEE), Dr Satish Kumar.