GEORGE BUSINESS NEWS - George Municipality has launched the "World of Tomorrow Festival 2019" to help increase public awareness of the importance of energy efficiency and the participating schools will present a 15-minute drama production.
This initiative will take the message through children to the homes of George residents - via an Industrial Theatre competition which will introduce and explore the topic "How do you mitigate climate change with energy efficiency?"
The dramas will highlight the changes individual residences and schools can make to become more energy efficient, which in most cases will assist in curbing the effect of climate change, a global topic.
The project has come about as a result of the George Electrotechnical Department participating in the second year of a national energy efficiency demand programme, which includes funding provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) for public awareness around climate change and energy efficiency.
The electrical engineering interns will be assisting with the project and will each contribute a technical article on the topic.
Our first writer, Phillip van Niekerk, completed his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) and Masters of Engineering (Mechanical) at Stellenbosch University and is an engineering intern at George Electrotechnical Services, Planning Department.
Energy efficiency: introduction to a series of articles
The existing energy situation in South Africa makes energy efficiency a very current topic to ensure economic sustainability and reduce one's environmental impact. Energy efficiency is calculated as the useful energy delivered to a system, divided by the input energy to the system.
To increase energy efficiency, one has to do the same work, but using less energy. Doing the same amount of work with less energy is possible if you consider the first law of thermodynamics.
The law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change form. The main goal of energy efficiency is to convert energy into the form you want to use, while minimising losses such as heat.
For example, an incandescent light bulb produces light energy (useful) but also heat (loss) from electrical energy. An LED light bulb produces the same amount of light using less energy because less energy is wasted in heat. The LED light is thus more efficient.
This concept can also be extended to other forms of energy. If a building is properly insulated, the heating or cooling of the building would be more efficient because less energy would be needed to achieve the same heating or cooling outcome.
The two clear benefits of energy efficiency are economic and environmental. Due to South Africa's dependence on coal power stations, a reduction in electricity usage will have a direct effect in reducing your environmental impact.
The reduced energy usage will however not slow economic growth because, as mentioned above, the work being done stays the same. Furthermore, the initial investment cost of energy-efficient equipment can be offset in as little as three years.
This is however determined by the type of equipment and the Department of Energy's capital investment in George. The replacing of old streetlights with new LEDs, for example, has an expected offset period of approximately five years.
Thus, to reduce expenses, using energy-efficient technologies is a great investment for both businesses and residents. An investment in energy-efficient technologies contributes to economic growth while reducing the negative environmental impact.
The Department of Energy website has useful calculation tools for the purchasing of an appliance. These calculation tools were created to aid consumers to make more informed decisions by calculating the long-term cost for running an appliance.
The tool allows you to understand how much energy it will use and what its resulting running cost will be.
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