Electricity is one of the basic necessities today’s world is highly dependent on. However, the drastic pace at which we continue to consume electricity will only make providing it difficult over the long term.
Conserving energy is not just about saving on your electricity costs, but also involves being eco-friendly, thereby, protecting the environment. Producing electricity in UAE highly depends on burning oil. This releases an abundant amount of harmful carbon emissions. Using a limited amount of electricity to fulfill one’s needs is acceptable, however, it becomes a major issue when we start consuming excess electricity and start wasting it. Over the past years our consumption of electricity has increased massively to the point where a UAE resident consumes 8,271 kilograms of oil equivalent energy per annum. According to The Gulf News, our electricity consumption alone has more than doubled in the past 10 years.
We may not notice the negative effects of high consumption of electricity at the moment, but it’ll have severe consequences later on, such as:
- Increased Carbon Footprint
In order to get electricity, oil or coal is burnt which causes carbon to be released into the atmosphere. These carbon emissions raise global temperatures by trapping solar energy in the atmosphere, therefore, altering water supplies and weather patterns, which in turn changes the growing season for food crops and threatens coastal communities with increasing sea levels. Local food would become hard to find because agriculture here would suffer from more salty water which is not suitable for farming.
- Increased risk of climate change
Recent studies show, climate change could lead to more dust storms and hotter summers in the UAE. The scientists believe that as temperatures increase as a result of climate change, general drying would probably lead to more dust storms. This will also affect human health in many different ways. For example, warming will increase the range of diseases carried by insects.
- Higher Energy Costs
A natural consequence of overusing energy is increased costs. This can come in the form of fuel and energy bills. Also, as a result of overusing your appliances and other electronics, you may risk lowering their expected lifespan and therefore have to replace them more frequently. This will increase costs and as well as further impact the environment by generating more waste to dispose.
- Home improvements
Design the house in such a way that requires less energy to be consumed. Rooms with larger windows and balconies can be designed in order to reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day. Open the windows when the weather is cooler and avoid using the air condition unnecessarily.
- Use solar panels
Acquiring electricity from a more sustainable and eco-friendly source will greatly benefit the environment and in return us as well, in the long run. Moreover, UAE is the perfect place to derive energy from solar panels.
- Usage of home appliances
Reduce the usage of electric appliances at home and try to turn them off when not in use. For example:
- Start the dishwasher only once it’s full
- Set your clothes washer to the warm or cold water setting, not hot. This can save nearly 500 pounds of CO2 per year if you have an electric water heater
- Unplug your phone or laptop from the charger when it’s fully charged.
Also small investments in energy saving appliances will be worth it. Although they cost more initially, they save money in the long run. Compact fluorescent bulbs, for example use only 1/4 the energy of an ordinary bulb and lasting 8-12 times longer. Try selecting the most energy-efficient models when replacing old appliances.
- Spread the word
Raising awareness amongst family members and friends and encouraging them to reduce electricity consumption will greatly benefit this cause. This can be done at every level and for all ages. After all, young minds bring the most change.
Article written by Safiya Mustafa.