@Green March/April 2022 | Page 12


@ green | March-April , 2022

It ’ s not rocket science

Low carbon houses can be achieved through practical and straightforward green initiatives
The Sustainability Achieved Via Energy Efficiency ( SAVE ) programme aims to encourage the public to buy energyefficient electrical appliances .

ENERGY conservation and energy efficiency are the low hanging fruits for energy savings in buildings , including residential houses . The practices around the two concepts help to tackle climate change and reduce homeowners ’ electricity bills .

With many complicated terms and certifications regarding the green initiatives for buildings , the public may feel green buildings are a foreign concept . However , this perception is entirely untrue , as many of the green initiatives can simply be done at home .
In a webinar organised by Puspanita KeTSA Branch , Steve Anthony Lojuntin , Director of Technical Development and Facilitation Division of SEDA Malaysia , gave a presentation on low carbon residential houses .
Using his own house as an example , Lojuntion shared some simple practices
and practical initiatives that effectively reduced carbon emission and energy consumption .
The idea to implement low carbon initiatives at home
He said the idea to adopt those green practices started in 2008 , right after he received the key from the developer . He wanted to reduce his utility costs and , at the same time , respond to the government ’ s call to practise energy saving ( Lead By Example ) and Putrajaya Corporation ’ s vision to make Putrajaya a low carbon city by 2025 .
“ This low carbon house project only uses practical and straightforward methods and does not require expensive technology . This initiative is also proof that any building can participate in green building initiatives .
“ I disagree with the perception that a building needs to have green certifications to be considered a green building . That is only on paper . Many more green elements are based on the green technology policy that do not require such certifications ,” said Lojuntin .
“ Based on my research , residential houses are the ones that can easily contribute towards green initiatives even without certifications . It starts with the basics , which are energy management and efficiency .”
To implement the low carbon house initiative at his house , Lojuntin considered elements such as enhancing energy efficiency and promoting renewable energy . He shared that the building sector has higher chances of reducing carbon emissions in a township .
Family unspoken policies
The practical and affordable methods used in the sustainable and low carbon initiative are energy conservation , energy efficiency and renewable energy .
“ We need to tackle energy conservation and energy efficiency first . When we use less energy , the renewable energy capacity to be installed also becomes less . This will make solar PV that needs to be installed more affordable .”
He shared that energy conservation involved changes in daily habits . For example , tenants must turn off the lights and air conditioners when they are not used . They also must use home appliances wisely even though the products are energy efficient .
Based on my research , residential houses are the ones that can easily contribute towards green initiatives even without certifications . It starts with the basics , which are energy management and efficiency .”
– Steve Anthony Lojuntin
Lojuntin then shared some sustainable energy management concepts which he adopted at home , such as : I . Setup energy management committee II . Appoint an energy manager III . Prepare an energy policy / mission IV . Energy monitoring & reporting system
In his case , he unofficially appointed himself as the energy manager . As for the energy policies , he said any of his family members must buy energy-efficient home appliances only and switch them off when they are not using them .
“ The last person who goes to sleep must ensure that they switch off all the lights ,” said Lojuntin .
Features of energy management
Lojuntin then shared some features of his house which help manage the energy consumption .
The landscape of his house allows less heat penetration into the building , which then makes having air conditioners unnecessary . The air weld system helps with the airflow , and awning windows help with natural cross ventilation .
He also has decorative plants at the front of his house , which functions as shades and heat absorbers . Besides that , the house uses energy-efficient LEDs and home appliances .
He then used the Building Energy Data Online Monitoring System ( BEDOS ) to monitor energy consumption .
“ Water filters also help in energy savings . The use of water filters at home reduces the need to boil water for drinking . We also use our food waste as fertiliser for edible plants around the house .”
As a result of their green initiatives , Lojuntin and his family enjoyed lower electricity bills with the average of RM48 to RM55 per month for around 200kW of electricity used . The average electricity bills in his neighbourhood were RM70 to RM800 per month .
In 2016 , his wife installed solar PV in their household , and it generated electricity beyond their consumption , which made the house a net-zero energy home . Lojuntin said he planned to install a rainwater harvesting system , tube wells , and real-time smart meters moving forward . He also wanted an electric car and solar thermal . — @ Green