The cleanest, cheapest, and safest way to meet our electricity needs is by getting the most out of the energy we already use. Using today’s off-the-shelf technologies, we can chill our drinks or keep our homes at a comfortable temperature without wasting energy. Through energy efficiency, we can shield residential customers from high utility bills, help businesses keep expenses low, and create thousands of good jobs in construction, manufacturing, research, and design. In every home, office, and business, we can prevent energy waste and save money by using energy-efficient lighting, appliances, motors, and electronics. Here are a few things you can do:
Energy Efficiency in the Home and Office
Lamps: Replace Those Old Light Bulbs
If every household in the U.S. replaced one outdated incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), it would eliminate the same amount of pollution as removing one million cars from the road.
Vampire Power: Only Use Energy When You Actually Need It
Your toaster, your cell phone charger, and other electronics are drawing electricity and costing you money, even when they are not in use. On average, more than one-fifth of electric use by home electronics occurs while the products are turned off. Unplug electronics when not in use, buy Energy Star products, and use smart power strips.
Warm Your House, Not the Earth
Most homes and buildings leak energy—and money—from attics, ducts, windows, and doors. Weather-stripping and caulking is one the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste and improve the comfort of your home. If just one in ten households used current technology to upgrade their inefficient heating systems, we could keep 17 billion pounds of pollution out of the air—and out of our lungs.
Ask an Energy Expert: Knowledge Is Power
An energy audit is like giving your house a good checkup. It allows you to hear from an expert about how best to reduce energy use in your home and check for any safety concerns. Get an energy audit and make a plan to save energy and money in your home—which will also increase its comfort and resale value.
Energy Efficiency in the Workplace
Advanced Lighting: Better Light and Lower Bills
LED lighting is up to 85 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs and up to 50 percent more efficient than fluorescents. LEDs produce high-quality light, have a long lifespan, and don’t contain dangerous chemicals like mercury.
Office Appliances That Ease Energy Expenses
Office equipment is one of the fastest-growing electricity uses in U.S. commercial buildings, accounting for nearly $2 billion in electricity bills. Offices can reduce the energy their computers, copiers, and fax machines use by more than half with the latest in energy-efficient office equipment.
Combined Heat and Power Turbine Systems Conserve Cash
Energy use is one of the biggest expenses for steel, chemical, paper, food-processing, and other industries, as well as large institutions like universities and hospitals. By using the same facilities to generate both thermal energy (heat) and electricity, factories can improve their efficiency by a staggering 80 percent. Combined Heat and Power protects these big energy users from volatile energy prices and helps us clean up the grid.
Energy-Efficient Cities and Towns
Traffic Lights: Better Bulbs
Something as simple as switching to more-efficient LED traffic lights can save cities and towns up to 50 percent in energy costs. The city of Los Angeles has realized an energy savings of 57 percent by installing 36,500 LED streetlights. Anchorage, Alaska, is replacing 16,000 municipal roadway lights with high-efficiency LED fixtures, which are expected to save the city at least $360,000 annually
Cut Energy Waste at Wastewater Treatment Plants
Wastewater treatment facilities can account for one-third of a city government’s utility bill. Most cities can reduce energy usage by 10-to-30 percent through updating aging wastewater treatment equipment with more-efficient models—protecting taxpayers and our planet. Check out our Green Tips Page for more energy-saving ideas!