The United States is a world leader in many categories. Unfortunately, we also happen to be world leaders in wasted energy.
Although the industrial sector is the biggest culprit, residential properties, transportation, and other businesses contribute more energy waste as the years go by. We all need to do better.
Energy management is a crucial industry that is continuously evolving to meet the demands of a growing economy. It allows us to get the most out of our resources. Read on to learn more about the science behind it.
What is Energy Management?
Energy management techniques sound like something a marathon runner would employ to avoid getting tired early in the race.
However, you could draw some similarities between running a marathon and managing an industry. There are methods to apply to ensure that energy isn't wasted.
The Goals of Energy Management
In a similar fashion, energy management aims to ensure a balance between production and consumption. Even much of the electricity we use comes from non-renewable resources.
The concept of energy management revolves around reducing consumption when possible, eliminating waste, cutting costs, and preserving the environment.
The Main Pillars of Energy Management
There are little things people can do to prevent energy waste. It helps but this problem is going to take more than remembering to shut every light off in the house.
Here is the principal methodology of energy management.
1. Data Collection
Like any investigator, the first step is to study the issue and collect information. It's important to quantify how much energy is being consumed and for what purpose.
Electricians and other experts have an array of tools and tests to help to measure this data. They can identify if and where energy is being consumed inefficiently
Once the pertinent data is recorded, it can then be analyzed by experts in energy management. They can pinpoint certain areas that need to be improved.
This is where they decide what would actions would have the greatest benefit.
3. Taking Action
This is the 'doing' stage. This might consist of repair and replacing equipment that using energy inefficiently.
It might simply take the form of educating employees about how to use energy more efficiently. It's all about reducing waste.
4. Continued Surveillance
Energy management takes ongoing effort. Routine 'checkups' can evaluate how much energy is being saved.
It is a good way to determine the efficacy of the interventions and finding problems as they arise.
5. Research and Development
Simply reducing the energy we use isn't a viable option. Nor is it the end-all.
If we're hopeful and dedicated to sustainability, we will develop new technologies that are safer and more efficient.
Impact on the Environment
Not many people in the United States can see the environmental impacts of energy consumption. We use advanced equipment that runs on electricity, gas, and other energy sources without having to give it much thought.
However, even everyday activity requires significant energy.
Where Does Our Electricity Come From?
When we use an electric appliance, for example, it kind of feels like we're just tapping into some sort of unlimited energy source. However, something has to generate that energy.
For many years, coal from the predominant energy source used to generate electricity in the United States. Only recently did natural gases surpass coal as the major fuel source for electricity in America.
Solar, hydroelectric, and wind power are considered renewable sources of energy. However, they account for a tiny fraction. In fact, we get more electricity from nuclear energy.
Types of Energy Waste
We were (hopefully) all taught not to litter since we were little. This is a great way to reduce local pollution.
However, trash isn't the only type of waste we should be wary of.
Each year, Americans alone spend about $350 billion dollars on electricity. However, much of the energy generated is wasted.
There are inefficiency problems at nearly every level, from generation to consumption. Many people and companies are either unaware of energy management techniques or simply not doing enough.
Much of our electrical energy is produced from fossil fuels. This is a practice that, as of now, is unsustainable, wasteful, and simply dirty.
Fossil fuels are created naturally through anaerobic decomposition of organisms that died and were buried many, many years ago. That's why it's called a fossil fuel.
Oil, natural gases, and coal are all considered types of fossil fuels. They are extremely effective at producing large amounts of energy in a hurry.
However, their unregulated use is not without consequences.
Using Fossil Fuels Responsibly
The process of harvesting and burning fossil fuels can be bad for the environment. It contributes to greenhouse gases and air pollution.
Plus, extracting the fuel from beneath the surface often requires disrupting precious ecosystems. Unfortunately, much of that energy goes to waste.
Power plants often use fossil fuels to create electrical energy. It has been calculated that nearly 2/3 of the potential energy from these fuels is lost as vented heat.
Energy Management Solutions
Everybody from teenagers to CEOs of large corporations has to make a decision. Are you going to be mindful of wasteful energy consumption? Or are you going to forgo sustainability for immediate convenience?
Even if you're not worried about climate change or nature, why would you want to keep wasting your precious resources? Proper energy management is an investment that will pay dividends down the line.
Visit this page to learn more about how can help you cut energy costs and improve efficiency.