In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth day on April 22, 2010, this article offers ten tips to save you money and cut energy use in your home. A whopping 46% of home energy use is caused by energy loss! No big surprise here, so what can you do to cut your energy loss? These tips will get you started and then you can brainstorm and come up with others to help you save even more money.
Lower your thermostat
By cutting your thermostat down a single degree, you can save 3 percent in heating costs in a year. You do the math and determine how many degrees you can lower your heat and still remain comfortable, thus saving you 3 percent for each degree lowered.
Use a slow cooker or (solar oven) to cook
Kitchen appliances can use a great deal of electrical energy, costing you big bucks. Using your slow cooker for 7 hours versus your electric oven for one hour, you can cut CO2 use from 2.7 pounds to .09. Even better, a solar oven uses zero CO2!
Wash laundry in cold water
Just switching from hot to cold water when doing laundry can save you up to 80% on energy used and save you approx. $60.00 per year. Reduce your dryer use and hang your clothes up to dry and save 700 pounds of CO2 per year.
Switch to a laptop
Using a laptop versus a desktop computer will cut your electrical use by 75%. Turning your laptop off at the end of the day will save even more energy.
Plug into a power strip
If you use a lot of power cubes (items that have the “little black box”), or have items that can be powered by a remote control, plug these into a power strip or surge. Turn the strip off or unplug it when not in use. Power cubes are 80% inefficient.
Switch light bulbs
Using the compact florescent bulbs instead of regular incandescent bulbs, you will consume 60% less energy per bulb and save 300 pounds of CO2 per year.
Wrap your water heater
Wrapping your water heater in a blanket saves 1,000 pounds of CO2 in a year. Save more and insulate your hot water pipes too!
Use public transportation
When possible carpool, shop locally, or use public transportation. Also switching to a hybrid or energy-efficient car can help clean up our environment.
Keep tires inflated
To improve gas mileage by 3%, check your tires regularly and keep them inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. Every gallon of gas you save by doing this will save our planet 20 pounds of CO2 emissions.
Turn off lights
Cut 45% of your energy use by switching off lights when you leave a room. Install motion lights outdoors to reduce energy use and refrain from using heat- producing halogen lights to save additional money.
Incorporating these tips into your everyday life can significantly cut your energy costs each year, and you’re cleaning up the environment in the process.
The Home Energy Diet by New Society Publishers, 2005