Coming across the title of ‘Energy Leader’ was not from reading business reports but from a school visit. I observed a classroom where students were assigned various roles, and one of them was the ‘Energy Leader.’ This role tasked a student with the responsibility of ensuring that any unnecessary lights or fans in the classroom were switched off.
Nothing new in that right? We all do that at home and offices.
So what was it earlier?:- Well, there is one new aspect to consider. In the past, energy conservation may have been a more instinctive practice for many of us, but priorities have since evolved. Perhaps, it was acceptable in the past to occasionally forget to turn off a light or a fan. Rooms typically had just one fan and one light, which meant remembering two switches was a simple task. Additionally, much of our activities occurred in natural daylight, and a significant amount of our time was spent outdoors. Our use of electronics and electrical appliances was relatively limited.
Then what has changed now?:- In the present day, we heavily depend on gadgets and appliances, not only during the day but also throughout the night. As a result, the number of switches we must manage has considerably multiplied. Turning them off when not in use can truly make a substantial difference.
The concept of an ‘Energy Leader’ intrigued me, particularly seeing the enthusiasm and competitiveness that it instills in the children (a trait we sometimes exhibit as well) as they strive to excel in their assigned roles.
Have you tried this GoodStep?:- Why not put the kids in charge at home and make them the ‘Energy Leader’? This is a cool Good Step where everyone in the family can compete to do something good. And the best part? You just have to remember one thing- turning switches off.
Switching off with a remote is okay right?:- No, you need to put off the switch as well. It continues consuming some standby power if you have not. You would be surprised to know that Switching off at the plug point when you turn off the TV is equivalent to an annual CO2 emission reduction of 135 kg. Surprised, so were we, now imagine the amount of CO2 emission reduction if we ensured we switched off each appliance at plug point when not in use and these are savings from just one household.
How do we get our family to play the Energy Leader game?:-
- If you’re a family of four, assign each member to be in charge of a room or 2-3 appliances. If it becomes tricky who will take which, do a draw of lots.
- The one in charge has to make sure that the assigned room or appliances are always turned off when not in use. Every week, 7 points can awarded for completing this task ie 1 point for every day.
- If someone forgets to turn something off (which will be noticed by another family member), that person will earn extra points for turning it off.
- Did you know that just switching off one light and fan for an hour every day is equivalent to an annual CO2 emission reduction of 26 kg?
- At the end of the month, the family member with the most points becomes the “Energy Leader of the month”. You can set aside a small amount each month for a prize which can be a favorite dessert or a trip to a favorite destination within your city.
Are there other places where it can be replicated? : Well why not? It can be replicated among the office teams. Although a bit more difficult in the office with major items being centralized, there is still enough scope to become an energy leader.
- Desktops power off at the end of the day. (Fun fact: Powering off the computer workstations at the plug point at the end of the day is equivalent to an annual CO2 emission reduction of 190 kg.)
- Conference room power off post-meeting
- Suggesting ideas that can help in becoming more sustainable? E.g. Installing an auto on-off switch in the bathroom.
Competing teams can point out if one team has missed its goal and win extra points. At the end of each month, winning teams can be recognized with a small token of appreciation from the organization.
Are there any tips to save more?:
Yes, try these four tips for you to be not just an Energy Leader but an Energy superstar:
- If you aren’t frequently using a device, unplug it. The older the appliance, the greater the likely savings
- Use a switchable power strip for clusters of computer or video products. That way you can switch everything to zero with one action.
- When shopping, search for low-standby products. ENERGY STAR products have lower standby.
- Keep AC temperature above 24 degrees. This is equivalent to an annual CO2 emission reduction of 787 kg.