Schools use a tremendous amount of energy, which contributes to climate change. According to randomstuffido.com showed that they consume 9.4 million tons of carbon in the UK alone, but that figure is likely higher.
A school, whether it’s a college campus or grade school, can consume lots of energy all through the day. It’s even worse for university students doing their dissertation, they need better tools to help them fast track their research. bestdissertation.com reviews will be very vital to get better content. From warming the building to wasteful lighting fittings, a school that is operating for eight hours a day can be a big user of energy and incur high energy costs to sustain.
Schools Must Lower their Carbon Footprint at All Costs
This article is especially for those who work in schools or colleges. The general objective is to bring the most practical energy saving concepts for schools to begin looking into them straight away.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools has begun a detailed project, which includes everything from changing the buildings to finding greener food options.
The article is going to cover several practical tips and methods that you can begin to save energy in schools and turn into an environment-friendly, greener, and more maintainable facility generally.
Capitalize on natural light
Schools set to be constructed to be greener. Schools undergoing restoration or makeovers can use new design features to capitalize on the usage of sunlight. Adding window shades or other window fittings in classrooms can permit teachers to decrease glare when substituting electrical light for sunlight.
You might even consider adding skylights. Including skylights in bathrooms, hallways, and other shared spaces can decrease your need for artificial illumination. They can permit clean light to go in from above, exploiting strong solar contact parts to decrease overall power use.
Natural light will produce a more comfortable learning atmosphere matched with the tough overhead illuminations that are usually in schoolrooms. Studies have revealed that sunlight keeps people more attentive and observant and increases their frame of mind. Besides, switching off the lights keeps the space cooler.
Change to CFLs or LEDs
One of the greatest pieces of advice on how to save energy at school is something you most likely by now utilize at home. Change all of those normal fluorescent lights and luminous bulbs with more resourceful choices. Lights will be on an entire day at the school, making them the most significant costs associated with running a school. Georgetown University has found that using CFLs can make a huge difference. Standard lights can as well generate lots of heat, increasing cooling expenses also.
Compressed Fluorescent Lights can function in fluorescent openings or even usual bolt-centered outlets. CFLs survive longer than regular luminescent bulbs and cost less to run. Nevertheless, with mercury in them, they produce some other problems if somebody cracks one. They as well wear out fast when repeatedly switched on and off.
Contemporary LED bulbs can provide an excellent alternative for lighting for less the cost of electrical power. Current developments in the diodes employed in these bulbs allow for a more reasonably priced light bulb invention, making them more economical during procurement. As an additional advantage, some alternatives let you change the shade of the sun.
Buy power-saving strips
Keep classroom PCs and other gadgets connected into power strips to aid lessen their standby power use. Not only will this assist save energy every day, but it will as well make it easier to free all the gadgets in the course of long holiday breaks.
Enhanced padding in your constructions
Lots of heat in your structure can be misplaced through poorly protected ceilings and walls. In upgrading your padding, you will recognize a substantial saving in energy waste linked to cooling or heating your structure.
Even though this can appear like a huge venture for a school (more or less like these other things), you have to consider the lasting savings that it will offer your school. In most cases, it will practically at all times, yield an encouraging return on investment, all while encouraging school sustainability.
Close Vacant Spaces and Rooms
If you do not have gymnasium today and will not have any team games, why are you incurring costs for lighting and cooling the gym? Despite the fact you might not desire the way that locked doors make a room feel, they can unquestionably help save energy.
The larger the room, the more power you utilize to brighten it and control the heat in the space. Sealing off specific areas by way of closing doors and sealing openings for the chilling system can as well cut the number of funds you are misusing to make a vacant space comfy, in spite of it not having people.
Allocate Classroom Duties
Decrease Energy Need for PCs, and Piece of equipment
Around 15% of power usage in schools is devoted to workplace equipment, computers, refrigeration, and other applications. An original method to save cash includes decreasing the energy need of PCs, and pieces of equipment at schools.
Students ought to switch off screens that won’t be utilized soon. All PC tools ought to be switched off in the end, and on holidays, lest your network specialists precisely state otherwise.
When people use electricity, power plants burn fossil fuels, which causes pollution. Although this problem will continue as people use more energy worldwide, it’s not too late to solve these problems through positive actions by both adults and children, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Schools often waste large amounts of energy, and with the help of students, teachers and administrators, there are many opportunities to conserve school electricity.
Create a student energy club at school. Recruit interested students and encourage them to hold weekly or biweekly meetings to discuss school-wide energy conservation. Encourage student club members to lead projects, such as school-wide advocacy campaigns educating other students about ways to help the environment by saving electricity. Notify local media detailing the students’ efforts, or post educational flyers at recreation centers or libraries.
Assign classroom chores that involve conserving electricity. Give each student an energy-related task. Place one child in charge of ensuring the lights are turned off when leaving the room. Place another child in charge of turning off the computers at the end of the school day. Instruct the children to check each classroom outlet to ensure nothing unnecessary is plugged in.
Assign students a project that entails making energy-related posters and hanging them throughout the school. Encourage students to illustrate the posters. For example, a child could draw a picture of an off light switch with the word “off” written by the drawing. Give each participating child a certificate, and give prizes for the three most creative posters. Allow the school principal or counselor to judge the posters to ensure fairness.
Create a list of ways to conserve electricity at school: Turn off lights, adjust the school’s thermostat before the weekend and unplug all appliances at the end of the day. Publish this classroom list in the school’s newspaper, or have a student announce this list over the loudspeaker during the morning announcements.
A school, whether it’s primary school, polytechnic or a university, can use up a lot of energy during the day. From air conditioner to lighting in the building; a school that is running 8-10 hours a day can prove to be a huge consumer of energy and thus; a high overhead to maintain.
This post is specifically for those whom work for a school or university that can either make the decisions, or can recommend new ideas to those who do make these types of decisions. This post will show how to save energy for the schools and becoming more sustainable, also reducing ongoing costs.
So here are the 5 ways to save energy at school…
1. Replace inefficient lighting fixtures
In school facilities we most commonly find fluorescent tube lighting being used in the hallways, classrooms, and really anywhere with lower ceilings that are flat.
By switching from fluorescent to LED, you will be able to reduce the energy usage up to 80%. As you know that LED technology is by far the most efficient luminaire on the market today.
2. Installing sensors type LED
Some areas of your school may not be in use at all times where the lights would be on otherwise (such as hallways). By installing sensors type LED which turn on when there is movement, you will be able to have lights be on only when the area is needed.
3. Promote usage of natural light
A lot of classes happen during broad daylight and by opening blinds and let the natural light fill the room, you can reduce the amount of lights you need on by nearly half, depending on the day and time of year.
Students might not be aware about saving energy and the benefits. So it’s up to you to ensure you put things into place to make it easier for them to take part in energy saving.
4. Use solar panel and make energy
Solar panel is common nowadays and it’s a great way to reduce your energy consumption levels so much that you may even be able to generate power through solar panel.
The investment in solar technology can be pricey, but by doing it you will be a role model to the community by showcasing what conserving energy can do when use with solar energy technology. Let solar generate your building a positive ROI all while conversing the planets resources.
5. Make sure everyone aware about saving energy
When you have all of the technology in the world, but everyone doesn’t aware about saving energy, it will be a great waste of energy in your school. So make sure an email goes out to every staff member and students stating there is a new initiative in energy reduction on school. This will make a lot of people listen and be more aware to turn off the light next time when they leave a room.
Schools and all other types of learning centers require vast amounts of energy in order to operate efficiently. Keeping the lights on, air flowing, and providing appropriate ventilation adds up quick on the energy bill, and costs can reach absurd amounts if not kept in check. Keeping overhead low is an important consideration for any educational institution. Luckily, there are a quite a few ways to save energy at school and lower overall consumption in the classroom. The first step is to educate students about energy-saving best practices so that they will autonomously reduce their carbon footprint and carry this behavior with them into the future. In addition to educating students about energy usage, consider incorporating these 5 tactics as ways to save energy at school.
Program Timers For Powering Up and Down
Have you ever accidentally left the lights on? We are all guilty. Utilizing programmed timers can be a huge help when powering down all electricity consuming gadgets or devices. A common solution is an electric outlet timer, which can be found in most hardware stores. Connect the outlet timer to the divider, at that point the gadget into the outlet timer, and set when to turn on and off the gadget. It’s super basic and one less thing for you to remember.
Keep Your Entryway Shut
By keeping a classroom entryway shut, you can eliminate HVAC energy waste. Keeping an entryway open allows air to escape, which causes heating and cooling systems to do more work than necessary, resulting in larger energy bills. Particularly in the winter and summer months, keeping schools at comfortable temperatures can be tricky.
Kill lights when you leave a room
Turning the lights off when you leave the classroom appears like a completely evident undertaking, however, it’s something individuals frequently overlook. Be sure to remind the children to turn off any lights when a room is left vacant. On the off chance that those same knobs are just on in case you’re in the room, you could save approximately $10 per month on the energy bill for a single classroom.
Unplug when you’re done
If a gadget has a remote or shows light, you can promise it’s utilizing power, notwithstanding when it’s controlled off. Make certain to unplug these kinds of things when they’re not being used. Overhead projectors, TVs, PCs and other devices still draw electricity when they remain plugged into the wall, even when not in use.
Encourage Students to Power Down Their Devices When Not in Use
While cell phones and tablets don’t require large amounts of energy, these items still utilize power to remain charged. From cell phones to workstations, students are on their contraptions throughout the entire duration of the day. If each student were to leave their devices off when not in use, the energy savings can be exponential.
Children are the future and they harness some of the power to make climate change a thing of the past.
As climate change becomes a more pressing issue with each passing year, it becomes more apparent that children may hold the key to protecting their own future by saving energy today.
Why saving energy is important?
It goes without saying that it is important to adapt our energy usage in order to try and save as much as possible. There is always a counter-argument that ‘big business’ is using far more energy than they should and that the individual cannot make a difference. However, if parents and teachers can inspire children to make changes ‘en masse’, the effect on the environment could be huge. If that isn’t enough, children can help save money in school and at home by making small changes.
Aside from saving money, why is reducing energy use so important?
Two 2018 reports, from a United Nations body and US Government respectively, warned that unless we reduce our use of and reliance upon fossil fuels, ‘natural’ global events like extreme weather, wildfires, drought and flooding would increase in severity. In the most basic terms, using less gas & electricity means that we rely less on fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels are not a clean source of energy and reducing our reliance on them will help lessen pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. All forms of energy production, aside from muscle power, have some sort of environmental impact. The big picture is that our planet is being damaged by the actions of humans.
The smaller picture is the impact that climate change has on us as individual people. In our nations’ cities, air pollution levels are rising and this affects children as they interact with the outside world, be that travelling to school or playing in the school yard. Air pollution is a killer and can cause serious respiratory issues in our children and adults. Reducing energy use also saves money; both parents and schools can save vital funds by adjusting the way energy is used at home and in school.
Managing energy use and costs in schools
Keeping energy costs down
To help keep costs down, maintained schools are included in Oxfordshire County Council’s energy-purchasing contract with LASER, an arm of Kent County Council and recognised buying organisation for the public sector.
LASER buys energy for more than 100 local authorities and makes use of its bulk buying power to purchase supplies at a competitive price.
LASER – and other providers – offer independent services to academies.
Check your energy bills when they arrive and try to avoid estimated bills.
The our energy bureau validates energy bills for all maintained schools in Oxfordshire, providing a safety net which should help avoid over or under charging. If you have any queries or concerns about your bills, contact the team by emailing [email protected]
Monitor your energy use
You probably know how much you spent on energy in the past few months, but do you know how much you used? Having a clear picture of your energy use over time will help you avoid unnecessary costs.
An automatic meter reader or smart meter will help you spot unusual patterns of use, highlight opportunities to be more energy efficient and save money on your energy bills. More information about monitoring energy.
Top tips to keep costs down
- Turn off computers and monitors when not in use – they still use power if left on standby.
- Turn off equipment and lights whenever you can.
- Using a kettle? Only boil as much water in as you need.
- If you have a ‘point of use’ water heater check if it has a timer installed. If not, consider turning it off at the end of the day and over the weekend.
- If a room is too hot during winter, turn heating down before opening windows.
- Avoid blocking radiators.
How to manage your energy use
Follow the simple steps below to put in place a process to help you monitor, manage and reduce your energy use. Click on the links to find further details, hints and tips, and sources of advice for each step along the way
Creating an energy policy for your school
Your school’s energy policy sets out how your school wishes to reduce its energy consumption. There are a number of things you will need to consider when writing your policy document/statement.
The energy team in your school
It’s important to recognise that staff and pupils are your biggest asset when it comes to driving down energy consumption. The Energy Team should engage with staff and students in order to help facilitate behavioural change and manage the school building’s services efficiently.
Monitoring and metering energy in schools
Before you can reduce your energy use, you need to know how much you use! You can do this in several ways.
Writing an energy action plan
An energy action plan is an key part of your school’s energy management system. It should summarise the actions you want to take at your school to use energy more efficiently and, where possible, reduce energy consumption. It should help you raise awareness and gain support from the whole school community.
Setting an energy reduction target
Once you have written your energy policy, established your energy team and conducted some initial monitoring to get an idea of your baseline energy use, it’s a good idea to set a target for reducing your energy consumption.
A target provides a clear focus and will enable you to quantify and therefore communicate your progress more easily.
Implementing your school’s energy management system
Once you have written your policy, established an energy team, begun monitoring and written your action plan you are ready to begin implementing your energy management system.
Check progress and keep monitoring
Now that you’ve begun to put your plans into action, you will need to keep monitoring your energy use. This will help you to see how well your action plan is working and to check progress against your targets. Reporting back to the school management team and governors will help raise awareness.
Share your good news, plans and top tips to involve the whole school community. Could you show case your activities to other schools? Please get in touch.
Environmental Information Exchange, Oxford Brookes University offer a cost effective energy efficiency support service for primary and secondary schools. For further information visit the website or email Michael Esvelt.
The Carbon Trust webpages offer useful advice on energy efficiency and carbon saving for schools.
Saving energy doesn’t have to be costly, there are hundreds of simple little changes you can do throughout the day that will not only save energy, but save money too! Below we have put together a short listing of the easiest ways to save energy at home.
Turn off lights when you leave a room even if you plan coming back.
2. Electronics & Appliances
Turn off electronics when leaving a room, like the TV or radio and unplug them all together when not in use. The same goes for appliances, big and small, unplug them when not in use.
Only wash full loads of laundry and use cold water. When it’s time to dry your full load make sure not to over dry your clothes or better yet air dry them.
Only wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher and use energy efficient settings. When washing dishes by hand don’t leave the water running.
5. Hot Water
Turn your water heater down to 120°F.
Conserve water by taking short showers instead of baths and when shaving in the shower you can turn off the water altogether.
7. Cooling & Heating
Use fans instead of AC when possible and use a fireplace instead of heat, if possible. There are so many great products on the market where you can remotely control the temperature of your home throughout the day, so there is no need to have the heat blasting when everyone is at work or school. Also, you’ll also want to make your home cold weather resistant.
8. Block the Sun
Close blinds and/or drapes to block out direct sunlight during the summer months. Tinting your windows is another great way to block the sun.
Cook outside when possible or try making dishes that don’t require heating up the oven, like salads and sandwiches. However, if you have to have a hot meal try using a crock pot or instant pot.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to live a greener life. In fact, it can be easier than you realize. Following these few suggestions will not only benefit the environment, but it can also lower your energy and water bill too!
If you think this article, 9 Easy Ways to Save Energy at Home, was an interesting read please share!
Saving energy doesn’t have to be costly, here are 9 simple easy changes you can make throughout the day that will save energy and money too! #realestate https://t.co/afZETkNKlP via @wellingtonhomez
Additional Real Estate Advice from Top Professionals
- Realtor, John Cunningham has put together an excellent Green Energy Guide for Smarties it’s definitely worth taking a look at.
- In addition to saving energy, you can also save money too! Sharon Paxson shares 5 Ways to Save Money.
About the Author
The above real estate article “9 Easy Ways to Save Energy at Home” was written by Michelle Gibson of Wellington Florida Real Estate. Specializing in residential real estate since 2001 Michelle Gibson is experienced in assisting buyer’s, seller’s, landlord’s, tenant’s and would love to share her knowledge and expertise and guide you through the entire real estate process.
We service the following areas; Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres and more. If you are considering selling your home, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and list your home with a top Wellington Florida Realtor
Whether your kids are grown and home from college for the summer, or your kids are still young and haven’t flown the nest yet, summertime can bring a skyrocketing electricity bill with everyone spending more time inside the house in general.
It’s important at the start of the summer to think of ways to conserve energy at home for kids. Not only does it help you, but it shows them how to conserve energy and live a more conscious, greener lifestyle.
These areas of your home are places you might not think contribute to a warmer house, or an overall conservation of home energy. But little by little, they do add up, and being more mindful of your usage can reduce your use of electricity, water and gas. Use these tips on how to conserve energy for kids to help your whole family become more energy-efficient this summer.
1. Ditch the Television and Pick Up a Book
It’s no secret that television and video games run on power. Turn them off to save on electricity, and pick up a book instead!
If your kids are younger, you can encourage their reading habits by making a chart. For each book they read, they earn a sticker. After 10 books, they earn a treat.
For older kids, the same can apply. You could even form a household book club with your teenager, and read a book simultaneously to keep the inspiration of reading going. The end reward could be an afternoon out to a local bakery or coffee shop, to enjoy time together while you discuss the ending. Maybe even indulge and imagine who you would cast if it were to become a film!
2. Shower with Timers
Water waste and shortages during the summer months is real, in particular for those living in states that have received little rain over the last year. Especially with teenagers and young adults in the home, shower times can become ludicrously long. The longer the hot shower, the more water and gas are used to heat up the water.
Put a 5-minute timer in your bathroom, and ask them kindly to set it each time they shower. By the summer’s end, we bet their shower habits are down to a brisk yet thorough rinse off!
3. Keep the Doors Closed
Attaching a bell on the handle of the front or back door can give your kids, and everyone in the family, an aural reminder to shut that door. It’s something you can listen for when they are running to and fro throughout the house.
It will also become a habit for them to hear that jingle of the door as they close it themselves. Keeping the door closed is one of the key components to keeping that precious cool air indoors.
4. Use the Sun to Dry Wet Clothes
Rather than using electricity to run the dryer, teach your kids to hang their wet pool towels and swimsuits on the porch in the sunshine, or on the back of a chair. After a few times of doing this after coming home from the pool, it should become a habit. You might even try line-drying everyone’s clothing and linens in the backyard.
5. Bake Efficiently
Summer can be a great time to explore old family baking recipes as well as new, unfamiliar flavors. When baking anything, be sure to have the recipe mixed and ready to bake before your oven has fully reached the desired temperature.
Heating up the kitchen with a preheated oven too long before it’s needed puts more of a strain on your AC unit to keep up with cooling down your home. You may even want to skip the preheat on some recipes
It’s also best to encourage their kitchen adventures to start early in the morning or later in the day. This way you’re kitchen isn’t heating up during the hottest part of the day when the most amount of stress is being placed on the electricity grid.
6. Utilize Natural Light
During the summer months, there’s really no shortage of daylight during waking hours.
Once the sun has moved from the east and is heading west, blinds facing east can be slightly opened to allow natural light in, and windows facing west can be opened to allow sunlight in during the morning.
Discourage your kids from wasting energy and ask them to not turn lights on during the daylight hours. Find creative ways to allow light in without the heat of the sun coming in alongside it. Window films made for energy efficiency can help reduce the heat coming in through the window.
7. Adopt an Open/Close Fridge Rule
Start by putting a sign on the fridge that says “don’t leave me open!”, and if your kids are young, make it a fun illustrative cartoon to inspire the young ones to do the same.
Encourage your kids to think about what they’re hungry for first before they open the fridge and let all that frosty air out.
8. Turning off Switches
For gamers and kids who love to watch television or use their iPads and computers to connect with friends, create a checklist of what should be turned off each time they leave their room. Think of lights, computer, and wall switch.
For each time they forget to do it, deduct ten minutes from their allowed screen time! Sometimes it takes a little extra incentive to drive the message home.
We hope these tips on how to conserve energy with your kids at home this summer work for you and reduce your usage of your home utilities! Learn more energy efficiency tips at the Live Brighter Blog!
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About Ebony Porter
Born in Australia, Ebony has been in Texas long enough to consider herself a Texan-Aussie. Ebony has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and blogs, for more than 10 years. When she’s not writing she’s building quilts, growing her own food, or camping with her family somewhere far from the sounds of the city.
Electricity consumption is one of our biggest environmental concerns, and for good reason. While the introduction of various different types of renewable energy has reduced our dependence on fossil fuel for electricity, the latter is still our main source of energy. Saving electricity at home can not only help reduce our household need for energy and in turn help reduce demand for polluting fossil fuel, but it can also save you money.
Most of the electricity consumed around the world is generated from fossil fuel 2 Kåberger, Tomas. (2018). Progress of renewable electricity replacing fossil fuels. Global Energy Interconnection. 1. ; oil, natural gas, and coal. The fuel for electricity generated this way is found below the ground surface and usually requires drilling and mining to collect. This extraction process has its effects on the environment: leaks into water bodies, oil rig explosions, and other contamination hazards.
Save Electricity and Do your Bit For the Environment
Greenhouse emissions are another big concern. To use coal in generating energy, it has to be burned at high heat, and the heat is used to power the turbines which create electricity. This process causes gas emissions which disrupt the natural greenhouse process between the earth and the sun. This disruption is one of the biggest causes of global warming as heat-trapping gases such as methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and carbon dioxide are heavily present in our atmosphere. Man-made emissions upset the natural balance, adding more gases to the natural mix, which in turn disrupt the role these gases have in moderating our climate 1 Greenhouse Gasses: Causes, Sources and Environmental Effects, Marc Lallanilla, LiveScience .
Most of our daily activities need electricity, so as damaging as some of its sources are, we cannot completely stop using energy. What we can do, is to manage how we use it to reduce production. Our daily use contributes to how much fuel needs to be produced, and if every home can reduce their consumption, then we can collectively lower the amount of coal-fueled electricity generated. This is, of course, not a permanent fix.
As countries like Sweden, Nicaragua, and Germany are aiming to be fossil energy-free by 2030, our efforts will better protect our earth until governments achieve their renewable energy goals. Saving electricity will also help you lower your monthly electricity bill. Your utility company keeps track of energy use through the meter installed in the home. When you use fewer gadgets or spend less time on them, the reduction will reflect in your meter and subsequently, your bill.
7 Ways to Save Electricity at Home
Here are 7 ways you and your family can save electricity at home conveniently.
1. Unplug devices when they are not in use
This seems like an obvious one, but many people are unaware of how much electricity they burn by having unnecessary devices plugged in. A simple tour of your home will prove that there are likely several plugged in items which probably don’t need to be. For example, electrical items on standby, such as TV’s, computers and video games. All draw a small amount of electricity whilst waiting for use. If you’re not using them for a while turn them off at the wall. The electricity they consume might seem small, but when put together over a long period, it all adds up.
2. Use large appliances together
Your washing machine and dryer may be energy efficient, but they’re still consuming a lot of electricity with each use. To save as much energy as possible, pool your laundry together (as a family or roommates) and do it all at once. This will cut down on the number of times the washer is used per week.
The washer’s heating feature should be treated as optional; heating isn’t always necessary, and you can have perfectly clean clothes using cold water. You can also cut out dryer use by drying your clothes in the sun if you live in a home that allows for it. If you can’t avoid the dryer, then use a lower setting even if drying might take a bit more time. If you use a dishwasher, ditch the heated drying cycle by drying with a napkin. You could also leave the dishwasher door open and allow for air drying.
If you’re in the market for a new appliance look for the newer models that provide the best energy efficiency. For example, in the EU look for A+++ energy efficient and in the US energy star rated fridges, washing machines, and other appliances (links to amazon).
3. Install a programmable thermostat
A programmable or smart thermostat is one of the most energy-efficient appliances to have in the home. Many people burn electricity throughout the day because they don’t want to go home to a too-hot or too-cold house. With a programmable thermostat, you can pre-set your home’s temperature at different times of the day.
For example, you can keep your home at a certain temperature all day, and set the thermostat to heat your home or reduce the temp one hour before you get home. This approach will help in reducing your energy bill and saving electricity.
Water Conservation should be our priority in the present world. Having a good understanding of how your school uses water is the first step in reducing water use.
Here are some suggestions about how to save/conserve water in schools:
Put signs near the basins to remind students to turn off taps as soon as they wash their hands.
To save water in school, install aerators and water efficient plumbing fixtures.
Detect and repair leaks at schools so that wastage of water will get reduce.
Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the dustbins rather than the toilet.
Landscape with native, drought tolerant plants, and mulch regularly.
Raise awareness of the importance of water by creating colorful posters on water use and water saving.
Always use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, and entrances rather than hosing off these areas.
Install water efficient devices at schools where appropriate вЂ“ faucet aerators, high efficiency dual flush toilet etc.
Incorporate water conservation policy and procedures into training programs.
Stay informed about the latest requirements for water conservation.
Encourage students to use refillable water bottle and educate them to pour leftover water onto the garden.
LetвЂ™s all do our share to save water with care!
What’s your top energy saving tip? We’d love you to share your ideas with our energy-savvy Twitter community, using the hashtag #summerenergysavings.
It’s hard to believe, but the school summer holidays are almost upon us once more – great news for commuters, as the morning traffic is virtually non-existent for well over a month, but not-so-great news for parents who have to keep the kids entertained for weeks on end.
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Then there are the soaring energy bills, as games consoles and televisions are left on all day, and extra meals need preparing – not to mention the fact that this summer has been so bad that many of us have been turning the central heating back on!
Have the unseasonably cold temperatures seen you turn the heating on this month?
But don’t despair, we’ve got six super energy-saving tips to see you through the six weeks of the summer holidays.
How to save energy and money during the summer holidays
1. Get out and about
If you’ve got games-mad kids, you’ll know all too well that they’d happily spend every waking minute of the summer holidays on their console – but even if they’re spending just an hour-or-so extra every day on their favourite video games, that could be enough to put a few extra pounds on your energy bill at the end of the month.
So get out and about – arrange days at the beach, walks in the park, trips to the swimming baths, or anything that will least encourage them to put down the headset and see the world outside.
2. Unplug those appliances
Once you’ve managed to drag the kids away from the games console, you then need to make sure all appliances gets switched off at the wall before you leave the house. Any appliances left needlessly on standby are an unnecessary drain on electricity, so make sure everything is switched off, including anything on charge, especially if you’re going to be leaving the house for the rest of the day.
3. Fire up the barbecue
The kids being off school means more meals to prepare – so why not give the oven a well-deserved break and fire-up the barbecue for your evening meals. This will not only save energy, but also make meal times more communal, and you may find the kids are more prepared to chip in with the food preparation.
It’s also worth considering packing a picnic at lunchtimes, to both save on energy and encourage everyone to get out of the house.
4. Ditch the dryer
Dirty clothes and extra washing is the one downside to getting out and about with the kids, and while hand washing everything probably isn’t practical, there’s certainly no need to use the dryer when the washing line will do.
If you do use the washing machine, make sure you always use a full load, and you can even afford to save energy on the post-wash spin cycle if you’re letting the clothes drip-dry.
5. Keep the fridge closed
If the kids are having a kick about outside, it won’t be long before they pile in looking for food and drinks, and when they do, you can bet they’ll crowd around the fridge and leave the door open while they look for goodies – and each time the door is opened up to a third of its cold air can escape, meaning it then needs to use more even energy to cool back down.
So make sure your little monsters (and your big ones) never leave the fridge door open any longer than absolutely necessary.
6. Cool down in the shower
A five-minute shower uses about a third of the water a bath does, so when the kids need cleaning, encourage them to step into the shower instead of soaking in the tub – not only will it save energy, it’ll be infinitely more refreshing on a hot summer’s day.
A word of warning though, if you have a power shower, this may use even more water and energy than running a bath, so it could also be worth investing in a shower monitor to keep tabs on the amount of water you’re using.
Check your energy usage
If you really want to try and manage your energy usage, it’s well worth getting a smart meter installed – not only will this show you exactly when and how you’re using gas and electricity, it’ll also let you know how much it’s costing you. Go to Smart Energy GB for more details.
Switch energy supplier
Putting our energy saving tips into practice is a good way to save money and help the environment, but if you want to make real savings, switching energy supplier is a quick and easy way to potentially cut your annual energy bills by hundreds of pounds.
To compare energy deals and switch supplier, enter your postcode in the box at the top of the page. Or check out this short video to find out more.
How to switch energy provider
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.
Michele Borboa MS
Do you dread the arrival of your monthly energy bill but find yourself unwilling – or unable – to spend the money required to transform your home into a self-sustainable dwelling? Good news: There are some simple, more convenient ways to save energy – and money. You can even put them into practice starting today.
1. Replace your incandescent lightbulbs with CFL’s
One of the easiest ways to save energy is by ditching your incandescent lightbulbs. According to Lesley Chilcott, founder of Unscrew America and film director of documentary An Inconvenient Truth, CFL’s use 80 percent less energy, last 10 to 15 times longer, and will pay for themselves in five months.
2. Use power strips
Plug your electronic devices into power strips and flip the switch at night when the electronics are not in use. This applies to computers, printers, TVs, DVD players and stereos as well as lights and other appliances. Nancy H. Taylor, author of Go Green: How to Build an Earth-Friendly Community, says turning your electronics off at night with a power strip can save up to 10 percent on your energy bill.
3. Turn down your water heater
Taylor also suggests turning down the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees F. Additionally, if your water heater is not insulated, wrap an insulating blanket around it.
4. Adjust your heating and cooling
In her book The Green Year, Jodi Helmer recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees F. when you’re home and 55 degrees F. at night. Put on a sweater during the day and use an extra blanket at night.
5. Keep your freezer full
Another suggestion from Helmer, a full freezer runs more efficiently than one with only a few items in it. Buy in season fruits and vegetables and freeze them for use all year round. Make an extra casserole or batch of stew and keep it in the freezer for a convenient meal later.
6. Use solar control window film
Replacing your windows with energy-efficient windows carries a high cost. An inexpensive alternative is solar window film – don’t worry, you’ll still have a view. Solar window film is easy to apply, reduces your energy bill, and blocks harmful ultraviolet rays, which can fade your home décor.
7. Flip the switch
Don’t leave the lights on. Though it may be convenient to have the garage light on when you open the door, it doesn’t take that much effort to turn it on. Every time you leave a room, turn the lights off.
8. Love your leftovers
When making dinner, make extra so you can enjoy a few no-cook or low-cook meals. Leftover meats, poultry and fish can be added to salads or used for sandwiches. Extra vegetables can be added to eggs for a quick omelet or to cooked rice for a light lunch.
9. Wash only when full
Instead of doing small loads of dishes or laundry, wait until the washer is full. Doing fewer loads will cut down on energy and water costs.
10. Install weather stripping
Make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed. This will save energy by not letting hot air (in winter) or cool air (in summer) escape.
Image Source / Getty Images
- Psy.D., Organizational Psychology, Rutgers University – New Brunswick
- B.A., History and Literature, Harvard University
Green schools are not only environmentally friendly but also generate cost savings in the form of reduced water and energy use. The standard for environmentally friendly schools is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a framework for building schools that meet certain benchmarks for sustainability, and a certification that more schools are seeking to achieve as they upgrade existing facilities and expand their campuses.
Green Schools Alliance
Many schools are taking the pledge of the Green Schools Alliance to make their campuses more sustainable and to reduce their carbon footprints by 30 percent over five years. The goal is to achieve carbon neutrality. The GSA program involves 5 million students at more than 8,000 schools, districts, and organizations from 48 U.S. states and 91 countries.
All this work by schools around the world has helped the Green Cup Challenge to yield a savings of more than 9.7 million kW hours. Anyone can join the Green Schools Alliance, but you don’t need to be a part of a formal program to implement environment-friendly practices in your school.
There are steps that parents and students can take separately from their school to reduce energy use and waste, and students and parents can also work with their schools to determine the school’s energy use and how to reduce it over time.
Steps Parents and Students Can Take
Parents and students can also contribute to making their schools greener and take steps such as the following:
- Encourage parents and kids to use public transportation or to walk or bike to school.
- Use carpools to bring many students to school together.
- Reduce idling outside school; instead, turn off car and bus engines.
- Encourage the school to use buses with cleaner fuels, such as biodiesel or to start investing in hybrid buses.
- During community service days, have students replace existing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents.
- Ask the school to use environmentally friendly cleaning fluids and nontoxic pesticides.
- Encourage the lunchroom to avoid using plastics.
- Spearhead the use of “trayless” eating. Students and teachers can carry their food instead of using trays, and the lunchroom staff won’t have to wash trays, thereby reducing water use.
- Work with maintenance staff to put stickers on the paper towel and napkin dispensers reminding students and teachers to use paper products sparingly.
- Encourage the school to sign the Green Schools Initiative.
How Schools Can Reduce Energy Usage
In addition, students can work with the administration and maintenance staff at their schools to reduce the energy use. First, students can conduct an audit of their school’s light and energy use and then monitor the school’s energy use on a monthly basis.
The Green Schools Alliance provides students with a step-by-step plan to create a task force and reduce carbon emissions over a suggested two-year timetable. Their helpful tool kit provides actions schools can take such as using daylight instead of overhead lighting, weatherizing windows and doors, and installing Energy Star appliances.
Educating the Community
Creating a greener school requires educating the community about the importance of reducing carbon emissions and living more environmentally sustainable lives. First, inform yourself about what other schools are doing to become greener. For example, Riverdale Country Day School in New York City has installed a synthetic playing field composed of cork and coconut fiber that saves millions of gallons of water per year.
Other schools offer classes in living environmentally conscious lives, and their lunchrooms offer local produce that is shipped shorter distances, thereby reducing energy use. Students may be more motivated to make their school greener when they are aware of what similar schools are doing.
Find a way to communicate regularly to your school about what you are doing to reduce energy use through newsletters or a page on your school’s website. Get people involved in taking and meeting the goals of the Green Schools Alliance to reduce carbon emissions over five years.
Have you ever considered how you can save on your energy costs by adjusting your main method of transportation?
The first step is to determine the method of transportation that fits your needs and lifestyle. If you live in a city with abundant public transportation, you may wish to utilize it, while you may need to travel by car if you live in a rural area.
There are many ways to save energy when traveling by car. One such way is to carpool with others as much as possible. By regularly carpooling with other people,you can likely work out a way to split fuel costs between all of the carpoolers, which allows everyone to save money. Additionally, this method effectively takes more cars off the road and helps the environment by lowering your carbon footprint.
Another important way you can save energy is to avoid traveling on busy thoroughfares during rush hour. Your trip will take a lot longer during rush hour, and the constant idling of stop-and-go traffic is incredibly wasteful from a fuel efficiency standpoint.To adjust for this, you might try adjusting your schedule to travel at a different time of day or changing your route to avoid clogged highways and roads.
Lastly, you can save money by efficiently mapping out a route each time you drive somewhere. For example, if you are running errands, mapping out a pathcan save you energy by reducing the total amount you have to drive due to an inefficient route. Additionally, planning ahead will help prevent you from forgetting one of your stops and having to drive out of your way, all while wasting fuel. Simply put, critical consideration all of your car trips will save you time and money.
In the long-term, there are also many ways to save money by properly maintaining your car.To learn more about this,visit the US Department of Energy’s website.
Public transportation lowers the amount of energy used for transportation both in general and for the individual. Riding public transportation saves energy in general because, per person, the energy use of one vehicle is far lower than it would be if each person were to use a smaller vehicle like a car, motorcycle, or moped. Plus, individually, it’s often less expensive to travel using public transportation; the fare on public transportation vs.the cost of fueling a car may be competitive depending on the price of each. And when you factor in the costs of purchasing or leasing a vehicle, insuring that vehicle, parking, and any necessary maintenance, public transportation is almost alwayscheaper in the long-term.
If you already use public transportation as your primary method of traveling, there are still ways to improve the process to save even more energy. In order to reduce the number of trips on public transportation, try researching the most efficient route to take to work or anywhere else, in the hopes of reducing the number of transfers or other issues that might increase your costs. Planning your route and trips can be beneficial when running errands—especially if you are grocery shopping, which is made slightly more of a hassle on public transportation. Lastly, you may be able to lower your costs by purchasing a monthly or annual transportation pass, which lowers the cost per-trip.
Alternative Forms of Transportation
If you are looking to eliminate any sort of energy cost while traveling, you might consider alternative forms of transportation. These other “methods of transportation” require physical activity, such as walking, biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, or longboarding.While using one of these methods of transportation, you will receive valuable exercise without having to spend any money on transportation. However, this might not be practical for the entire year, especiallyif you live in a climate with extremely cold wintersor dangerously hot summers.
What is your preferred method of transportation? How do you save on your energy costs while traveling?
MICHIGAN CITY — You could fill the energy in the air Thursday night at Krueger Middle School.
Students of all ages shared smiles and greetings as they learned more about energy through displays, demonstrations and games at the school’s first Energizing Student Potential Energy Fair.
“I feel it’s super important to have something like this. It teaches adults and kids how to use less energy and importance of conservation,” said Kathryn Triemstra, who teaches seventh-grade science at Krueger. “This is helping stop climate change because little things in your everyday life can make a difference.”
Energizing Student Potential (ESP) is a program supported by the Michigan City Education, Exelon Foundation, ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas and BP.
According to provided information, ESP is “an unprecedented collaboration of six energy companies serving northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana to engage and encourage the future scientists and engineers who will make up the energy workforce of tomorrow. Working with the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project ESP provides a full suite of programs that foster passion for science, technology, engineering and math in fifth- through eighth-grade students and provide teachers the tools they need to reach this goal.”
The Energy Fair provided students at Krueger the chance to explore energy in STEM and to share their knowledge with the community. On hand that evening were representatives from Kankakee Valley Rural Electric Membership Corporation, Performance Services, Paniccia Heating & Cooling, NIPSCO, Duneland Home & Pro Hardware, BP, ComED, Michigan City Education Association, La Porte County YMCA and HealthLinc.
Attendees were encouraged to visit the various stations with their “passport.” Once an exhibitor stamped all nine sections they were able to enter a drawing for a $50 BP gift card.
NEED’s Energy Carnival included with games intended to teach participants about energy.
At the “Top Three Trivia” game, eighth-graders Kaylee Shank and Dylan Meeks quizzed visitors about the top three fossil fuels, top three renewable energy sources found at the beach and the top three ways kids can save energy at home.
Lisa Gerardi, an adult who lives in the area, heard about the energy fair and enjoyed her time playing the games and visiting the booths.
“I’m just real interested in energy. I’ve been involved in environmental science and peaceful activism,” she said.
Other games included the “Energy Pursuit Game,” which asked questions about energy and electricity in addition to the “Energy Source Match Game.”
At the Kankakee Valley Rural Electric Membership Corporation booth, Energy Advisor Darrell Marks spent time with sixth graders Cameron Bell and Austin Decker discussing what to do if a power line accidentally falls on their vehicle while they are still inside.
“Stay in the car unless it’s on fire or you need to get out. Jump as far as you can away from the car, as you safely can (without accidentally falling backwards toward the car),” he advised. “Don’t touch the car and the ground at the same time because electricity is always looking for a path to ground.”
Many sixth graders including Bell and Decker visited the Energy Fair after attending the Wolf Pack Round-Up at Krueger Middle School. In addition to Michigan City High School and Barker Middle School, Krueger offered incoming students the chance to take guided tours; the opportunity to meet teachers, counselors and principals; and information on classes, clubs and athletics.
Devin Hendon and her daughter, Danasia Hendon, who is a seventh grader at Krueger Middle School, visited Mark and Sheri Paniccia at their Paniccia Heating & Cooling booth. Mark Paniccia demonstrated the difference between an older PCP (permanent-split capacitor) motor and a modern electronically commutated motor (ECM).
The latter “runs on so much less energy,” explained Mark Paniccia.
Representing Performance Services, Marketing Communications Specialist Michaela Finley encouraged those who attended to spin a giant wheel and answer a question about solar energy and power. Fourth Grader Grace Dillard from Pine Elementary and her younger kindergartner sister, Lilly Dillard, were excited to find our which prizes they could win.
New Business Development Manager Nan Zaremba and New Business Specialist LouAnn Rone manned NIPSCO’s booth at the energy fair. They talked to kids about Green Power and how to preserve our planet while adults received information on renewable energy programs including Net Metering and Feed-In Tariff.
John Pahssen, owner of Duneland Home & Pro Hardware, talked to those who came to his booth about different kinds of light bulbs and which best conserve energy.
And enrollment navigators Tricia Brooks and Jane Burton were on hand from HealthLinc to discuss the various services that they offer.
Also on display at the Energizing Student Potential Energy Fair were the winners of Krueger’s Solar Oven Challenge: First Place – Bobby Alexander; Second Place – Taylor Denvit, Autumn Reynolds and Christina Fitzpatrick; and Third Place: Lezley Preston, Rosa Rojas and Bailee Amador.
Recently, nearly 50 Krueger Middle School students constructed solar ovens from three feet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, one pizza box, one turkey roaster bag, two sheets of black construction paper and a paper plate.
Triemstra introduced the challenge as an extracurricular activity after she wrote and won an Energizing Student Potential Grant.
Energy costs are a big ticket item for schools. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that schools spend more money on energy than they do on anything other than personnel (see References 1, sidebar). But of course saving energy isn’t only about saving money; it’s also important to empower students with the knowledge that simple strategies can significantly impact fossil fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Why it Matters
The majority of electricity generated in the United States comes from power plants, and the Natural Resources Defense Council reports that power plants are one of the country’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases. There are other environmental impacts, as well. Their emissions cause acid rain, which is responsible for making lakes uninhabitable for fish, and they contribute to the smog that makes city air hard to breathe. Extracting fossil fuels — like coal, oil and natural gas — that run power plants destroys wildlife habitat and causes pollution. (See References 2)
Turn it Off: Equipment
In the classroom, equipment should be turned off anytime it won’t be used for a while. Computers that are left on all day, every day can consume 1,000 kilowatts of electricity in a year. (See References 3) Copy machines, printers and monitors should be turned off when school is out or when they will be sitting idle. Computer preferences can be set to put the screen and hard drive to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity. Sleep mode reduces the computer’s electrical use to less than 5 percent of full power. This is different than screen-saver mode, which does not save any energy, according to the NRDC. (See References 2)
Turn it Off: Lights
Lighting can account for half of a school’s energy use, so it’s an area where you can really make a difference. If you are burning incandescent bulbs, it is an even greater saving, because they use only 10 to 15 percent of their electrical input to make light and emit the rest as heat. Lights should be turned off whenever you leave the room. Experiment with using fewer lights when you are in the classroom and in using available sunlight to provide for some classroom lighting needs. (See References 4)
Start an energy patrol. The California Energy Commission developed a school-based program that gives a team of students the responsibility for monitoring energy use. The California school where the program originated cut energy use by 33 percent as a result of their energy patrol. Determine your school’s current monthly energy usage. Make posters about saving energy and put them up around the school by computers, copy machines, printers, monitors, light switches, thermostats and TVs. Develop a checklist of items for the patrol to monitor in each room, like lights, computers, TVs and thermostats. Discuss safety issues and protocol. (See References 5)
Talk it Up
Keep the eco-friendly momentum going by including energy-saving tips in your school newspaper or newsletter. Have students read tips during the school’s morning announcements and at the next PTA meeting. Consider making a short presentation to the school board to let them know about your progress and impact.
A lit up lightbulb resting on a pile of coins. (Photo: GETTY IMAGES)
If money’s tight, and you’re seeking ways to free up cash, look to your washing machine, hot water heater, ceiling fan and thermostat for cost-saving inspiration.
Utility bills aren’t cheap. The typical U.S. household spends roughly $2,000 on energy bills, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program. So, finding ways to reduce your monthly utility bill can bolster your family budget.
While basics like shutting off the lights when you leave a room and not turning down your air conditioner temperature so low that it turns your home into a meat freezer will help, you’ll have to do more around the house to preserve energy and shrink your utility bill.
“A lot of little things add up to big savings,” says Lauren Greutman, a consumer savings expert at LaurenGreutman.com.
OK, so what exactly can you do to lessen the financial blow resulting from everyday activities?
USA TODAY caught up with some budget experts to get some utility-saving tips. Here are 10 ways to save:
1. Shop around
You comparison shop for cars, clothes and loans; you should also shop around for a cheaper utility provider, Greutman says.
“Call your power company and ask for a list of energy providers that they use; once you get this list compare prices and pick the lowest price provider,” she says. “You can save hundreds just by making this one simple phone call.”
2. Control your thermostat
Keeping your home too cool or too warm when nobody’s home is simply a way to transfer wealth from you to your utility provider.
So, if you son likes the house super cool to sleep in warm weather months, that doesn’t mean setting the temperature to a chilly temperature when he wakes up at 7 a.m. and heads off to work for the day. Or setting it to 66 degrees at 11 p.m. and keeping it at that low setting all night.
“Set the thermostat (higher) during the day when you aren’t home and at night when you are sleeping,” says Greutman. “By using a program, you won’t forget to lower it before you leave and wind up heating an empty home. I hate when this happens!”
To best execute that plan, a smart thermostat or a programmable one is the way to go. “I have one and schedule it to go down 6 degrees at night and turn back on when I wake up in the morning,” Greutman says. “You can also program it to go down during peak hours.” You may see annual savings of up to 1% per 8-hour period for each degree you turn down your thermostat, according to the U.S. Energy Department, or energy.gov.
Here’s a tip from this reporter: when freezing temperatures are past and spring is near, turn the heating system off completely and don’t start running the A/C until it starts getting uncomfortably warm in late May. You can basically get two months of heating and cooling for free.
3. Cool down your hot water heater
Sure, a hot shower feels good to get the day going. But heating the tank is a big energy hog. The average household spends $400 to $600 a year just to heat water, which accounts for 14% to 18% of the total utility bill, according to energy.gov. The default setting on hot water heaters is 140 degrees, but it’s OK to drop it down and still enjoy a warm water shower.
“Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees to save money,” Greutman says.
4. Run appliances late at night
Save money when you’re sleeping. Run appliances like the dishwasher and clothes dryer late in the evening or before bedtime, when energy goes on sale.
“Utility companies will charge more for energy that’s being used during peak times,” Greutman says. “Plan to run these appliances when costs are cheaper.”
5. Don’t forget about filters
Keep your heating and air conditioning unit running efficiently by changing the filters regularly, before they get filthy and start bogging your system down. Maintenance is good. Change your filter as recommended by the manufacturer, which can be monthly or quarterly depending on the quality of the filter you use.
“Make sure that you maintain regular service of your furnace (and A/C) by keeping it clean and changing the filter,” says Kumiko Love, founder of The Budget Mom blog.
When they get clogged up with dust, dirt and pet hair, the airflow becomes blocked, making your air-conditioning unit work harder until it decides to call it quits, says the PennyHoarder.com.
6. Lower lighting costs
You don’t have to sit in the dark to save money on your electric bill. Some lights use less energy than others. And you can also save by using timers that turn lights off automatically when they’re not being used, Love says.
“Switching out your incandescent light bulbs for LEDs can save money during the lifetime of the bulb,” says Love. “These types of bulbs use less energy, which in turn keeps money in your pockets.” LED lights last 42 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use 80% less power, according to superbrightleds.com.
Another good option for cost savings is using compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs. “These work great in outdoor lighting that is left on for longer periods of time,” Love says. An ENERGY STAR-qualified CFL uses about one-fourth the energy and lasts ten times longer than a comparable traditional incandescent bulb, according to energy.gov.
7. Do use ceiling fans
“If you have ceiling fans, take advantage of them,” says Love. The reason: she says your A/C uses about 25% of your household’s energy, or roughly 36 cents an hour, the most of any appliance. “On the flip side, a ceiling fan costs only about a penny an hour,” she adds. And while a fan won’t bring down a room’s temperature, they can make a room “feel cooler.”
By using a fan and bumping up the temperature on your thermostat by 4 degrees, you can save $104 on summer cooling costs, she says.
8. Unplug when offline
“I unplug everything that I’m not using,” Love says. Coffee makers and microwaves are perfect examples. Even in standby mode, there are a lot of things in your home that uses power. Computers and TVs consumer a lot more power, so unplugging these appliances can save you a lot of money.”
9. Wash clothes in cold water
Use the cold water setting on your clothes washer to use less energy on heating water. Water heating makes up about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer, according to energystar.gov.
10. Remember, every penny counts
The more proactive steps you take to reduce your home’s energy consumption, the more you will save each month.
“It doesn’t have to be a lot of changes to see a difference in savings,” Love says.
How often does it happen that you switch your car AC on, but even after 2-3 minutes, the car is still hot? Odds are that you are not using your car AC properly. Did you know that if you don’t turn on AC correctly , you could be losing on energy and delaying cooling? Yes, there are certain steps you must follow for optimum cooling and save energy at the same time.
You many often come across cars whose air conditioners are as good as broke. And, it happens more so with the relatively old cars. It’s perhaps a result of decreased efficiency of the AC due to improper use. The fact is that not all drivers know how to use aircon properly . So, here is how you must use it.
How to Turn on AC Correctly for Optimum Cooking and Energy Saving
Most of think that turning on the car’s air conditioner is as easy as a pie. Well, in a way it is, but well, if you apply some basic technique, you will end up saving a ton of energy in the long run. These basic things also ensure that your car is cooled very quickly and optimally.
Step 1: Open the Windows Partially
It is common sense how hot the car cabin can get when locked up in the sun. Due to the absence of circulation, the hot air gets locked up inside. When you open the car, roll down the windows partially to expel most of the hot air out of the car.
Turn on AC Correctly in your car to avoid any issue.
AC mechanism in all cars works by expelling the hot air out of the car. So, on way to ensure fast cooling is by ensuring reduction of hot air in the cabin.
Step 2: Turn Off Recirculation Mode
As you start the engine, turn off the recirculation mode. This will enable the hot air to escape through ventilation and it won’t be blown back inside. Once you start feeling that the air is cooler than before, switch to recirculation mode. This will allow the now cooled air to circulate within the cabin. It is a very crucial step before you turn on AC correctly . It adds to the efficiency for the car AC.
Step 3: Hi Speed AC at the Time of Start
If your car has been parked out in the scorching sun, doing this would be a great idea. The cabin, in this case gets pretty humid. Roll down all the windows completely. Blast the manual AC at full speed, and keep rolling for 2-3 miles. When you feel that the cabin has cooled down, and the AC vents are throwing cooler air, roll up the windows. Now turn on the recirculation mode to reduce the pressure on the air conditioner.
Step 4: Low Speed on Auto AC
If your car features an automatic air cooling system, or climate control. You must always start the AC at the lowest given speed. This is the shortest possible route to bringing the cabin temperature down. Once that is done, you can adjust the speed later. When it comes to automatic control, this is actually the way to turn on AC correctly .
Follow these 4 maintenance tips and you will see the difference in the performance of the AC. Also, proper use of car air conditioning will help you save oodles of energy and prolong the batter life as well as increase the mileage.
Tsukasa Azuma is an awesome car blogger of Car From Japan. He owns a car repair shop at downtown Osaka, and he put all that experience to good use in his sharing posts. Tsukasa’s blog is one of the best resources for information about keeping your favorite imported car running smoothly. Moreover, because of being passionate to learn about the recent happenings in auto industry, he doesn’t only provide great car maintenance tips, he also always updates latest trends in among car brands and share them in his own interesting viewpoint.
Posted on: 05.10.2017
The electricity and gas used by UK households is responsible for a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Switching to clean power is a great way to reduce your own home’s impact.
Even if you’ve already switched to a renewable power supplier, you can help even more by reducing the amount of energy you use. As well as being better for the planet, it will help reduce your bills too.
To help you get started, here are our top 20 tips for saving electricity at home:
#1 Switch to LED Bulbs
They’re far more efficient than incandescent lightbulbs, last longer and can provide a cleaner, more natural looking light.
#2 Install smart switches
There’s loads available, from simple timed switches to ones that can be controlled remotely from your smartphone. This makes it much easier to make sure that your electronics aren’t left on standby.
#3 Turn it off at the switch
Leaving electronics on standby means that electricity is still being used so they can be turned on at a moment’s notice. Turning these appliances off at the wall stops this from happening – you could even use a smart switch as mentioned in the point above. (This counts for your lights as well, an LED will reduce cost but turning them off will cut it completely).
#4 Clean the coils on your fridge
Chances are you’ve never bothered to do this. The coils on the back of your fridge can get really dirty which reduces efficiency, so aim to give them a clean at least once a year. Your fridge will last longer and cost less money to keep running.
#5 Keep your fridge and freezer full
A full fridge-freezer needs less energy to keep cold as the items inside maintain the temperature.
You don’t always need to do a food shop to make this happen. Simply filling up a jug with water for the fridge will have the same effect, plus this allows you to always have cold water straight from the fridge, saving water when running the tap. To keep your freezer full why not fill the empty spaces with paper?
#6 Keep your fridge and freezer warmer
Turning your fridge and freezer up by just one degree won’t make any difference to you, but it can save a whole lot of energy over the year.
#7 Defrost frozen food in the fridge
Not only is this more hygienic to do, the frozen food will help keep your fridge cool meaning that it needs much less power to run.
#8 Be efficient when cooking
Use lids when boiling pans on the hob and make sure that you’re using the right saucepan on the right ring. This can make a huge difference, speeding up cooking times and using far less energy. Another great tip is to use the whole oven when you’re cooking so that the energy being used to heat the oven isn’t wasted.
#9 Wash clothes on a lower temperature
Most of your washing can be done at a lower temperature – like 30 degrees – and still provide the same results. Doing this will help to reduce your electricity consumption as your washing machine won’t need to heat the water to such a high temperature.
#10 Air dry wherever possible
Tumble driers can consume huge amounts of electricity. If it’s a nice day, dry your washing outside or leave it to air indoors if it isn’t so nice outside. Be cautious drying clothes directly on the radiator – you’ll prevent the heat from spreading through the room, which means your heating system will have to work even harder to bring the room up to temperature.
#11 Utilise the sun for warmth and light
The sun is an excellent form of energy, just look at the renewable electricity we generate from it. Keeping your curtains open during the day can help bring warmth and light into your home, reducing your need for energy required to heat or light your house.
#12 Don’t boil a full kettle
Unless you’re making tea for eight people, there’s not much call to keep the kettle full. Not only does it take longer to boil, it requires more energy to do so – simply filling for roughly the amount you need to use can save you money and time with every cuppa.
#13 Purchase energy efficient appliances
This is an expensive one to get into, but if you’re upgrading appliances then making sure you get one with a high efficiency rating will help save you money every day that it’s running.
#14 Generate your own electricity
If you’re really serious about saving electricity in your house, then investing in solar panels or other renewable technology is a great way of doing this. It will take a few years to break even on this investment, but you’ll start saving money on your electricity bills straight away as you can use the electricity you generate rather than taking it from the grid.
#15 Spend less time in the shower
Especially true if you have an electric shower and a water meter. Spending even a minute less in the shower every day can make a real difference to your annual consumption, although how much will depend on your shower unit.
#16 Set your thermostat a little lower
While not strictly saving electricity as most homes in the UK use gas, setting your thermostat just one degree lower can have significant savings on your energy bill as a whole. If you want to make your heating greener, take a look at our carbon neutral gas.
#17 Open the window instead of using an extractor fan
Zero electricity usage, plenty of fresh air and it stops condensation, what’s not to love? This simple change can make a real difference over the course of a year.
#18 Use the microwave when you can
Microwaves are far more efficient than traditional ovens as they use less energy and take far less time to achieve the desired results.
#19 Regularly service your appliances
Making sure that your boiler, fridge and oven are running as smoothly as possible is key to efficiency.
Servicing doesn’t always have to come at a cost. An action like cleaning the coils on your fridge for example is free, but it can go a long way in making your appliance cheaper and more efficient to run.
#20 The dishwasher may be better
If you have a new energy efficient dishwasher, you may find that it actually uses less energy and water to use the dishwasher than it does cleaning by hand. This is especially true when running your dishwasher with a full load, as you’d need to be able to wash at least eight full settings plus general serving and cooking utensils in one wash using as little water as possible.
Want to go the next step and make sure that your home is powered by 100% renewable electricity from independent generators found all around the UK? Sign up to Good Energy today and work towards a greener, cleaner future together.
Solar energy is the most abundant form of #renewable energy which is harnessed using various technologies. A solar cell is the basic unit of every solar technology that directly converts solar light into electricity through a chemical and physical process. Energy conservation is quite critical at the moment and it’s time to switch to using renewable resources.
Here are some of the solar appliances that can be used at home:
#Solar chargers can be used to charge your phones, laptops and batteries on an everyday basis. The act of charging a phone consumes very little electricity but you will end up saving a chunk of money when you’ll start using it every day!
Using solar panels to power your indoor lighting system 24/7 will not only save you a lot of money but also help in energy conservation which is pretty crucial at the moment.
Electric geysers consume a bundle of power and replacing them with solar water heaters is an efficient alternative. There are generally two types of solar water heating systems – active and passive. Active ones have circulating pumps and the passive ones don’t.
These little ovens can work at a temperature of up to 350 degrees using solar energy alone. It’s made of glass which absorbs the sun’s heat and magnifies it which then can be used for #cooking. This is the best option for camping trips and family picnics.
Solar power units use solar energy to heat the water and clean pools. And if you don’t have an inbuilt solar kit then you can buy one and use it. It’s a little costly but it pays for itself in terms of energy savings.
These tubes are basically #greenhouse fiberglass tubes that look like thin cylinders which are hollow. These tubes can be filled with water and used to heat rooms.
Utilizing renewable resources for daily usage is an excellent way to save money and conserve #energy. Our Atomberg fans use electricity but serves the purpose of saving money by cutting down the bill by 65%.
No-one wants to be stuck with a big power bill. If you’re already strapped for cash, here are some simple green ideas that will reduce your energy consumption and save you money.
You could also download our energy tracker to calculate your appliance running costs and identify how the energy in your home is being used.
1. Use energy-efficient light bulbs
Buy compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. They use a whopping 75 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. While CFL bulbs cost a little more, you’ll actually save money – the bulb lasts a lot longer and doesn’t use as much energy.
2. Turn down your thermostat
Reduce the temperature setting on all your heating and air-conditioning units, plus your hot-water system by two to three degrees. Never leave heaters on all night – instead heat your bed with a hotwater bottle or an electric blanket for a few minutes. This, along with your own body heat, flannel sheets and a thick doona will make you feel nice and warm, even if the air temperature in the room is cold.
3. Use cold water in your washing machine
If you do this and also run your machine on a quick cycle you’ll definitely reduce your home’s energy bill. Also consider buying a front-loading machine – they use up to 50 per cent less energy than top loaders. And choose models with a high energy star rating.
4. Fix your windows
Drafty, thin window panes can let a huge amount of heat escape resulting in a higher winter power bill. Consider buying high-performance windows or getting double glazing. If you can’t afford this, then make sure there are no leaks along the base of the window by placing a draft stopper such as a door snake along the rim. You can also insulate your windows by sticking bubble wrap to the panes, which is surprisingly effective. You won’t enjoy much of a view but you’ll save money!
5. Plant it
If you’re thinking long-term, install trees and shrubs around the outside of your house. The shade they provide will make the house cooler in summer. And if you plant a fast-growing shrub such as a lilly pilly outside windows, you’ll have a good windbreak in no time, helping to keep cold air out in winter.
Try some or all of these tips to reduce your energy consumption. You could also check our online quote tool to assess gauge the plans and discounts best suited to your needs.
Summer is almost over, and while your kids might not be ready for school to start again, you can be excited about the new energy-saving opportunities that the back-to-school season brings. Autumn is a time of the year full of transitions: from hot to cool weather, from summer relaxation to busy fall schedules. With change in the air, it might be a good time to make some adjustments to your energy habits as well. These tips will help you gear up for the school year in the most energy-efficient way possible.
1. Adjust your thermostat
With the kids away at school, you will suddenly have fewer warm bodies in the house raising the temperature. There’s no need to blast the air conditioner like you would in the summer, even if it’s still hot out. Go ahead and turn up your thermostat a few degrees, and keep in mind that you can save 4 – 8% on your cooling costs for each degree you raise it. You can also reverse this pattern as the weather gets cooler.
2. Use your refrigerator wisely
If you prepare your kid’s lunches in the morning, or if they do it themselves, you may be opening and closing your fridge door frequently throughout the process. This makes your fridge work extra hard to keep a consistent temperature. To save energy, take out all your ingredients and supplies at once and set them on the counter. This makes your lunch easier to access, quicker to pack, and will keep you from wasting energy through your fridge door.
3. Unplug your devices
Chances are your kids won’t be using all their electronic gadgets while they’re away at school, and neither will you. If you have electronics sitting around unused most of the day, make sure they are unplugged and powered off. This will stop them from using “vampire energy“: energy that leaks out from plugs, chargers, and electronics while they are not in use.
4. Keep busy after school
Having bored kids around the house is a major drain in your household’s electricity. Playing on the computer, watching TV, using the microwave, and all sorts of other activities your kids might do when they come home from school don’t look so great on your electric bill. Peak energy demand is also during the early evening, so electricity will be more expensive during this time if you have a time-of-use rate. Keep your kids out of the house by encouraging after-school activities. If your children are occupied with sports, music lessons, and school clubs, they’ll be both gaining valuable experiences and saving you money on your electric bill.
5. Turn off the engine
If you’re regularly waiting in your car while picking up and dropping off your kids from various activities, don’t let it sit on idle too long. It takes less energy to turn off your engine and turn it back on again than it does to leave it idling. Leaving your car on idle in hot temperatures also puts unnecessary stress on the engine, so turning off your engine is better for both the car and the environment in the long run.
6. Buy EnergyStar products
Back-to-school season may be a time when you’re investing in new electronic devices like laptops, printers, and mini-fridges. When shopping for new electronics, look for EnergySTAR labels. These products are certified as high-efficiency and low-energy devices, and many use up to 65% less energy than their non-certified counterparts.
7. Take advantage of summer sales
Stock up on cooler weather clothes with end-of-summer and back-to-school sales. When the weather drops enough to get your kids reaching for the thermostat, you can encourage them to show off their new sweaters instead.
With fall right around the corner, now is a great time to take advantage of that back-to-school bustle when it comes to energy savings. Get started on these tips, and maybe even form some life-long habits that will keep you saving all year round.
Articles on Energy and Conservation
Spring is in full swing! And with school winding down and the weather warming up, and it’s time to get outside. Here are some great ways you and your family can enjoy the outdoors this season.
Airplanes are heavy, and they use a lot of fuel to get off the ground. While your bag might seem small in the big picture, every pound makes a difference when an airplane is carrying it for thousands of miles.
Often when we think of climate change, we think of far away places like the polar ice caps in the Arctic or the rainforests of Brazil.
You may have heard the saying “reduce, reuse, recycle” when it comes to eco-friendly habits, but the first of these is by far the most effective.
Spring is finally here, and that means it’s time to set our clocks forward. Now that days are longer and nights are warmer, your energy habits may have changed.
As we get settled into a new year, you may be looking for activities that help improve yourself and your surroundings. Volunteering is a great way to give back.
Did you know you can save energy with some simple spring-cleaning? It’s time to shake off the winter dust and get your home ready for a fresh start.
Renewable energy is different from non-renewable energy because renewables carry additional market value separate from the energy itself.
It’s never easy to find the perfect gift for that perfect person in your life.
In an age of video games, iPads, and the Internet, how do we teach kids the value of our natural environment? Going green is a trend that’s hard enough to follow even without the challenges of raising children. But sustainability is all about the future, right?
It’s no surprise that energy costs money, yet some people greet their bills each month with a shock when they see precisely how much their power consumption is costing them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends over $4,400 per year on utilities, fuel, and public services, according to the most recently released statistics. Anything you can do to conserve energy and put some of that money back in your pocket is a step in the right direction.
Let’s take a look at 10 painless ways to reduce consumption and cut your expenses.
- Using your thermostat to set the temperature based on seasonality as well as whether you’re home or away, is a great way to reduce your energy consumption and cut costs.
- Other ways to save include using ceiling fans, energy star appliances, energy-efficient light bulbs and turning off home electronics when they aren’t in use.
- You can set up your shower, faucets, and toilets to use less water, and can change or empty your furnace filters to keep the unit at its most efficient.
- Sealing and insulating your house, closing doors and windows and using trees and other greenery to create built-in shading are other low-cost ways to ultimately save on energy usage and costs.
1. Use Your Thermostat
Turning up the temperature during the summer and turning it down during the winter are great ways of putting your thermostat to work for your wallet. The Department of Energy (DOE) recommends setting the air conditioner to 78 degrees and the furnace to 68 degrees to keep your house comfortable while reducing your energy costs and decreasing the demand on the energy grid.
A programmable thermostat lets you make the house hotter or cooler during periods when you aren’t home. This reduces the temperature difference between the exterior and interior of your house, which in turn reduces energy loss. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you can manually adjust your existing unit.
2. Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans in your house, turn them on and use them properly. According to Energy Star, a voluntary labeling program sponsored by the DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ceiling fans should be set to spin counter-clockwise in the summer, which pulls hot air up to the ceiling and away from the living space. In the winter, reverse the setting so the fans blow the hot air down.
3. Energy Star Appliances
Energy Star also identifies energy-efficient appliances, including washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, room air conditioners, computers, and more. When shopping for new appliances, look for the Energy Star label, and rest assured that the items you are purchasing will go a long way toward saving you some cash.
Of course, you wouldn’t want to increase the use of these items just because they save energy. Consuming more defeats the purpose.
4. Home Electronics
Stereos, DVD players, televisions, kitchen appliances, and any other plugged-in appliances draw a small amount of power even when turned off. Use the surge suppressor to turn them completely off when not in use, or unplug these items until you really need them. According to the DOE, using an advanced power strip to control power used by idle appliances can save you $100 a year.
5. Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
A quick and easy way to reduce your energy use is to replace existing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent ones. According to the DOE, switching to Energy Star approved bulbs can save the average household $45 per year.
Regardless of the bulbs you use, turn them off when you leave the room. For laundry rooms, garages, basements, and other little-used areas consider the installation of timers that automatically turn off the lights after a preset amount of time, just in case you forget to shut them off.
6. Conserve Water
Low-flow fixtures that conserve water are available for your shower, faucets, and toilets. In addition to installing these items, be sure to replace faucets that drip, fix toilets that leak, and turn off the spigot when brushing your teeth or scrubbing dishes. Every drop of water you save contributes to the conservation of this valuable resource; we’re talking water here, not just money.
7. Seal and Insulate
A well-insulated house reduces the amount of money you will spend on heating and cooling. Start by checking your attic. If your attic is unfinished, you shouldn’t be able to see the floor joists. If you can see them, add more insulation.
Also, be sure to fill in and seal any holes in your exterior walls, such as where pipes come into the house, and around windows and doors. Wrap your boiler and exposed pipes with insulation to help them maintain the proper temperature.
8. Change or Empty Your Filters
Change the filter on your furnace on a frequent basis. Many furnace manufacturers recommend doing it quarterly or even monthly to keep the unit operating at peak efficiency. Similarly, empty the lint filter in your dryer after every use. Even a small amount of lint reduces energy efficiency.
9. Close the Doors and More
Don’t waste energy. Close the doors on your refrigerator and house as quickly as possible. Keep fireplace dampers shut when not in use. Close the curtains to cover your windows at night. All of these little efforts help to conserve energy by preventing heat loss.
10. Use Your Surroundings
Strategically placed trees can help reduce your heating and cooling costs. During the summer, trees provide shade. During the winter, trees provide a windbreak.
Positioning large deciduous trees in the right places can reduce cooling costs by up to 25%, according to the DOE. These deciduous trees should be planted on the south and west sides of your home, and strategically positioned to shade hard surfaces, including driveways and patios, to maximize their impact. Because they lose their leaves in winter, they allow the sun to warm your house. Evergreen trees planted on the north side of your home will help to shield the house from cold winds in every season.
Small Steps Lead to Big Savings
Saving energy conserves valuable resources and saves money. Do your part to make energy conservation a habit; it’s a move with positive implications for both the environment and your wallet.
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Seeking ways to reign in costs, Wallenpaupack Area School District is entertaining a proposal to save energy as well, from the boiler room to the class room.
A presentation was made to the School Board Jan. 9th by Augie Grant, representing Energy Education Inc. of Dallas, Texas.
“We don’t change the temperature,” he said. Rather, a part-time energy manager would be hired by the district and trained by the company. The manager would do inspections of energy use in all parts of the facilities and at all hours and days, to see where energy is being wasted. These energy audits might recommend ways to consolidate, changing behaviors or suggest the need for a more efficient lighting system. Changes to equipment would be afforded by the savings incurred, he said.
Based on requested information sent him about District facilities and utility expenses, Grant estimated that the School District could 20 to 30 percent in energy costs, or $374,000 in the first year. Subtracting the company’s fee, salary for the energy manager, travel and software, the savings would still be $155,750.
After four years there would be no cost to the company, resulting in a net savings of $513,807.
Furthermore, if the projected savings is less than the company predicted, the company would refund the difference to the School District, Grant emphasized.
Typically, school districts hire one of their retired teachers to perform the energy audits. Elk Lake School District and Montrose Area School District, in Susquehanna County, each have contracted with Energy Education Inc., he said.
At the February School Board meeting, the board expects to hear a presentation by a different firm which looks at analyzing need to change equipment, rather than the way the District manages energy use. This firm also provides a guarantee.
Wallenpaupack Area School District currently budgets $1,263,563 for electric, which includes heating.
Most kids love learning new things and relish the opportunity to be helpful around the house. When you explain the importance of saving energy, they’ll be more than happy to do their bit. Here are a few tips on how to encourage kids to save energy.
Educate your children
Most children will learn about the importance of saving energy at school, but you can reinforce the message by teaching them how to contribute at home. Look at the appliances around your house and explain the energy sources. Do they understand the meaning of finite resources? Where does the gas for your cooktop come from? How does it get to your home? You could research the answers together as a family project.
Make it fun to learn
Go through each room of your house together and discuss ways you can save energy. Ask your kids to write down a set of rules for the family to follow – you can allocate tasks to specific family members. This will teach your children to be responsible and they’re more likely to complete the tasks. For younger children, you can set up a reward chart and give them a small prize at the end of the week if they follow the rules. Ask children to point out if you’re wasting energy – they’ll love it!
Easy habits to teach your kids
Keep it simple and give kids positive reinforcement when they follow the rules. Also, make sure anything you ask them to do is age appropriate.
- Cut down on screen time. Encourage them to make up projects, play games, do puzzles and read books.
- Get them to play outdoors, even in winter. If it’s cold, rug them up in coats and gumboots and let them run around.
- If their electronic devices are not in use, teach them to turn them off.
- Encourage kids to turn off lights and close doors to rooms that are not in use.
- Time showers and make a game out of who can have the shortest shower – while still getting clean, of course. If everyone takes showers of four minutes or less, you could reduce your water heating costs by up to 20 per cent.
- Ask them to close the door behind them when they go in or out.
- Don’t leave the fridge door open.
- Ask kids to tell parents if they can feel a draught coming from under a door or through a window.
- On hot days, ask them to close their bedroom curtains to keep out the heat.
If you’re implementing any energy-saving measures, explain what you are doing. This might include changing light globes, sealing doors and windows or replacing the hot water system.
Kids like to feel useful, especially if you let them know that their actions could have a beneficial effect on the planet, which is good for their future. Try our online quote tool to help make the switch, and find the best energy plan for your family.
A few tweaks around the house can save you hundreds
Boston scored a win over New York this week and it wasn’t on the baseball diamond. Instead, Beantown won top honors for its efforts to advance energy efficiency. New York took third place after Portland, Ore., in the rankings from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. While the report focuses on the actions of the nation’s 34 largest cities, citizens everywhere can do their part and save money too. Plugging leaks and insulating your home are two of the fastest ways to cut costs, according to EnergySavers.gov. Here are five easy ways to save, from the experts at Consumer Reports.
Change your lightbulbs
Replacing 15 incandescent lightbulbs with energy-saving bulbs can save you $50 per year and more than $600 in energy costs over the life of the bulbs, according to the Department of Energy. Standard incandescent lightbulbs do not meet the government’s tough energy-saving requirements and are being phased out. In Consumer Reports tests of dozens of LEDs and CFLs, 23 made our list of top lightbulb picks including seven that scored 99 out of 100.
Set your thermostat
Each degree you adjust the thermostat translates into 2 percent savings if the setback period covers your sleeping and working hours. Programmable thermostats can cut about $180 a year from your energy bill by automatically reducing your heating or cooling when you need it least. In our tests of programmable thermostats, we recommend 10 of the 30 in our labs, which range in price from $70 to $300. The three that were tops in our tests include the Venstar ColorTouch Series T5800, $170, the Honeywell Prestige HD YTHX9321R, $250, and the ecobee EB-STAT-02, $300.
Buy EnergyStar appliances
When you buy an appliance, there’s the initial cost and then there’s the cost of running it over a period of many years. Appliances and electronics account for 20 percent of your energy bill so it’s smart to look for EnergyStar models when replacing old ones, especially if they are 10 years old or older. Products that earn the EnergyStar use 10 to 15 percent less energy and water than standard models, so replacing your old refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, and other appliances with EnergyStar models can save you $900 over the lifetime of the products, says the Department of Energy.
Turn off the hot water tap
After heating your home, heating your water is the second-largest energy expense, typically accounting for about 20 percent of your utility bill. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, or buy a new, more efficient model. You can also cut down on how much water you use by installing low-flow showerheads and toilets, repairing leaky faucets and only running your washer and dishwasher with a full load.
Many appliances and electronic devices consume electricity even when you’re not actively using them. All that vampire power can add up to 10 percent of your electricity bill. Unplugging or powering down your digital set-top boxes, video game consoles, DVD/VCR players and cordless power tool chargers, among other gadgets, can save you $120 dollars a year.
Our homes use energy all day, every day. In the kitchen, our refrigerator, dishwasher, oven and more use electricity. Lights, cell phones and laptops need power too.
In the basement, electricity or natural gas power the furnace, water heater, washer and dryer. Outside, our lighting, lawn mower and even a pool heater require energy to run.
Energy is there when we need it. The flip of a switch or the click of a remote is all it takes to get what we need. What about conserving our energy use? Wondering why we should care? Why do we need to save energy?
You’ve probably heard the adults in your house say “Turn off the light!” or “Close the refrigerator door!” Have you ever wondered why?
It all adds up
Every year, we use more energy than we did the year before. In fact, the amount of energy Americans use has doubled about every 20 years.
All of that energy adds up, and much of it is wasted by using too much or not using it wisely.
Energy isn’t free. The adults in your house pay for the all the electricity you use. So wasting energy is the same as wasting money – and we know that’s not a good idea!
Wasting energy isn’t good for the environment either. Many of the energy sources we depend on, like coal and natural gas, can’t be replaced – once we use them up, they’re gone forever. Another problem is that most forms of energy can cause pollution.
How you can help
It might seem like kids can’t do much to help. But every time you turn off a light bulb or close the refrigerator door, you’re saving energy.
You can also help by reminding adults to turn the heat down in the winter and buy energy-smart light bulbs.
There are lots of easy ways to save energy at home, and all those energy-savers add up to a big impact on the environment.
To get started, try the top ten rules for saving energy . The adults in your house can help!
Top ten rules for saving energy
- Shut off the lights when you’re done using them, and turn off the TV, computer, video games and other electrical stuff when you leave the room.
- Adjust the thermostat during the winter. Ask a adult to adjust the thermostat by 10 degrees cooler in the winter and 10 degrees warmer in the summer for eight hours a day.
- Don’t leave the refrigerator door open. Every time you open the door, up to one-third of the cold air can escape.
- Replace a burnt-out light bulb with a new compact fluorescent bulb. Fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy, and they last 10 times longer.
- Remind adult to use cold water in the washing machine. Hot water won’t get the clothes any cleaner, and it wastes a lot of energy.
- Fix dripping faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons of hot water a month – that’s more than one person uses in two weeks!
- Take a short shower instead of a long bath. It might take 25 gallons of hot water to fill the bathtub, compared to only seven gallons for a quick shower.
- Close the curtains during hot summer days to block the sun. During the winter, keep the curtains open.
- Help an adult put plastic sheeting on windows. Blocking cold drafts is called “weatherizing” and it can save a lot of energy.
- Help your mom or dad plant a tree to help shade your house on hot summer days.
Phantom energy can be scary
Phantom energy can be scary for the energy bill your parents pay, but no actual phantoms or ghosts are involved. All of the things in our home or car that are plugged in can be sucking energy, even when not in use – even when turned off! This is called phantom energy. Our devices keep using energy in this state because all of those electronics are standing by ready to jump back to life when you need them. In fact, your TVs standby (or phantom) power usage can make up to 10% of its total power usage.
Did you know there are 20 to 40 devices in the average home hanging out in the standby mode? Not only does that waste energy, it costs money.
What can you do? Unplug your cell phone and laptop charger when you’re not using them. Unplug other devices with your parents’ permission. Also, there are “smart” power strips that will help make shutting off unused devices easier.
Eco-friendly choices are incredibly important these days—but it can certainly feel like information overload at times. From smart home technology that monitors your energy to “upcycling” projects to deciding on a kitchen floor, there’s a lot to consider when you go green.
To simplify things a bit, we’ve put together a guide that walks you room by room through an eco-conscious home—in part directly from the mouths of our customers and followers. With these tips, you too can become the “hero” of your house, saving energy and reducing your household bills at the same time. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Your kitchen is likely one of the most energy-hungry rooms in the house, thanks to big appliances like your refrigerator, oven and dishwasher. Let’s focus on that last one, your dishwasher. When it’s time to replace this appliance, make sure to purchase an Energy Star-certified model for a big impact; a new Energy Star dishwasher will save an average of 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime. Some models may also incorporate tech innovations such as soil sensors, which test how dirty dishes are and adjust the cycle accordingly, or energy-efficient jets.
The bathroom is another troublesome area of the house, especially if you have several family members rotating showers, teeth brushing and hand washing. One easy way to lower your energy bills in the bathroom is to lower the thermostat on your water heater: For every 10 degrees you reduce the temperature, you can save three to five percent on your bill.
We’re in the height of the summer now, and keeping your bedroom cool can be a chore. Do you rely on air conditioning? Instead, consider the energy-saving alternatives. Using a ceiling fan, for example, typically costs only one cent per day, and can make your room feel three to eight degrees cooler. Other ideas: try closing your bedroom doors and investing in a pedestal fan, or use a portable AC unit at night, allowing you to turn off the central air.
The living room is another place in our home that may have several electrical devices running at once. The biggest tip here is a simple one: get a surge protector! That way, it’s an easy switch to power down everything at once when you leave the house, helping you to conserve electricity. “Vampire” energy, after all, costs consumers in the United States more than $3 billion a year.
Computers and laptops and modems, oh my! How do you stay connected and productive in an energy-efficient home? Setting your computer to sleep/hibernate mode is a great way to use less electricity during inactivity; Energy Star estimates that using this feature can save you up to $30 annually on your electricity bill.
Getting creative about the plants and trees around your home can also make a difference in your energy use. Planting deciduous trees (the type that sheds their leave seasonally) on the west side of your home, for example, will maximize shade to keep your home cooler in the summer. Doing so can reduce your air conditioning costs up to 30 percent, according to the National Arbor Day Foundation.
We hope these tips helps simplify some of the most powerful eco-friendly choices you can make. Want to learn more? Check out StarTex Power’s interactive graphic below to explore additional energy-efficient tips around the house.