Simple Electricity Saving Tips
Can you remember the days (or maybe you’re
still experiencing them!) when your parents would get on your
case about saving electricity? Electricity saving
tips might have seemed unnecessary before the reality
of global warming descended on us. In the 21st-century world,
however, as small a thing as an incandescent light bulb can be
contribute unnecessarily to greenhouse gas emissions.
matter that the first light bulbs gave up only 5% of their
energy as light and the remaining 95% as heat. It does
matter to you, however, because whenever you turn on one
of your incandescent light bulbs, you are turning on a
tiny heating switch. Because of this, the US Department of
Energy estimated that in 2007 electrical lighting
accounted for a full 11% of home energy bills.
There’s is a hidden cost to using incandescent
lights. A brightly lit room can generate enough extra heat in
hot weather that you decide to lower your thermostat, burning
even more energy to cool your home!
The incandescent light bulb dilemma is just one
of many facing people in search of energy saving tips. It's one
of the more easily solved ones, because compact fluorescent
lights (CFLs) are readily available to replace incandescent
bulbs. Energy Star estimates that if every US homeowner
switched just five incandescent light bulbs to CFLs, the
reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would equate to removing
four million cars from the road!
That brings us to the second of our electricity
saving tips. If changing your light bulbs will reduce the
amount of heat in your home, then you won't need to run your
cooling system as much. But you can also make the decision to
raise your thermostat in warm weather, and lower it in cold.
How big a difference will that make?
The US DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable
Energy Department says that heating and cooling accounts for
43% of your home energy use. Staying warm or cold inside your
home, in other words, uses more of your energy budget than
anything else you do. Of even more concern, however, is that
the efforts of all Americans put together to stay warm or cool
emits an estimated 150,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere, where it contributes to global warming.
Heating and cooling systems also produce
approximately 12% of the sulfur dioxide, and 4% of the nitrogen
oxides dumped into the atmosphere each year, which are returned
to the Earth as acid rain! By:
- Moving your thermostat settings down in the winter and
up in the summer
- Opening the drapes or blinds on your south-facing
windows in cold weather
- Closing your drapes or blinds during the day in warm
- Cleaning your furnace filters as necessary and making
sure your heat registers aren’t blocked
You can cut your heating and cooling electricity use
by 15% to 50%.
The third electricity saving tip is that using
energy-efficient appliances, refrigerators, and electronics,
and turning them off (even better, unplugging them) when they
are idle will make a significant dent in the 27% of your energy
usage that inefficient appliances and electronics consume.
Energy Star computers, for instance, use only 30% of the
electricity of other computers. They automatically enter Sleep
Mode when idle, allowing them to remain cool and extending
The most important of our electricity saving
tips is the last. Homeowners can supply their own
environmentally-friendly electricity by installing
home solar power systems and
home wind generators.
If your home’s in an area with sufficient solar
and wind resources, installing solar panels or a home wind
generator will reduce your carbon footprint. It can also be a
source of income if you connect your system to your utility
grid. Your utility will buy any extra electricity you
Homeowners in the US will benefit from a
30% Federal tax
credit for installing home solar power
systems or home wind generators, and may also be eligible for
state tax credits and utility rebates.
Begin saving electricity by performing an
When you know how your home is wasting electricity, you can
easily take the proper steps to stop the bleeding. Electricity
saving tips are, after all, simple common sense!
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