The Guyana Energy Agency is pleased to launch a campaign to promote energy saving and awareness.
Energy Costs: Energy is not cheap
In 2008, the amount of foreign currency expended to import fossil-based energy sources was about 43% of the country’s declared official Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is therefore evident that energy cost plays a significant role in the lives of the Guyanese nation. It is imperative that opportunities for the reduced use of energy be explored. Guyana has embarked on a low-carbon development strategy to address the inescapable threats of climate change to the world at large. Lifestyle choices that result in energy saving will help to reduce the cost of energy while simultaneously allowing every citizen to play a critical role in helping to protect the environment. The objective of the Energy Saving Campaign is to influence change in energy consumption patterns by increasing awareness of energy saving opportunities that do not cause significant lifestyle changes. These energy saving measures will result in lower electricity and fuel bills.
As part of the Energy Saving Campaign, the Guyana Energy Agency has developed four brochures providing energy conservation tips for lighting, appliances, transportation and building design:
- The Energy Efficient Lighting brochure provides useful tips when choosing lamps, the use of focused and general lighting and the benefits of using energy efficient lamps.
- The brochure on Appliances provides information on the importance of unplugging appliances, use of switched outlets, maintenance of appliances and caution when using certain appliances that consume large amounts of energy. The brochure also urges consumers to pay attention to the energy labels affixed to appliances when making purchasing decisions. Tips for saving energy in the home in relation to cooking and using the refrigerator are also included.
- The brochure entitled “Be Auto$mart” provides many useful tips for vehicle owners and operators. A number of suggestions are offered on how to improve vehicle fuel consumption. Simple measures such as removing excess weight from the vehicle, ensuring properly inflated tyres and routine maintenance can have a significant impact on a vehicle’s fuel consumption and ultimately the cost of operation. The advice offered in the brochure is meant to sensitize drivers about simple measures that can be employed to improve vehicle mileage.
- The final brochure provides suggestions on Building Design to help reduce electricity costs and promote a healthier and more environmentally friendly home. Suggestions include the use of pastel colours, making use of natural light and natural airflow. Information on the operation and maintenance of air-conditioning units is also included. Quite often persons set the temperature of air-conditioning units to the minimum resulting in very cold rooms. There is no need to excessively cool the room. Every degree below 24 degrees Celsius can consume between 3 to 8% more energy depending on the size and type of unit.
The brochure also includes a simple calculation to demonstrate how energy costs are calculated. The example provided is aimed at giving the general public a basic appreciation of how energy costs are calculated and reflected on their electricity bills. An example of a 100watt-bulb is used for simplicity to show the cost of operating the bulb for 5 hours per day in one month.
To complement the campaign, the GEA has recently re-launched its website at: www.gea.gov.gy
The website has a wealth of information regarding energy development and historic energy statistics and allows download of the four energy conservation brochures. Persons are invited to print and/or email the brochures to relatives, friends and colleagues since every additional person who is sensitized contributes more towards the savings.
A key feature recently added to the website is a Blog to engage persons on alternative energy and energy efficiency. The blog provides an interactive forum to share ideas and experiences. The general public is hereby invited to engage the staff of the Guyana Energy Agency on energy-related matters.
For this programme to work effectively, every stakeholder has to be proactive and embrace the energy saving revolution. New patterns of energy consumption need to become embedded in daily routines rather than only being practised when there is an energy crisis looming. It is imperative that every citizen of Guyana embraces better energy practices. GEA will continue to develop various mechanisms to create awareness and activities to promote the rational use of energy. Suggestions are invited so that through cooperation, an energy-efficient culture can be fostered.
Saving Energy Saves Money & the Environment!