The economy of the British Isles has not escaped the brunt of the global recession and many predict a challenging future. At a time when every individual is feeling the pinch, it is the perfect opportunity to educate the public, about energy, energy conservation in the home and how this can reduce electricity and heating bills. For this reason the theme of the course I intend to outline will be specifically targeting Mr. Joe Oblongs or Joe the plumber for our American friends. The title of the course would be “A Householders Guide to Energy and Nee Saving Techniques”.
The lectures would focus on simple changes in attitude ND lifelong habits that if altered, can reduce the cost of living without having to spend a fortune. The course would firstly introduce the individual to a simplistic overview of energy and how it is produced. This would be followed by pointing out the main areas of high energy consumption in a dwelling and giving tips on how to reduce the amount of electricity and heat being wasted. The benefits to HTH environment, climate change and carbon reduction would also be discussed.
The person would then be instructed on how to carry out a simple Survey of their own home, so they can relate the information they have been given, to heir own circumstances. Finally the individual would be asked to compare a weekly, and then quarterly period after changes have been made to their house, to see if there is a significant reduction to the amount of energy consumed. This would encourage the participant to continue practicing energy conservation into the future. Relevant useful websites and literature will be noted as required throughout the course.
Hopefully, after completing the short class the students would be able to implement the knowledge they have received to their own benefit to understand energy and how it can be conserved. When teaching the benefits of reducing energy use, the amount of money that can be saved would always be compared, because as Neil Diamond sang, “Money Talks” and this is a great way Of keeping peoples attention. 2. 0 List of Course Content It is always important when teaching to assume that the topic you are covering is new to the person and they have no previous knowledge of the material being covered.
Since the people I am targeting are the general public I will assume that the course is a night class consisting of eight one hour lectures. The format of the lecture would be a period of notes and overheads allowed by questioning and discussions on the topic covered. A short introduction to the course should highlight the key areas of interest, the duration of the course, how the information will be relayed and what benefits can arise from taking the class. At this point each person present would be asked what they hoped to achieve from the course.
The topics covered would include the following: 2. 2 What is Energy A short description of energy, solar, thermal and specifically heat energy is examined to introduce the concept that, when we flick a light switch on, or use an appliance, electricity is required. An excellent easy to understand analysis of this is covered in the introduction of The Renewable Energy Handbook, by William H. Kemp, section 1. 3, which students would be advised to read. He states “Many people are surprised to learn that they must work an average of two months per year just to pay their home energy bills”.
I’m sure that quote alone would capture peoples’ attention. Traditional methods of energy generation for electrical supply and in particular the reliance of imported fossil fuels in Northern Ireland should briefly be mentioned. The efficiency of energy generation and the types used within Northern Ireland should also be noted. The website www. Premier- power. Co. UK/about-us gives a good account of energy generated by natural gas. Other interesting statistics can by be found including the generation of power within the north as of May 2008 courtesy of figures released by the Dept. F Business and Enterprise & Regulatory Reform at http:// stats. Beer. Gob. UK/files. Where we actually import our fuel from can be examined at Beer. Gob. UK/files/filename. A short simple description of electricity, the Skew, how to read a meter and a case study of an electricity bill I feel would be beneficial, as most people only ever look at the amount due thou realizing what exactly they are paying for. The class would at this point in the course be asked to take a meter reading at home and then again exactly one week later and keep the figure for future reference.
More people are now aware of the effect of fossil fuels on climate change. However, some may still be uneducated about topics such as global warming, acid rain, deforestation and CA emissions which would be discussed. Although this may be veering away from the general theme of the course many people especially the more affluent, are driven to be more energy efficient to reduce their carbon footprint. Two books cover this section which would recommend; How Can I Stop Climate Change? Or an easy to read approach to climate change and Fixing Climate: The story of Climate Science- and how to stop global warming for a more in depth look at the problems that we face. 2. 5 Where we Use Energy in the Home It is important to explain the main areas of energy usage in the home and relate them to the people taking the course. Interaction is essential. One suggestion is to ask them to list the five greatest uses of energy in the home in order of most energy reliant and then let them compare answers and ask them why?
At this point the major energy sapping systems and appliances should be identified and covered in detail. It is essential that they are backed up with facts. Again BEER, Dept. Of Business and Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Energy Trends September 2008 at http://stats. Beer. Gob. UK/energy/ statistics/publications/chuckle 7658. HTML gives an excellent detailed account of domestic energy consumption from 1970-2006 and how our energy needs have evolved. Space heating consumes the most domestic energy accounting for nearly three-fifths of all energy use http://stats. Beer. Ova. UK/energy/statistics/ publications/chuckle 7658. HTML. Key factors to be discussed would include: Heating systems, choice of fuel, including bio fuel, thermostat setting and time settings, wall insulation, loft insulation, double glazing, thermostatic valves, condenser boilers, wood chip burners, solar water heating systems, ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps and good practices( internal home temperature, time clocks, draught exclusion). A good site for comparing the benefits, advantages and disadvantages of most of the items mentioned is http://www. Groundbreakings. Org. UK. Other recommended sites include: www. Direct. Gob. UK and www. Unresistingly. Org. UK. The actual cost of heating oil and other interesting facts can be viewed at www. Energy. Eh which also gives helpful energy saving tips. The next largest use is water heating, which accounts for a further one- quarter Of household energy use http://stats. Beer. Gob. UK/energy/statistics/ publications/chuckle 7658. HTML. Many of the factors covered in section 2. 6 would also relate to this section.
However, the efficient use of immersion heaters, hot water cylinders and their location, lagging jackets, pipe insulation and the conservation of hot water should be talked about. Www. Enervating. Co. UK gives helpful advice on this subject. 2. Lighting Changing incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs is probably one Of the most cost effective and simplest methods of saving energy. Switching off lights not in use, using motion sensors and timers and using fittings of the correct output in the correct location would also be included on the course content. Www. Energies. Oft. NZ gives a good overview of the use of proper light bulbs and efficient lighting design tips. 2. 8 Electrical Appliances This topic covers a broad spectrum and needs to include, energy institution for each appliance, efficient use and maintenance tips, standby energy use, energy rated labeling and choice of appliance. This section is probably the most important when it comes to changing the habits of individuals for efficient energy management in the house. Statistics such as A frosted-up freezer uses up more energy. Keep the coils at the back of your fridge or freezer dust-free.
This will improve efficiency by 30 and devices left in sleep mode, rather than being turned off, waste about two power stations’ worth of electricity each year (Burley & Hassle) need to be slighted to get the point across that free and easy solutions can have dramatic energy saving potential. 2. Good Practices How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Joanna Yarrow is a fantastic guide for energy saving tips throughout the house. Another dated but still relevant and enjoyable book is 547 Tips for Saving Energy in Your Home by Roger Albright. This book gives tips on everything on how to efficiently wash dishes to Old-Timer’s Wisdom.
At this stage I would request the pupils take another meter reading and to write and implement for one week a bed-time routine or energy saving (i. E. Turn off appliances on standby, turn off lights, close doors, turn down the thermostat, set economy heating if appropriate, etc) based on the ass’s fire prevention night time routine. At the end of the week I would get them to compare their meter reading with the one at the start of the course. Weather conditions and other factors may influence the results but still it gets the individual to think and also hopefully encourages them to continue their new routine. . 10 Renewable Energy Resource recess Alternative renewable energy resources is technically not energy management but a short insight into domestic wind turbines, solar IV panels and solar water heating should be covered in case any of the participants are considering renovating their homer intending to build again or as mentioned earlier concerned about the environment. Renewable Energy, Power for a Sustainable Future by Godlier Bayle Second Edition provides a good understanding of the topic and is packed with diagrams and photos which clearly illustrate the subjects mentioned above. 2. 1 Course Review and Future Objectives The course would conclude with a review of the following points: Outline the main areas required for energy efficiency Highlight the low cost yet high reward methods of conservation. List the long term advantages Of investing in efficient appliances Remind them of their bed-time routine Set them a goal to try and reduce their next quarterly bill and to compare it with one before they started. Finally end the course with a class room discussion on what changes people intend to make and what parts of the course they enjoyed or felt was helpful. . 01_earn Eng Objectives After participating in the course the person should have an understanding of he following: What energy is and how it is generated. How energy generation affects the climate. How to read an electric meter and understand an electricity bill. Be able to identify the main drains on energy in the home. How to reduce energy consumption without spending money understand energy rating labels of appliances Be able to carry out a survey on their own home and pinpoint areas where improvements can be made.
Be aware of energy saving technology and their cost effectiveness How to implement a bed time energy saving routine Have an understanding of renewable energy technology Be able to implement changes in their home that will save energy. Carry out a quarterly investigation to see if energy has been conserved. Hopefully by keeping the content of the course simplistic and relating to the savings and benefits that they can achieve, the class will be proactive about changing their lifestyle and continue to practice what was preached.
The implementation of the routine and setting the goal to reduce their quarterly bill is aimed to influence the individual to strive for a more efficient home and living. 4. Recommended Reading Recommended reading has been highlighted throughout the list of content over the participants would be encouraged to delve into the world of the internet especially sites such as: http://stats. Beer. Gob. UK/energy/statistics/ publications/chuckle 7658. HTML www. Neurotransmitters. Org. UK and www. Energy. Eh if computer access is available.
For essential reading however three books would be required which cover the whole subject at the required level yet are easy to read and understand: 1. Renewable Energy, Power for a Sustainable Future by Godlier Bayle Second Edition 2. How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Joanna Yarrow 3. How Can I Stop Climate Change? Helen Burly and Chris Hassle any of the students were looking for a more in depth approach to the subject I would also recommend: The Renewable Energy Handbook, A Guide to Rural Independence Off-Grid and Sustainable Living, William H.