Energy conservation potential

Energy conservation is the goal of reducing current energy consumption in the future.It can therefore encompass all types of energy or limit itself to specific energy sources or sources of energy. And it can be understood both globally and related to a particular economy or a single farm or household.

In a narrower sense, energy conservation refers to all measures that are suitable for achieving reduced energy consumption. The goal of energy-saving measures is often to increase energy efficiency, ie the amount of useful energy achieved in relation to the primary energy used. But it can also be aimed at reducing the amount of useful energy needed.

Potential savings by energy sector
Against the background of discussions on energy policy, in addition to technical energy-saving measures, the conscious use of energy and the reduction of consumption by individual measures of each individual are also repeatedly demanded. According to the EU Commission, 90% of all apartments in the EU are not energy-efficient. Insofar there is considerable savings potential.

The actual amount of energy consumed by households, without the consumption of cars in Germany, is about 30% of the total energy. The energy saving potential is regarded as high because the “typical” household technology is often inefficiently constructed for price reasons.

The largest share of individual energy consumption is provided by building heating and water heating (about 25 to 33% of the total German primary energy budget) and electrical energy, one part for lighting energy (about 2% of the total German primary energy consumption), but also a large part for electrical household appliances.

In order to make it easier for the consumer to decide on the purchase process for energy-efficient appliances, the Energy Efficiency Class award has been introduced.

In a study in the UK, the ten most common “energy-saving sins” were found in English households:

71% are running electrical appliances in standby mode,
67% cook more tea water than they need
65% leave unused chargers in the socket,
63% let light burn in empty rooms,
48% also take the car for short distances
44% wash the laundry too hot,
32% run the engine in the stationary car,
32% use clothes dryers instead of clotheslines,
28% heat the empty house,
22% prefer to turn on the heating instead of putting on a sweater

Heat utilization

Heating energy
Today, about 40% of energy in the building sector is consumed in Germany. Of this, around 70% (28% in absolute terms) is accounted for by domestic private energy consumption. Private households consume the most energy for heating or cooling the living space. In Central Europe, heating is the most important factor.

A lot of energy can be saved by a well-planned installation and control of the heating system as well as good thermal insulation of the building.

Many obsolete heaters have only 64% efficiency (scale for efficiency), newer low-temperature heaters up to 94% and modern condensing heaters up to 104% (values related to calorific value). The replacement of an old heating system by a condensing boiler can save up to 40% energy and thus also reduce the emission of carbon dioxide. The renewal of the heating system is one of the energy saving measures, which pays off most economically.

The average age of the heaters in Germany is 17.6 years, more than a third (36%) is even older than 20 years. Over 70% of installed heaters would only reach efficiency class C, D or E. In August 2015, the Federal Government adopted the legal basis for implementing the “National Efficiency Label for Heating Systems”. From 1 January 2016, the new efficiency label will apply to boilers over 15 years old.

In the 1980s, energy wastes were estimated to be around 70% of gross calorific value due to possible heat losses from wood-burning stoves as individual room heaters.

Almost all of the individual ovens installed in rooms (heated with coal, oil, wood or biogenic pellets) use the fuel poorly due to their simple construction – much of the heat generated is lost through the exhaust pipe. Even with cheap fuel, this type of heating is uneconomical. This is especially true for open fireplaces. In 1986, there were 2.6 million tiled stoves, open fireplaces and wood-burning stoves in German households with an annual growth rate of around 10%. Most solid fuel stoves pollute the environment with increased particulate matter emissions.

In a 2003 study on heating optimization, the savings potential for the Federal Republic of Germany was estimated to be between 20,000 and 28,000 GWh per year (for comparison: the Brokdorf nuclear power plant fed 11,360 GWh of electricity into the grid in 2010)), The countermeasures were relatively inexpensive (2003) with costs of € 2 / m² to € 7 / m² living space. A lot of heating energy (and thus heating costs) at low cost can be saved by optimizing the return of radiators. In (central) boilers of modern design can standstill losseswhich can account for up to 50% of the total fuel costs (depending on the age of the heating system and fuel) (see boiler # energy wastage).

Although all electric heaters (eg night storage heaters) convert the electrical energy completely into heating, but since only about 30% of the primary energy can be converted into electricity in thermal power plants, this type of heating is extremely energy efficient and only then energetically appropriate when heating is rarely required or the electrical energy needed for heating comes from renewable energy sources. Ideally, electric storage heaters should recharge when there is an oversupply of, for example, wind or solar power. This will be possible in the future with the help of intelligent electricity meters.

Modern central heating appliances with calorific value utilization (whether for installation in the basement or as a so-called gas boiler) have a relatively high degree of fuel efficiency. This is achieved by cooling the exhaust gases down considerably, thus allowing less heat to escape through the chimney.

In houses with a ventilation system with heat recovery, additional manual ventilation during the heating period always leads to an energy loss. It should be noted that some systems of heat recovery ventilation systems are expected to provide better efficiency, longer life and lower maintenance than others. In particular, the use of electrical energy for the fans should be balanced.

Energy-efficient ventilation requires the attention of residents. In homes without heat recovery, forced ventilation is superior to permanent ventilation in all aspects, both for achieving good indoor air quality and for saving heating energy. All rooms should be exclusively ventilated. Post-installable automatic window closure systems ensure windows that are tilted for ventilation do not stay open too long.

Thermal insulation
A lot of energy is also saved by a good thermal insulation of the building. Examples are the thermal insulation of all external surfaces (walls, floors, roofs, doors and windows). The heat loss through the windows can be reduced, especially by thermal insulation glazing.

In the modernization of buildings, thermal insulation, the use of solar energy and more efficient heating technology (eg heating pumps with classification for the energy label for circulating pumps in heating technology, demand-oriented heating and ventilation) can save up to 90% of the heating energy originally required. In recent years, thermal insulation measures have been mandatory in many countries for many years. In the renovation of facades of old buildings can also perform thermal insulation measures. If the facade is not to be changed, there are now a number of proven insulation systems that are suitable for insulation on the inside of the outer walls. In the private sector here are mainly natural materials such asHolzfaserdämmplatten, as they are capable of capillary and sorptive on the wall surfaces forward where it evaporates capillary and sorptive accumulating during the internal insulation.
The insulation of top floors or the roof is mandatory in the German Energy Saving Ordinance as an immediate measure for all buildings.

Essential, however, is a perfect airtightness of the closed building. Even low drafts can carry significantly more heat from the building than the heat conduction through the outer surfaces. At the same time, the drafts caused by conventional kitchen extractor hoods, unused stoves and badly closing attic doors should not be neglected.

The thermal insulation in the industrial environment above 700 ° C takes place by means of high temperature wool. Compared with traditional thermal insulation materials such as light-weight bricks (calcium silicate and microporous materials), heavy bricks (firebricks and earth masses) and fire concrete, high-temperature wool (HTW) as a thermal insulation material can lead to energy savings in many heating processes:

in the production and processing of steel and non-ferrous metals.
in industrial furnace, furnace and heating construction
in the automotive industry, especially in the hot end area of exhaust systems, as storage mats for catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters
in the ceramic and porcelain industry
in the hot gas filtration
but also in the household appliance technology (for example, thermal insulation of ceramic hobs, microwave ovens and ovens).
In some areas, energy savings of up to 50% are possible compared to conventional stone / concrete infeeds. Industrial furnaces and plants with HTW thermal insulation are to be heated up and cooled faster due to lower heat capacities. As a result, energy consumption is reduced, especially in the case of discontinuous processes.

A simple means of saving energy is to close the shutters in the dark. The air between window and roller shutter acts as additional heat insulation.

Hot water use
Second in the energy consumption of a household is the water heating.

As with space heating, there are the three paths

Reduction of consumption
more efficient deployment
Recovery of heat energy

Reduction of consumption
The highest hot water consumption in the household arises from the body care (bathing, showers). A shower requires depending on the duration of about 40 to 75 liters of hot water, a bath 160 liters on average, that is about three times (the heat but can help by cooling to space heating, which is barely practiced when showering with the water in the shower tray). In water-saving showerheads, the exit velocity of the water jet is significantly increased, creating a feeling of a richer jet despite reducing the flow rate. Savings of up to 50% are possible. Ultimately, however, the behavior of users is also crucial here.

More efficient deployment
In general, the generation of hot water via electric power is to be avoided, because the primary energy consumption in the production (and transport) of this electricity is about three times as high as the useful energy.

According to this principle, washing machines are designed that take their hot water from the hot water network instead of heating it purely electrically. Also, the connection of the dishwasher to the hot water network could be useful.

The losses in the hot water tank of a central hot water system can be reduced by a better insulation and a lowering of the storage tank temperature.

60 ° C must not be permanently fallen below, otherwise there is a danger of the propagation of dangerous Legionella. These bacteria can cause pneumonia or flu-like illnesses (Legionnaire’s disease, Pontiac fever). Alternatively, a can Legionella circuit are used that these highly heated at boiler temperatures <60 ° C once a week over 70 ° C. However, it should be noted here that the limescale in the pipes at temperatures above 60 ° C is greatly increased, thus narrowing the pipe cross section in the long run. Recovery of heat energy See also the article about wastewater heat recovery. Hot sewage is produced in the shower / bath and in washing machine and dishwasher. If the shower has a water heater, you can heat the incoming water through a heat exchanger with the running shower water. If there is a stratified heat store, the warm wastewater after filtering can be used directly to heat the water in the colder strata. For this purpose, however, a separate, well-insulated pipe for the warm wastewater is necessary and a stratified storage tank, which is intended for it. In addition, you can raise the heat energy of the wastewater with a heat pump to a higher, more usable temperature level and bring in the hot water tank. The residual heat of a cooking plate turned off after cooking can heat the water in a pot placed on it. The heated water can be used, for example, for rinsing and energy for water heating can be saved. Many dishwashers use a cold water supply in the inlet for condensation drying of the washing compartment. The heat partially transferred into this can be saved in a subsequent rinse. Food warming Stove and oven can also be powered by gas, which is basically more energy efficient because of the conversion losses in the conversion of primary energy into electricity in the power plant. Much more decisive, however, is the correct use of the devices: Pots suitable for the stove (eg sandwich floor in ceramic hobs), especially in electric cookers with single plates, hobs and pots should have the same diameter. Especially if the bottom is smaller than the plate, much heat is radiated unused. Thermostats and Aufkochhilfen facilitate efficient cooking. If the recipe allows, it is best to cook with the lid closed. Eggs are cooked sparingly with an egg cooker. Ovens can be switched off before the baking time, because the heat in the oven lasts longer and is sufficient for the baking process. In the kitchen, when the food is heated by a conventional stove, much heat is released into the surrounding air. When water heating on the stove occur high losses because in part the stove, but always the relatively massive pot is heated with and this gives the additional heat to the environment. More energy efficient water heater or immersion heater, since here the low-mass heating element directly heats the water and only a low-mass in many cases heat-insulating plastic vessel is miterhitzt. Energy can also be saved if only the actual required amount of water is heated to the actual required temperature (for example, to prepare hot drinks not 100 ° C hot water is necessary). A coffee machine is energy-efficient only in combination with a thermos flask. Coffee machines with a glass jug should be issued after brewing the coffee as the hot plate under the jug has a high energy consumption. Good and energy-saving alternatives are coffee makers that manage without electricity. These are available as a thermos, the water is heated in the kettle. For longer cooking times, such as making pasta or potatoes, the stove should be set low enough to simmer the water. As soon as air bubbles rise, the water has reached a temperature of 100 ° C. As long as there is water in the pot, a higher cooking temperature is physically not possible under normal atmospheric pressure. When water boils, the added energy is dissipated by evaporation to the environment, without the cooking time is thereby reduced in the least. On the other hand, faster cooking is possible in a pressure cooker in which, due to the higher pressure, the water temperature rises to well over 100 ° C. The shortened cooking time saves energy. Bringing products / food out of the fridge for several hours before cooking saves energy for heating. Conversely, cooked foods should be allowed to cool before being placed in the refrigerator. Devices and systems in household and operation Household appliances make up the next largest item in the primary energy needs of a household. The largest share of the total consumption have cooling and heating appliances (ie stove and oven), the washing machine and, if available, tumble dryer and dishwasher, In general, depending on the degree of contamination of the dishes and the quick or economy mode can be used. Despite better, more energy-efficient technology, the average power and energy consumption in German households has remained almost unchanged. Modern appliances use up to a quarter to half less electricity than older household appliances from the 1980s; this saving is almost completely compensated by new power applications and carelessness. Many households are also unaware of their unnecessary energy consumption. A careful handling and modest energy consumption can be brought about without much effort, in addition, resulting from the lower energy consumption and relevant, private savings. Consumer centers offer free energy advice. Washer Washing machines usually wash without prewashing and at low temperatures from 20 ° C sufficiently clean, this reduces water and electricity consumption. Lightly soiling or removing sweat often requires the use of an energy-saving program. (The use of a short cycle can consume even more energy than a normal washing program. "Although the machine is not so long in operation, but more intense.") Ideal is the full utilization of the machine (keep maximum weight = machine not overloaded - this can damage the drum bearings and shock absorbers and the laundry will not be properly cleaned). dry The air drying the laundry outside on the clothesline avoids any energy required for drying. The spin will help: The higher the speed, the greater the effect. A material-related high speed can lead to increased energy consumption during smoothing. Drying in the wind or in the dryer can make a separate smoothing unnecessary. Particularly large items of laundry cause high energy consumption per part when machine dried, but can be air-dried with comparatively little space and time (per kg). Washing dishes Fully filled dishwashers make better use of the energy per flushing process. Often they can also use the usually quite efficiently heated hot water of the drinking water line and then require less electric energy for the built-in heating. Zeolite technology is currently regarded as the most energy-efficient option; around 11 liters of water and 1 kWh of energy can be used to clean 160 dishes, while other appliances consume twice as much and more. Cooling and keeping fresh Despite relatively low electrical connection power, cooling units also require a lot of energy because their motors (controlled by thermostat) start over again. A cooling unit requires more energy, the worse it can deliver the heat to the ambient air. Therefore, good ventilation of the rear side, where the heat exchanger is used, improves the efficiency. Frosted heat exchangers inside the units also reduce the efficiency of the cooling circuit. Remedy here creates a regular defrosting. The use of modern appliances with better thermal insulation saves additional energy. Many foods remain fresh enough for a long time without refrigeration, so storage in the refrigerator is superfluous. In contrast, depending on their mass, composition and temperature, food at one go brings in more heat than penetrates through the insulation in a longer period of time. The energy required to dissipate the additional heat is not needed for targeted shopping instead of unnecessary storage. Some refrigerators use so much electricity that an exchange can save money because the annual electricity bill of the new refrigerator plus the pro-rata purchase price (so-called depreciation) are lower than the electricity costs of the old appliance. With the Alt-Device-KühlCheck can be checked for most currently used in Germany devices. When frozen food is defrosted in the refrigerator in time for preparation, the energy requirements for cooling and subsequent heating are reduced. Lighting With appropriate planning of buildings, the use of daylight can save a lot of energy for the lighting. Energy-saving lamps such as LED lamps have a higher manufacturing and disposal costs and selling price, but this is justified by the higher efficiency and longer life. With the fluorescent tubes customary in the commercial sector, it is possible to save up to 75% compared to conventional ballasts by using electronic ballasts in conjunction with motion and light sensors. Even halogen lamps deliver a higher luminous flux than an incandescent lamp with the same electrical power consumption, but do not reach the efficiency of LED lamps. As an energy-saving replacement for incandescent and halogen lamps as well as fluorescent lamps (eg T8), LED lamps with up to 1100 lumens are now available. The light color is generally in the customary range of 2700-3000 K and the luminous flux is, depending on the LED lamp, comparable to 5 to 100 watt incandescent light with an electrical power of only 1 to 20 watts. By replacing the old (conventional) bulbs in LED bulbs can usually over 50% energy savings. In the case of larger, commercial conversions, savings in euros in the two- to three-digit range can be achieved over the years (replacement of bulbs in a warehouse / production hall). Decisive for the comparison of the brightness is the luminous flux in lumens. No power of expression has the electrical power in watts, because it names the power consumption and not the brightness. If incandescent lamps still have a luminous flux of 10 lm / W (ie about 250 lumens for a 25 W incandescent lamp), there are differences in the size and quality of LED lamps of 50 lm / W (equivalent to about 5 watts to reach) from 250 lumens) to 83 lm / W (equivalent to 330 lumens at 4 watts). Some particularly efficient models even bring it to 110 lm / W. Computers, consumer electronics and small appliances By completely disabling devices with standby mode (standby function) is an average household saves about 3% of the electric current. To illustrate the problem: According to consumer center North Rhine-Westphalia, the standby functions of TV, computer, CD player and Co. devour unnecessarily 20 billion kWh annually in the Federal Republic. For this amount of energy, two nuclear power plants have to work around the clock for one year. Conventional power adapters consume more energy than electronic ones. In consumer electronics, a power switch is usually installed, which only switches the low power - just like with devices with separate power supply, the transformer of the device is thus continuously on the network and can usually only be disabled by disconnecting the power supply. Many devices (even higher quality) have on the back of the case a full-fledged operation switch, which also takes the transformer out of service. Modern desktop computerare often oversized for use as a mere writing instrument, so much of the energy is used to power components that the user rarely or never uses. In addition, ultimately, all the energy required by the computer is converted into heat, which must be dissipated from the device. A notebook is usually much more economical, as it is designed as a mobile device for long battery life and therefore low power consumption. But also for desktop computers and other home electronics, there are many ways to save energy (see also: Green IT). Using a power strip with switch, so that all devices can be disconnected from the mains with one hand Master-Slave outlets reduce the standby consumption of peripherals Switch off the device instead of standby mode, including turning the screen off (screens run in 2 / 3 of all companies by night) Using energy-efficient components: Processor manufacturers have integrated power-saving technologies into their processors, see, for example, Cool'n'Quiet (AMD) and SpeedStep (Intel). In this case, the processors usually run with about half the computing power, with only a fraction (usually 10% to 20%) of the normal energy demand. If more computing power is needed, the operating system automatically powers up the processor. Use energy management systems that are integrated in software and hardware: the idle (Idle), the can recognize the operating system on the non-use of keyboard and mouse, and which the switching off of the screen (instead of a compute-intensive screen saver) and stopping the hard drive (s) allowed the energy-saving modes, for example, according to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface standard, such as Suspend to RAM or the much more frugal state of rest (suspend to disk) Current power supplies have an efficiency of 85% to 95%, cheap and older devices achieve significantly less. Switching off the PC correctly by pressing the switch on the power supply (rear of the housing) - the software-controlled shutdown merely places the PC in a standby mode in which certain parts are still supplied with energy. Remove unused components, such as old analog modem cards. Only switch on peripherals when they are needed (scanners, printers, USB sticks, etc.). Remove unnecessary media from the drive The transmission power of WLAN devices can be reduced in many cases to the essentials, this reduces not only the energy requirement but also the radiation intensity (in the case of antennas in the same room usually already 20% transmission power is sufficient) However, searches on the Internet also consume electricity, due to the services used by the servers of the network nodes and search engines. If you find information faster on Wikipedia than through time-consuming search engine research, you save energy. Building use In public buildings and schools alone can be saved by the behavior of users 20% energy. In many places, profit-sharing schemes such as "fifty-fifty" are offered, for example in Frankfurt, Hamburg or Berlin. These projects are a contribution to climate protection and communicate these issues of the future to children and adolescents. Material usage Packaging and data carriers, recycling For packaging material that is not produced, no energy needs to be expended. By recycling (recycling), especially of packaging materials, a part of the energy required for the production can be saved. The problematic and expensive sorting of waste is partly carried out by the consumers. The final sorting is usually done by waste disposal companies. The DSD (Duales System Deutschland) commissioned with recycling in Germany has come under criticism because in the meantime (2004) there are sorting machines that work better, faster and above all economically more favorably than the manual waste separation, separate tours and sorting. Information can often be transported more conveniently, faster and cheaper via the Internet than on fixed media. These are for example films, pictures, newspapers, magazines, music, maps and letters. During transport and production, especially in the processing of raw materials (paper, plastic from oil) of these media, gray energy is used at considerable height. The savings potential of digitalisation is huge, as in many cases more energy has to be spent on producing and disposing of pure transport media than on providing the Internet infrastructure to exchange the information contained therein. Lightweight construction Lightweight construction leads to more efficient energy utilization and thus to lower energy consumption. The lower the mass, which does not contribute directly to the work, but still moves, that is accelerated and decelerated, or has to be heated and cooled, the higher the proportion of energy used to do the actual work. Another savings effect results from the lower raw material mass, which is needed for the production of the lightweight construction plant. Mobility Transportation choice In terms of transport, there are several motivations that make an economical use of energy (in this case fuel) advantageous. high fuel prices Its reach payload increase utility increase environmental protection Energy saving in transport for environmental reasons is rather rare to observe. The negative environmental and health marginal effects of energy consumption are tackled with mostly technical means and only on political pressure. Measures such as unleaded gasoline and catalytic converter do not reduce energy consumption and diesel particulate filters increase fuel consumption by up to 10%. In terms of traffic, improved vehicle and driveline technology can also increase efficiency considerably (for those who want to and can buy these new vehicles). Prototypes show that the 1 to 1.5 liter car is technically and economically possible. Sophisticated concepts for low-energy vehicles have not yet reached the market: either an investor was missing or the vehicle did not meet the requirements of the users. Transport Energy consumption for transportation today makes up a substantial part of the total energy consumption (energetic footprint) of mobile persons. This applies to most commuters who travel by car daily longer distances or even trips to training or recreational activities. Roughly speaking, a daily distance of 100 km means approximately 100 kWh per day, with 200 working days this would be 20,000 kWh. Compare this to the energy consumption for electricity of 2300 kWh per year for a two-person household. In traffic, energy can be saved by Avoid unnecessary journeys by motor vehicle Purchase of vehicles with lower fuel consumption Switching to more energy-efficient means of transport (bicycle, pedestrian traffic, public mass transit) Use of carpooling Increased expansion of electromobility in public transport (tram, trolleybus, cable cars) Abandonment of goods that are brought to the consumer from afar but that are also produced locally (for example apples from New Zealand, paving stones from China, mineral waters from Italy, butter from Ireland, wine from Australia) Abandonment of "processing traffic" (piggery in Austria, slaughtering in Germany, processing in Italy, sales Europe-wide) Increasing the shelf life of products (saving energy during production, transport and disposal) Replacement of travel and travel through videoconferencing or home work Shortening of journeys (purchase close to home, choice of an apartment near the workplace, holiday nearby and the like) Transport generates costs in the provision of infrastructure (purchase of land, transport infrastructure, refurbishment), in the social sector (accident costs) and emissions, which are not all caused by fuel taxes on excise duties. Theoretically, it would be ideal if these external costs could be borne entirely by the polluter rather than by the state, social insurance institutions, and municipalities; d. H. no so-called external costs are passed on to third parties. The cost truth would lead to higher fuel prices, which are expected to have steering effects. The following rule of thumb applies to air transport: The net weight of the product is consumed in fuel per 5,000 km. For products with a low specific weight (eg Styrofoam) the ratio is far less favorable. The reactions to the rising fuel and energy prices show two basic strategies of the providers of transport of all kinds: Increased efficiency: lower fuel consumption, for example through increased efficiency, lightweight construction, hybrid drive, Thrust Fin (shipping), ENAflex-S (rail) Alternative energies: cheaper fuels, such as gas, hydrogen or electric energy For details, see Alternative Drive Technology. Source from Wikipedia