The result of the Copenhagen Climate Summit, which was disappointing for many visitors, showed that you cannot rely only on politics when it comes to climate protection. In particular, the inhabitants of industrial nations must become active by themselves in order to reduce their personal share of CO2 emissions.
Germany causes almost ten tons of CO2 per inhabitant and year and is thus clearly above the worldwide average of about 4.4 tons.
However, there is a large number of approaches how energy can be saved and how emissions can be reduced. Abstaining from daily blowing dry hair would, for example, cause 17.5 kg less CO2 per year. Buying a new TV with an eco label already saves 30 kg. If, for example, a conventional light bulb, which lights five hours a day, was replaced by an energy-saving lamp, even 50 kg CO2 would be saved per year.
With these measures, however, the energy-saving potential is far from being exhausted. In fact, the first place the house owner should go to is the boiler room because often one of the largest climate offenders in the household is hiding just in there. In Germany there are about 25 m. old, uncontrolled heating pumps whose high power consumption pollute the environment. Depending on the output and construction, a single one of these pumps causes annual CO2 emissions of up to 456 kg, exceeding with this value the other "large consumers" in a household such as the electric cooker or the refrigerator.
CO2 emissions and thus also the annual electricity costs for the operation of the heating pump can be reduced by 90 percent with the new high-efficiency pump. The "Wilo-Stratos PICO" of the Dortmund pump manufacturer WILO SE only needs 46.5 kWh or nine Euros per year for a typical single-family house. This has also been certified by TÜV SÜD [German Technical Inspection Agency] according to the standard measurement proceedings of the Europumps Commitment. The new model consumes only half as much power as is required by the currently best energy efficiency class A.
The CO2 emissions can be reduced down to only 27 kg p.a., so the "Wilo-Stratos PICO" is a real climate activist because compared to uncontrolled pumps, it saves up to 430 kg of the harmful greenhouse gas.
If you want to save as much CO2 as a "Wilo-Stratos PICO" high-efficiency pump can do, you would, for example, have to leave the house with wet, non-dried hair for 23 years. Alternatively, you could abstain from a compact car for about 4,900 kilometres or 2,430 kilometres in a rover vehicle and walk this route by foot. Replacing all existing old pumps by state-of-the-art high-efficiency pumps would involve electricity cost savings of about 1.6 billion Euros and it would relieve the climate by 5 million tons of CO2. This corresponds to emissions of a medium-sized coal-fired power plant.
In addition, due to the electricity savings it brings about, the early replacement of an old pump, which is still functioning, pays off for the household budget after a few years already. Thus, within 10 years, a saving of electricity costs of more than 1,000 Euros is achieved.