Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Save Money & Save The World - 22 Simple Steps for Energy Savings!

Here are 22 steps you can take -- each with the energy savings you can achieve each year. Pick the ones you'll do to get your first 10% energy savings. (These energy savings assume an average US home, which uses about 11,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and 19,000 cubic feet of natural gas per year.)

1. Turn off lights you're not using – We even have switchplate reminders for you, downloadable on our Web site. (2% energy savings per year, assuming an average family's energy use)

energy audit2. Schedule an energy audit – Your local utility will probably provide an audit for free, and you may also get a more comprehensive audit (saving you more money in the long term) by paying for a whole-house audit. (Up to 50% energy savings per year)

3. Don't heat or cool empty rooms – If there is a room in your house that is rarely used, close off the vents to save on heating and cooling. (Varies by size of room.)

4. Give your dishwasher a rest – Skip the energy-intensive drying cycle on your dishwasher and choose the air-dry option, or open the door for zero-energy dish drying. (5% energy savings per year)

power5. Shift your energy load to off-peak hours – Because power sources must produce electricity around the time of use (without capacity for long-term storage) it is our collective peak demand that triggers the building of more polluting power plants. (Varies)

6. Turn off your electronics – If you're going to be away from your computer or other appliance for more than an hour, turn it off. (5% energy savings per year)

7. Eliminate "phantom load" – Many electronics use energy even while turned off, so your best bet is to unplug them when not in use. (5% energy savings per year)

fridge8. Make your fridge more efficient – Keep your refrigerator's coils clean to boost its overall power, and store jugs of water in any empty space inside, because water retains coldness better than air. (4% energy savings per year)

9. Wash clothes in cold water – Your clothes will get just as clean, on half the energy. (7% energy savings per year)

10. Give up your dryer – Hang your clothes to dry on a clothesline or indoor rack. (10% energy savings per year)

leak11. Plug your air leaks – Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems are wasted when you're leaking out the cool or warm air you're putting in. (5% energy savings per year)

12. Reduce your water use – Simple ways to save water include fixing any leaks and replacing faucets and showerheads with low-flow options. (3% energy savings per year)

13. Cut waste through windows – Properly seal window edges, cover windows with curtains to prevent heat loss, or coat windows with reflective "low-e" films that reduce heat loss while still allowing light to shine through. (10% energy savings per year)

hot water heater cover14. Help your hot water heater – Add an insulating cover to reduce heat loss. (1% energy savings per year)

15. Install ceiling fans – Reduce your air conditioner usage with ceiling fans. Look for "Energy Star" models that use 50 percent less energy. (19% energy savings per year)

16. Get a programmable thermostat – Automate when your heating or cooling systems come on to save energy while you sleep or are away from home. (10% energy savings per year)

washing machine17. Upgrade your appliances – Look for the "Energy Star," and you may be eligible for a tax break. (3 - 12% energy savings per year)

18. Upgrade your hot water heater – Save energy and space by upgrading to a tankless or solar hot water heater. (14% energy savings per year)

19. Green your roof – Studies have found that a green roof on a typical one-story building can result in a 25 percent reduction in summer cooling needs. (12% energy savings per year)

landscaping20. Save energy through landscaping – The US Department of Energy found that the proper placement of as few as three shady trees will save an average household between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually. (12% energy savings per year)

21. Replace your windows – In step 13, we have recommendations for working with the windows you have. Replacing your windows with more energy-efficient versions can save you even more. (14% energy savings per year)

22. Don't waste energy on TV – With the switch to digital TV coming in 2009, many people are buying new, digital-ready TVs. If you must shop for a new television, look for an LCD (liquid crystal display) screen, which uses six times less energy than a plasma screen. (2% energy savings per year)

If you have a blog or a personal Web site, post or link to Co-op America's new Steps for Energy Efficiency and help us spread the word. E-mail us to let us know you've linked to our site‚ and we'll link back to you in an upcoming blogroll.

Support our work to build a greener economy by donating to our Climate Action Program. Help us promote greener energy and energy efficiency, while working against the expansion of the polluting coal industry.

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