- How do we reduce our electric usage 30% by 2018? Here are some examples;
1. Change all light bulbs to energy efficient kinds that use less power and last longer and make less heat (you save twice), these include LED and low voltage lighting using 20watt halogen bulbs, all use less electricity.
2. Replace those aging fire hazards the Halogen torch lamps with Energy Star lamps from Efficiency Vermont.
Encourage all of your friends to do similar things at home or at work. Changing even one large bulb can make all the difference in your power bill.
3. Replace old computer equipment with energy star rated SMALL footprint energy efficient PC’s – laptops are the best. But the small form factor PC or MAC mini is a great energy saver. A 19″ LCD monitor uses less than a 15″ CRT and gives you so much more room on the desktop and in your office.
4. Replace all CRT based TV sets with LCD screens. Some of these will perform dual functions – TV and computer screen and they are available in wide format and HiDef.
5. Replace external compressors for refrigeration in retails space (like the Putney Coop is doing). Use single efficient compressors for a multitude of devices. These are available for residential and commercial usage.
6 Replace that old refrigerator or freezer with a super energy efficient unit.
7. Replace your washer with a front loader and opt for a gas dryer or use the cloths line in the sun, which really makes your cloths smell nice.
8. Invest in Geothermal heating and cooling systems, yes even in Vermont these things are more efficient and worth the investment.
9. Invest in solar photovoltaic systems. Like Google and Microsoft are doing.
These can be connected to the energy grid to offset your electric usage or even to sell electricity back to the power company.
10. Install motion sensors in bathrooms and hallways, the lights will magically turn on when needed and off when not needed, saving you money , and making your home or business safer. Replacing wall switches with motion sensor enabled switches will save the cost of the item in the first year of use.
11. Turn off your lights and other things when they are not in use, get motion sensors for outdoor lights that need to be on for “safety”. Use serge strips for items that do not really need to be powered on all the time – this will eliminate phantom loads.
12. Close the windows if you use an air conditioner.
13. Insulate Your Existing Water Heater. If your electric water heater was installed before 2004, installing an insulating jacket is one of the most effective do-it-yourself energy-saving projects, especially if your water heater is in an unheated space. The insulating jacket will reduce standby heat loss—heat lost through the walls of the tank—by 25–40%, saving 4–9% on your water heating bills. Water heater insulation jackets are widely available for around $10. Always follow directions carefully when installing an insulation jacket.
14. Add timers and or daylight detectors on the outdoor lights which are often left on.
15. Turn off computers and monitors when not in use.
16. Turn off the copier when not in use.
17. Install motion detectors or timers for outdoor lighting. This will save a large amount of energy; lights off when not needed!
18. Change the existing ceiling tube lights to the new super energy efficient LED units.
19. Turn off the dry cycle in your dishwasher and air dry your dishes instead. This can save up to 1% of your energy bill.
20. Put your VCR, and TV on an outlet strip and leave it off unless your using it.
21. Hunt through your home for any appliance that has a wall wort, and put that on an outlet strip and leave it off unless needed.
TV/ VCR and even stereo systems and PCs all consume power when not in use.
22. Purchase more energy efficient air conditioning (if needed) if yours is older than 5 years. Find one that is the most energy efficient. 98 – 104 is a good range.
23. If you must use your air conditioner, replace or clean the filters often. Dirty, clogged filters use much more energy. Replace or clean filters at least once a month for maximum benefits.
24. Using Velcro, mount clear plastic (clear shower curtains work great) inside the refrigerator. Slit near the top all the way down to the bottom, just where the shelves end, so when you open the door you can look in and see everything, but not let much cold air out.
25. Limit screen-saver use. A screen saver does not save energy. In fact, more often than not, a screen saver not only will draw power for the monitor, but also will keep the CPU from shutting down. Instead, set your computer to turn off the monitor first, then go into standby mode after a longer period of inactivity.
26. Disconnect your Virtual Private Network (VPN) when not actively using your corporate network. Being connected may limit your system’s ability to enter standby mode.
27. Many popular computer games and other third party software packages that run in the background will not allow the computer to go to sleep – even if they are paused or the active window is minimized. Shut off the web browser so your PC can sleep.
Some web sites or pages that have active banners and or animated advertisements will not allow the computer to sleep on its own and must be closed, or the computer put manually into a sleep state.
28. Enabled power management to place your monitor, hard drives and computer into a low-power “sleep” mode after a period of inactivity.
29. Set the power saving modes up correctly.
We recommend the following:
Monitor/display sleep: Turn off after 15 minutes or less
Turn off hard drives/hard disk sleep: 15 minutes or less
System standby/sleep: After 30 minutes or less
30. Advanced users may wish to establish multiple power schemes to address different usage models. For example, you can create a power scheme for playing music CDs that shuts off your hard drive and monitor immediately, but never puts your system into standby mode.
31. To further reduce power consumption, turn off computing and peripheral devices that are not being used or being used for an extended period of time such as overnight.
32. Plug all your electronics into one surge protector, so you can easily switch them all off when you leave the room or go to sleep. Most power supplies (such as your cell phone charger) continue to draw power and generate heat even when not attached to a device.
33. Small footprint computing is much more energy efficient that yesterdays towers. Get a new computer if yours is older than 5 years, and is a mid or full tower.
34. Laptops use much less energy than even the smallest desktop systems, inpart because the screen and the computer share the same efficient power supply.
35. Get a smart phone! Android phones are amazing, you can check email, do facebook, run programs, use firefox, and just about anything you would normally use a computer for, execpt perhaps graphics, sound/video editing or CAD work. If you do not like the small screen of a smart phone, get a tablet!
36. Trade in that old CRT monitor, purchase an LED – LCD, the LED based models are super efficient, brighter and will last longer than standard LCD monitors.
37. Turn OFF that laser printer! Most laser printers consume large amounts of electricity even while in standby due to heating elements that are required to fuse the toner to the paper.
38. Ink Jet printers are more efficient than larger laser printers.
39. Multifunction FAX/scanner/printers use more electricity than simple single function printers.
40. Insulate the duct-work for your heating system. A large percentage of heat is leaked into the basement rather than heating your space.
41. Re-insulate the walls and exposed exterior of basement walls of heated buildings.
42. Invest in Solar heating for hot water, and for space heating. The cost of fuel is only going up, while the cost of the sun is not.
The more you invest in solar energy the more money you will realize from this investment over time.
43. Add window Quilts or foam boards to the windows to hold heat in at night, and prevent summer time heating loads.
44. Set hot water for 100′, average hot shower is 104′. Factory typically sets at 140. Dishwasher will boost the temperature of the10 gallons it uses instead of your whole tank.
45. Use Low-flow shower head with dribble switch–$5, these things are cheap.
46. Add an insulated Water heater blanket–$15 will save about $40/year (not for gas heaters)
47. Add insulation to the Pipes–do the hot pipes first, then do the cold ones (unless freezing pipes would be a problem).
48. Duct work can be a major energy thief. Tape all the seams with mastic and insulate around the ducts–have a contractor do it. Test for leakage.
49. Don’t “over-size” a space heater.
50. Old-style fireplaces pull hundreds of cubic feet of heated air into the chimney; they are net energy losers. Modern fireplaces, fire behind glass door, takes combustion air from outside, fan circulates air around the firebox, this is great for maximum efficiency.
51. Venting; Don’t use atmospheric venting in a new, tight house, carbon monoxide will stay in your house. Use active venting. Also use sealed combustion for tight houses, (providing air directly at heater source, piped in from the outside). Also consider energy recovery ventilation systems.
52. Install a Programmable thermostat. These can save lots of energy by running your heat or air conditioning only when you’re typically home. They will pay for them selves in one season and are easy to install.
53. Turn heat back 1 degree = 3% savings.
54. Sealing windows with expanding foam or caulk is usually much more economical than replacing your windows. Read the Energy Guide label
55. Insulate the entire house; Cellulose can blow into places other insulation can’t reach.
56. Clean the furnace yearly, and replace filters at least once every 3 months for maximum benefits.
60. Ride your bike or walk or ski to work or to shop. Remember to bring your own bags. Form a bike club, the benefits include better health and lower pollution and zero cost.
61. Save on gas by packing light. Every 100 lbs in the trunk (How many books do you really need on vacation?) decreases your fuel mileage by 1–2%. And a roof rack cuts down your mileage by up to 5%!
62. Stop idling your car. After 10 seconds of idling it takes more gas than restarting. Once you get into the habit, you will find many places where idling is not needed.
63. Coast more. Costing is a very efficient way to go down hill.
64. Draft trucks. Large trucks will literally pull small cars along. Just make sure your brakes and nerves are in good condition.
In fact just in front of a truck, on ether side (next lane) there is a small window of high pressure, as the truck pushes air out of the way. People with hybirds, and on board gas consumption meters can attest there is a boost in MPG when driving in this sweet spot. The trick is finding a section of road where you can drive like this – parallel to the truck but just in front.
65. Get a hybird, these average over 45miles per gallon, and it is such a satisfying fealing not filling up the tank all the time.
66. Fill up your gas tank only half way; a complete fill up weighs substantially more than half a tank and so uses more energy to push around all that fluid.
67. Car pool with friends to events. Pick up hitch hikers, or try hitch hiking, it can be fun, enlightening, and frustrating.
68. Use mass transit, this is the most economical form of energy reduction, the gallon you save is your own.
75. Purchase a printer that prints on both sides of the page, can save at least 25% of the paper you use now, more if your really careful about always using that feature.
76. Start a paper recycling drive.
77. Get off the mailing lists:
Advertisers send out more than 62 billion tons of junk mail per year, and 44 percent of it goes into landfills without ever being opened. Producing and disposing of it uses 100 million trees, 28 billion gallons of water, and enough energy to power 2.8 million cars. You can greatly reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive by taking a few easy steps.
First, go to the Direct Mail Association’s website at www.dmachoice.org/consumerassistance.php and sign up for their “Mail Preference Service.” This will get you off their national advertising mailing list. You can do it directly through their website or print out a form and send it in (you’ll need a credit card for verification, but it won’t cost you anything). This will take care of the bulk of your junk mail for five years, after which you’ll need to register again.
Second, gather all the unwanted mail order catalogs you receive and go online to www.catalogchoice.org. Using their free service, create a login name and click through their list of hundreds of catalogs and check the ones you don’t want, using your name and address as they appear on the covers. After about 10 weeks, the changes will take effect. When new catalogs come, you can simply add them to the list to stop them as well.
Finally, to stop pesky pre-approved credit card offers, call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or go online to www.optoutprescreen.com.
Taking these three simple steps costs you nothing, reduces your footprint on the Earth, and eliminates the headache of sorting through piles of junk mail.
Water – Conserve Water!
78. Your biggest opportunity for savings is to use less hot water. In addition to saving energy (and money), cutting down on hot water use helps conserve dwindling water supplies, which in some parts of the country is a critical problem. A family of four each showering five minutes a day can use about 700 gallons per week—a three-year drinking water supply for one person!
79. Water-conserving shower heads and faucet aerators can cut hot water use in half. That family of four can save 14,000 gallons of water a year and the energy required to heat it.
80. Insulate Hot Water Pipes. Insulating your hot water pipes will reduce losses as the hot water is flowing to your faucet and, more importantly, it will reduce standby losses when the tap is turned off and then back on within an hour or so. A great deal of energy and water is wasted waiting for the hot water to reach the tap. Even when pipes are insulated, the water in the pipes will eventually cool, but it stays warmer much longer than it would if the pipes weren’t insulated.
Lower the Water Heater Temperature. Keep your water heater thermostat set at the lowest temperature that provides you with sufficient hot water. For most households, 120°F water is fine (about midway between the “low” and “medium” setting). Each 10°F reduction in water temperature will generally save 3–5% on your water heating costs.
81. When you are going away on vacation, you can turn the thermostat down to the lowest possible setting, or turn the water heater off altogether for additional savings. With a gas water heater, make sure you know how to relight the pilot if you’re going to turn it off while away.