Save Electricity, Lower Your Bills, and Help Our Planet
Have you ever wondered how most greenhouse gases are produced in the United States? Electricity providers generate the second-largest share of greenhouse gas emissions, after transportation. Approximately 62% of electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, including natural gas and coal1. Saving electricity at home can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the load on electricity suppliers. The big question is, by what means?!
Saving electricity at home will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also lower your energy bills. The average household uses approximately 1000 kWh/month. Homes that consume higher amounts can realize a greater savings by knowing and understanding their usage, which can be found in the home’s utility bill. The Department of Energy has developed these simple steps to help reduce energy consumption:
- Appliances and electronics — Purchase energy-efficient products. An advanced power strip can reduce “vampire loads,” which is electricity wasted when electronics are not in use.
- Lighting — Purchase energy-efficient products and incorporate more daylighting into your home using energy-efficient windows and skylights. Reduce the amount of lighting needed and use LED bulbs.
- Electric space heating and cooling — Purchase energy-efficient electric systems. Incorporate passive solar design concepts into your home, such as energy-efficient windows. Properly insulate and air-seal your home. Select an energy-efficient heating system with a battery backup that does not use electricity, such as a solar system.
- Electric water heating — Purchase an Energy Star heat pump water heater and set the temperature 120 degrees so as to not overheat water and waste energy.
- Reduce your “always-on” appliances. If your home has a smart meter and you can see your hourly consumption, then examine your consumption at 3AM. It should be significantly less than your use at 7pm. If it isn’t, then you might have “vampire loads.”. Look for electronics that you don’t use or can switch off, or perhaps get rid of that extra refrigerator 2 .
We can all do our part in saving energy through simple changes in behavior and habits to consume less energy in our daily activities. We can also save energy by investing in more energy- efficient products that reducing our energy bills and our environmental footprint. Today’s energy shortages and high prices make it more important than ever to use energy wisely.