According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), residential energy accounted for 22% of all energy used in the United States in 2011. Although home energy upgrade programs like Community Power Works make a tangible impact, the approaching cold season and its high energy costs require homeowners to be especially vigilant. We thought we would pass along some of our favorite energy saving tips and resources from the pros at Renewable Planet, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ENERGY STAR.
Renewable Planet recommends attaching dimmer switches to interior lights, as well as using electricity monitors to keep track of power consumption. Additionally, they recommend using your dishwasher at off-peak hours and letting your dishes air dry instead of using the heat dry option on your dishwasher.
ENERGY STAR provides an interactive tool which takes you room by room to uncover energy-saving opportunities in the home. Some often overlooked opportunities include ENERGY STAR outdoor fixtures that save energy through advanced CFL technology, motion sensors, or a photocell that turns the light on only when someone is present. Additionally, with consumer electronics accounting for 15% of household electricity use, consumers should be on the lookout for ENERGY STAR labels on items like TV/DVD combos that help save energy when turned off.
Another handy tip from ENERGY STAR for home or office (better yet, for home office!), is to use a power strip as a central “turn off” point for electronics, video games, and computers. Electronics can still contribute to the total household energy use even when they are in low power or “off” mode. Also, consider installing a programmable thermostat which adjusts to preset temperatures throughout the day and night. Check out the Guidelines for Proper Use of Programmable Thermostats to maximize your savings.
U.S. Energy Information Administration / Annual Energy Review 2011
The EPA provides some great tools to analyze your unique home. The Home Energy Yardstick helps you to compare your home’s energy use to similar-sized homes in similar climates across the country. Learn more about personalized improvements by answering a few questions using the Home Energy Advisor. Use just a few of these tips to help you avoid winter energy costs like the pros. And don’t forget to sign up for a discounted $95 energy audit with Community Power Works!