Top 10 Energy Saving Tips for Your Home:
Caulk around your windows and add weather stripping under leaky doors. Replace storm windows if needed and cover old windows with plastic before winter comes!
Air leakes are a major source of energy waste in our homes. US Department of Energy (DOE) studies show that 40% of your home's energy is lost due to air infiltration. This air infiltrates the home in the form of drafts through undersined holes found in the attic, walls, and floors.
Learn more about sealing air leaks by caulking
Learn more about weatherstripping
Replace your incandescent light bulbs with longer lasting, energy-efficient CFLs or LED light bulbs.
A CFL pays for itself in the first 4 months it is used and lasts several years under normal use.
(Source: Sierra Club - Cool Cities)
Lighting accounts for 5-10% of total energy use in the average American home and costs $50 to $150 per year in electricity. (Source: ACEEE)
Traditional incandescent light bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light, 90% of which is lost as heat. New lighting standards took effect in 2012. Under new standards incancescent bulbs provide 25% energy savings versus CFL's 75% and LED with 75-80% energy savings. (Source: Energy.gov)
Find out how much you can save with energy efficient lighting.
Install a programmable thermostat, and keep it set at around 68 degrees when you're home, and turn it off when you're at work or on vacation.
In most homes, you can save about 2% of your heating bill for each degree that you lower the thermostat for at least 8 hours each day. Contrary to some common myths, it won't take more energy to bring your home back to the desired temperature that in towuld to leave it at your optimum temperature all day. Turning down the thermostat from 70F to 65F, for example, saves about 10% ($100 saved per $1,000 of heating cost). (Source: ACEEE)
Explore different types of heating systems.
When replacing appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators or freezers, choose models with the EPA Energy Star label and get the smallest unit that meets your needs.
Appliances account for 13% of an average home's energy use. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models.
Find special rebates and offers in your area with the Energy Star rebate finder
Calculate how much energy star appliances could save you on the MG&E website.
Get a home energy audit to determine where your home is losing energy, and the best ways to make improvements.
If your utility participates in Focus on Energy, you can visit theier website to find local providers and take advantage of rebates offered for energy efficient upgrades.
A professional home energy audit is much more detailed and quantitative than a DIY assessment. Two common techniques used by professionals are the blower door test and the thermographic (infrared camera) scan. The auditor may also inspect heating and cooling systems, test for natural gas leaks, and check to see if the home is properly ventilated.
Add insulation to your attic and to basement soffits.
Upgrading attic insulation from 3 inches to 12 inches can cut heating bills by 20% and cooling bills by 10%.
Find other weatherization tips and facts at PowerHouseTV.
WisWAP is a government program offering weatherization assistance to low income homeowners.
Give your dryer a break - hang your clothes on the line!
Clothes dryers are the second greatest energy-intensive appliance in the household. The average dryer uses 875 kwh of electricity per year versus the average washer which only uses 99 kwh. Energy Star labels are not awarded to clothes dryers.
Calculate the energy consumption of your appliances.
Other energy saving laundry tips.
It takes lots of energy to bring water to your home-- don't waste it! Install water-saving devices like a low-flow shower head, rain barrel, or dual flush toilet.
On average, two gallons of water is consumed for every kilowatt of electricity used in the United States.
Read more energy saving tips for water usage.
If you have to drive, invest in energy efficient vehicles like hybrid electric cars, or the electric Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf. For the greatest energy savings charge your vehicle with clean, renewable power by using solar panels on your home or by participating in your utility's green power purchasing program.
Energy Efficient vehicles reduce our dependence on foreign oil and the need for risky, US offshore drilling whose catastrophies can threaten our coasts.
Calculate your savings and learn more at goelectricdrive.com
Find out about green vehicles at greencars.org
Read Sierra Magazine's electric car buying guide
Volunteer with the Sierra Club to help spread the word about the Ability of energy efficiency to reduce climate change!