Energy Saving Day – November 11 was established on the initiative of the SPARE international environmental network at the meeting of the SPARE national coordinators from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia international coordinators of the SPARE project from Norges Naturvernforbund held in Kazakhstan in April 2008. In November 2008 the Energy Saving Day became international involving 20 countries. This day the activities that inform people about the relationship between energy and the environment, available sources of renewable energy, the importance and methods of energy saving are held in many countries. The International Energy Saving Day is celebrated through thematic conferences, exhibitions and energy saving campaigns involving schools, public organizations, industries and local authorities in many cities and villages around the world. The simplest energy saving measures are available for everyone and can be installed in homes, schools, offices – almost everywhere.
Why is it important The issue of energy saving is much deeper than it seems at first glance. The use of hydrocarbon fossil fuels for generating energy, higher energy consumption in all industries, losses in energy generation, transmission and consumption lead to increased contribution of human activity to the enhanced greenhouse effect and undesirable social and environmental consequences. Nuclear energy cannot be considered to be a sustainable solution for this problem due to unsolved problem of radioactive wastes, required higher levels of subsidy and associated risks of nuclear disasters. Large-scale hydropower projects implying flooding of large areas, destruction of ecosystems and disturbance of traditional lifestyle of local communities also affect the environment and humans. Energy conservation through effective use of energy and reduction of unreasonable losses would alleviate the environmental pressure while meeting energy needs. In many countries the potential resources for increased energy efficiency allow to release large amounts of energy. This is a source of energy that can be used for meeting energy needs. According to the International Energy Agency, energy generated by energy efficient installations is four times cheaper than energy to be produced through building new power plants. Energy generated by energy efficient installations has less impact on the environment and humans, enables to reduce pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change.
Celebration of the International Energy Saving Day
This day is a good opportunity to inform friends and relatives about energy saving measures and renewable energy sources, to explain the importance of energy conservation and hold different activities for wider public. Environmental organizations and educational institutions – participants of the SPARE project make arrangements for November 11 ahead of time. They prepare informational leaflets and posters, examine school premises and flats to identify energy losses and plan actions to minimize these losses. Different activities are held within the framework of the International Energy Saving Day: • insulation of classrooms to minimize heat losses • replacement of exiting bulbs with energy efficient ones • activities to enhance energy saving and promote the use of renewable energy sources given that energy generated by renewable energy sources allows to save energy produced by burning of fossil fuel • art exhibitions dedicated to energy conservation where school children, parents, local community members and local authorities can be invited Participants of the International Energy Saving Day publish articles in local media, send postcards to local and regional authorities and even to presidents on the need of energy conservation. Schoolchildren, teachers, environmental organizations, staff members of governmental organizations and experts from scientific institutions are active participants of the celebration of the International Energy Saving Day. Press review for the period of the celebration of this day shows that energy saving activities are organized in industrial enterprises as well. In some cases managers of these enterprises are not aware about SPARE, however they use this opportunity to support energy efficient measures in their industries. In 2014 the International Energy Saving Day is dedicated to energy efficient lighting. All interested are welcome to participate in the celebration of the International Energy Saving Day and contribute to the conservation of the environment and climate and the development of sustainable power industry. Nobody can do everything, but if everybody does something, we can achieve a lot together!
Olga Senova SPARE International Organizing Committee