Mon, May 19, 2008 - Page 2 News List

EPA suggests ways to cut energy use in coming hot summer

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

With the summer fast approaching, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday shared with the public ways to fight the heat while keeping the planet cool.

“Because most electricity in Taiwan is generated by coal-burning plants, the best way for the public to help reduce the nation’s carbon emissions and fight global warming is to reduce unnecessary usage of electricity,” director-general of the EPA’s Air Quality Protection and Noise Control division Hsiao Hui-chuan (蕭慧娟) said.

Before reaching for the switch to turn on air conditioners, Hsiao asked that people try opening their windows first.

“Windows are the best ventilation systems in domestic homes; when you open your windows and turn on electric fans, you can reduce indoor temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius,” she said.

“Remember to clean the vents of your air-conditioners regularly to improve their output efficiency, and pair them with the usage of good old fans,” she said. “If you must turn on the air conditioner, keep it at 26°C to 28°C. By increasing the system by 1 degree, you save 6 percent of its electricity consumption.”

People who live directly below a rooftop should consider employing their green thumbs as rooftop floras can help them reduce indoor temperature considerably and save big dollars on their electricity bill, she said.

“Another easy but lesser known tip is to trade your conventional light bulbs for energy conserving ones – 90 percent of the electricity used in conventional bulbs is emitted as heat instead of light, which means that to offset the heat they emit, your air conditioner must generate extra output,” she said.

Hsiao also suggested that when buying air conditioning units, people should buy systems that are energy-efficient and money-saving.

Variable frequency air conditioners are best, she said, adding that some units carry clearly labeled energy efficiency ratios.

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