Saving Energy, One Watt at a Time
It’s estimated that 113 million residences in the United States use about 22% of the nation’s energy. On average, a household spends at least $2,000/year on home utility bills. To decrease energy usage and increase utility cost savings, follow these simple tips:
1. Turn Off Lights
Anytime a room is not in use, turning off the lights will save you money. At the start of 2012, standard light bulbs were required to be 25% more efficient than in past years. Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs use less energy and last up to about 25 times longer than standard bulbs. The compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs save even more energy than the LED bulbs, but will only last 10 times longer than the standard bulb.
2. Seal Air Leaks
If window, door, attic hatch, plumbing or ceiling fixtures are not sealed tightly, they can leak hot or cold air. When air leaks occur, it can add an additional cost of 10-25% to your heating bill. If a thermostat is regulating room temperatures, leaks can cause your heater or air conditioner to work even harder to maintain the set temperature. Covering windows with drapes or curtains will also help stabilize the temperature of the room.
Controlling room temperatures can be a challenge, especially as the seasons change. To lower your bill, keep your thermostat at the lowest temperature that is comfortable in cooler climates and the highest comfortable temperature in warmer weather.
3. Use ENERGY STAR Products
ENERGY STAR is a government backed program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Together, the EPA and DOE regulate which products are considered to be ENERGY STAR qualified. To qualify, products are required to use less energy, protect the environment and reduce utility costs.
The ENERGY STAR symbol placed on these products to assist consumers with easily recognizing energy efficient products, ranging from major appliances, electronics and lighting to new homes and commercial buildings. Through the use of ENERGY STAR products in 2010 alone, consumers saved the environment greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 33 million cars while saving $18 billion in utility costs.
For more tips on how to save energy, click here.