22 Ways To Energy Efficiency, From The Free To The Expensive.

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From one of my favorite sites, Co-op America, 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.) I have just put quick synopsis down of each one, so if you are interested in learning more, be sure to click on over to their site.

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)

2. 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)

5. 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)

8. 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)

11. 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)

14. 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)

17. 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)

20. 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)

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