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Saving on this world environment day

Shifting to nature-friendly sources of fuel not only saves the environment, but helps cut down on expenses too
By Rounak Kumar Gunjan | June 05, 2017

Amidst debates over the United States withdrawing its allegiance to the Paris Climate Deal which in its essence talks about sustainable development by reducing carbon emissions, the world goes about celebrating the 43r d world environment day today.

With scientists all over the globe pointing out visible tolls that the environment has been taking over the years, it is high time we realised the repercussions of the same. Keeping this year’s theme, “connecting to nature”, in mind let us have a look at how our closer proximity to eco-friendly ways could also help us save a few bucks.

Two of the most unavoidable expenditures that any individual encounters are travel expenses and electricity bills. While a millennial has to hassle between phone and internet usage bills as well, the former are absolute necessities.

Electricity bills are compulsory in the expenditure list. While electricity bills if sourced from individual government meters are not significantly high, the background effects of generating electricity are significantly murky for the environment. Thermal power generators use coal for generating electricity which is used for both household and industrial purposes.

With the country speeding its way towards renewable sources of energy, rooftop solar panels have emerged as the next best option in terms of household consumption of electricity. While the initial upfront cost of installations is pocket-heavy, the long term benefits are worth the investment.

Whether it is travelling to one’s work place or college, a significant sum of the month’s budget is allocated to commute. Owning a vehicle maybe a financial goal for some, but it sure has a regressive impact on the environment. Car-pooling is considered to be the next best alternative which not only cuts down on individual expenses but saves the air a certain bit of drudgery as well. With multiple app-based cab services offering systematic ways of travel, it’s worth noting how individual carbon footprints are on the decline.

For those who own vehicles the journey maybe easy on the body, but the ever-rising petrol and diesel prices have dissimilar effects on the wallet. Shifting to cleaner sources of fuel shall not only add on the savings but contribute in lessening the air pollution as well. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has now been widely accepted as the alternate source of fuel due to its multiple advantages vis-a-vis conventional motor-fuels.

Most cars these days come with pre-installed CNG kits; however cars owners who do not have the facility can easily buy a CNG kit for a maximum cost of Rs 55,000 and cheaper versions costing Rs 27,000, which are readily available in the market. Taking the national capital for an example, as costs of motor-fuels vary from one state to another, a kilogram of CNG costs Rs 37.65 in comparison with petrol costing Rs 66.91 a litre and diesel, Rs 55.79 every litre.

CNG has about 1.341 times more energy output than petrol. Therefore, mileage in CNG (km/kg) is approximately 1.341 times that of petrol (km/l). So, a vehicle that gives 10 kmpl in petrol will give about 13.41 km/kg when running on CNG. (See table

Assuming an average commuter drives 20 km a day using his /her own four-wheeler, a back of the envelope calculation tells us that the upfront cost of installing a CNG kit can be recovered in less than two years.

Any change in energy consumption requires installation charges and initial investment, however what remains to be evaluated is the long-term benefits of the same. Also, change is not the only option; judicious use of resources in the present set-up can also help save a lot.

 

rounak@outlookindia.com

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