Replace Your Appliances
Even though energy efficient appliances and electronics can be pricey, they are well worth the investment. They use as much as half the energy it requires to run a standard model, which makes them less expensive in the long run, and better for the environment, as they lessen the amount of greenhouse gases emitted.
Save Energy with Your Water Heater
For every 10 degrees you reduce your hot water heater’s temperature, CO2 emissions are reduced by about 3-5%, or 733 pounds annually. Setting the thermostat at about 120 degrees, or between low and medium, is a reasonable temperature.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
Ghosts & Phantoms in Electronics
True or False? When an appliance is off, it does not use energy.
False. This is a myth. Many devices actually consume energy even when off. Televisions, chargers, clocks, and other devices may have “vampire” or “phantom” loads, requiring standby power even when the device is “off.”
Though the standby power for many individual devices can be small, it adds up to about 5% of electricity usage. Plugging devices into power strips, and actually turning them off, will reduce your energy consumption. Some power strips are enabled with occupancy sensors, so they turn off when there’s no activity in the area.
Source: Smart Energy Design Assistance Center
Computers & Florescent Lights
True or False: Computers and florescent lights should remain on to save energy?
False! The small spike in initial energy consumption is greatly outweighed by the energy required to operate either of them for even a short amount of time.
Though there is a surge of energy use when a fluorescent lamp is first turned on, it only lasts for about 1/10 of a second and is equivalent to about 5 seconds of normal operation. The amount of energy consumed by leaving a light on is far greater than the initial spike in energy consumption required to power a fluorescent lamp.
To save energy, turn your lights off if you’ll be out of the room. Installing occupancy sensors can automatically turn off the lights in a room that has been unoccupied for a specified amount of time. For computers, take advantage of power management options, like hibernate or stand-by.
Source: Steve Selkowitz, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, Smart Energy Design Assistance Center