Standby energy consumption and saving potentials in the residential sector in tropical areas: the Caribbean island Curaçao as a case study

Abstract Rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) are of signifcant concern in modern society, as they lead to global warming and consequential environmental and societal changes. The standby energy consumption of appliances in households is considerable and can be up to 15% of the appliance energy consumption in the residential sector. Overall, standby energy consumption is accountable for roughly 1% of total global CO2 emissions. When we contrast this impact on global CO2 emissions with the impact of the transportation sector, standby energy’s contribution is minimal. The transportation sector is responsible for about 24% of the global CO2 emissions arising from the combustion of fuel. Nevertheless, a signifcant reduction in standby energy consumption in the residential sector is crucial to reduce the CO2 footprint accordingly. This paper is among the frst to assess the magnitude of standby energy consumption and to explore options for reducing standby energy consumption in the Caribbean. The Caribbean island Curaçao was taken as a frst case study. Based on a feld study of 20 households, the standby energy consumption of about 300 appliances were measured. It was estimated that about 8% of residential electricity consumption was linked to standby energy consumption. The average standby power of the 20 households in Curaçao is 50.3 W. Past research shows that it may be possible to reduce the estimated standby energy consumption by approximately 43%, which is about 6.4 MWh/year in Curaçao. Besides adopting technical solutions, the intended reduction of standby energy consumption can be realized through the introduction of import regulations to favor the selling of appliances with lower standby energy consumption and the creation of public awareness through TV and other media campaigns.


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