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I chose the challenge of reducing the use of electricity, which contributes to significant household monthly costs. Personally, I believe that the challenge is important because I have been observing my family with regard to the consumption of electricity. In fact, it is apparent that none of my members, apart from me, who is cautious about using power.
Electricity is the main source of energy for the majority of households in my community (Wang, Zhang, Yin & Zhang, 2011). In the UAE, energy is generated by burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal (Ek & Söderholm, 2010). However, with the ever increasing population, it is expected that the amount of fossils will substantially decrease in the next few decades.
Therefore, there is a need to conserve the amount of energy sources by ensuring that electricity is used in the manner in households and industries (Thøgersen & Grønhøj, 2010). This paper proposes a solution that would involve unplugging electrical appliances and other gadgets that require electricity from electricity sockets when they are not in use.
I developed a questionnaire (shown in appendix 1) to learn about important aspects of electricity consumption in my home.
I focused on collecting data in a period of one week. My method of data collection was based on recording the number of appliances that were plugged to the wall sockets in my household during the week of data collection. I organised my data in the form of a table, which could be analysed to give important facts with regard to electricity use.
Figure 1. A table showing the number of devices that were plugged to the wall sockets in my home for a period of one week.
It was interesting to learn that a number of appliances were connected to sources of power even when they were not in source. This contributed to the big consumption of electricity, which was reflected on bills.
From the data presented in the table, it is apparent that a significant number of devices were plugged during the weekend. This is because the majority of family members at home during weekends. On the other hand, a relatively small number of devices on sockets characterised weekdays because most of the family members could be away at work.
I decided to let my family members know that it could be important to unplug devices from sockets when in use in order to achieve significant savings.
It was easy to create the awareness because members were eager to listen. In fact, I did that on a Sunday when almost all of us were at home. Afterwards, I was interested in assessing the outcomes of my solution, which I could easily determine by knowing the number of devices that were connected to sockets after creating the awareness. The results of the second observation are shown in the following table.
Figure 2. A table showing the number of devices connected to sockets after creating the awareness with regard to disconnecting devices when not in use.
It is clear from the table that the number of appliances reduced significantly due to creating awareness among family members. It is important to note that the majority of family members stopped plugging phone chargers when not in need. In fact, the number of phone chargers reduced by 40 in a period of one week.
The number of computers reduced by 14 devices, which implies that they were only connected when batteries were low. Other devices that were characterised by high reductions include play stations and televisions. Overall, the solution was successful in reducing electivity consumption in my home.
The project helped me to learn about important things with regard to electricity consumption in the UAE. It was interesting to learn that about 1/3 of power consumption in the region is consumed by households. Therefore, residents can significantly reduce energy costs by adopting approaches that would be realistic, for example, unplugging gadgets when they are not being used.
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I also learnt that I would be part of the global team dedicated to reducing the negative impacts of global warning by creating awareness among households, which would be based on how to reduce the amount of electricity that they consume (Ek & Söderholm, 2010).
I have acquired important observation skills that enabled me to observe and record the number of gadgets that were plugged to sockets. In the future, I would cover more households so that I can achieve more impacts.
Ek, K., & Söderholm, P. (2010). The devil is in the details: Household electricity saving behavior and the role of information. Energy Policy, 38(3), 1578-1587.
Thøgersen, J., & Grønhøj, A. (2010). Electricity saving in households—A social cognitive approach. Energy Policy, 38(12), 7732-7743.
Wang, Z., Zhang, B., Yin, J., & Zhang, Y. (2011). Determinants and policy implications for household electricity-saving behaviour: Evidence from Beijing, China. Energy Policy, 39(6), 3550-3557.
- What devices do you commonly plug to power sockets?
- How long do your gadgets take on sockets?
- Do you disconnect your devices once they are fully charged or when not in use?
- Are you are aware of any strategy that could be used to save energy at home? Yes/No.
- Do you think that you can adopt approaches to saving electricity? Yes/No.