SHARJAH // Housewives are to be trained on how to save energy in the home in a bid to cut down on household bills and help the environment.
The pilot scheme will involve 30 households – 10 high energy consumers, 10 low to middle class consumers and 10 volunteers – and aims to educate housewives and domestic workers on how energy can be saved through simple measures such as switching lights off when leaving a room and closing taps when brushing teeth.
Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority is teaming up with the General Women Association in Sharjah on the project that should lower monthly bills while conserving natural resources.
“Women are key to raising a generation who are aware of the gift of natural resources and the obligation to preserve as much as possible for future generations,” said Ghada Salim, manager of the conservation department at Sewa.
“Mothers teaching family members and maids in the house to turn off the light when they leave a room, close the tap water while brushing their teeth – it is simple things that they can do to preserve the resources we have.”
Sewa has trained 10 women who will visit the homes once they are selected next week to offer advice and tips and monitor their progress for the duration of the pilot project.
The homes will also be evaluated and the necessary tools and energy-saving utilities will be installed to enable the household to start conserving more water and electricity.
The results will be announced before the start of Ramadan and, if successful, it will be rolled out to more homes with more trainers recruited.
Trainer Rasha Abusitta, who is also a mother of three and a solar energy engineer, said that every family can help the environment and conserve natural resources in a variety of ways.
“Families should think of the concept of the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – in their daily lives to preserve our natural resources. For water conservation, every household should use water-saving aerators, which can be installed on every faucet. As for gardens, drip water irrigation is an ideal technology to save on water,” she said.
“We need to teach children from an early age how to save our natural resources for future generations.”
For conserving electricity, energy-saving lightbulbs are a must as they are environmentally friendly, they last for a long time and they save up to 70 per cent of the cost of lighting.
“I also recommend doing the laundry at night time instead of during the day, which is the peak time in electricity consumption,” said Ms Abusitta, who added that this would save on cost.
Syrian housewife Hasna Mahmoud has been using energy-saving lightbulbs at her apartment in Al Qasimiya. “That’s the only thing that I know how to save on electricity usage. I’ve never heard of anything that I can use for water conservation,” said the 29-year-old mother of two.
Meanwhile, Jordanian Samah Ibrahim said that, in her home country, they used a solar-powered water heater.
“It’s cheap, reliable and saves a lot in electricity consumption, however, here we live in an apartment and don’t have an option for using it. We use the electric water heater built in to the apartment, which definitely consumes a lot of electricity,” said the teacher.