Thursday, June 21, 2012

Avoid using air-conditioners at home to reduce power usage

I read with interest the story “Green developers to be rewarded” inStarMetro recently. Thank you for championing environment-related issues.

I am glad that the country has a renewable energy policy and a small renewable energy power programme since 2001, although development has been slow. Everyone has a role to play in the pursuit of a sustainable future.

I am glad that green technology is taking shape in Malaysia. It is truly a noble aim for global environmental sustainability.

The green developers policy, too, is an initiative to make sure our descendants get to enjoy a healthy life in a clean world.

But will making all buildings in the country green be the answer to all environmental ills and save the planet from global warming?

The largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from the transport sector and power generation, so our efforts should be aimed at reducing emissions.

The biggest electricity guzzlers are usually air-conditioners, and the Government’s directive that the temperature in air-conditioned buildings be set at 24˚C is one way to reduce electricity use.

But an even more effective way to reduce electricity consumption is to not use air-conditioners, yet still have a conducive living and working environment.

While it may be difficult to do away with air-conditioning in commercial buildings, it should be possible to design houses that provide comfortable living with just fans.

Recent promotions for environment-friendly buildings have advocated the use of “green walls” (or vertical gardens) as a method of insulating the exterior of buildings to help reduce the amount of power used for cooling.

This method can be used for houses as well as industrial and commercial buildings.

Such methods are in addition to green roofs (rooftop gardens) which are now becoming a common sight in Malaysia.

So let us adopt the right way of being green and sustainable as a first step toward reducing our carbon emissions in our efforts to leave a cleaner world for us and future generations.

Bulbir Singh,

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