Tips for Taking Action
If you know of a light that everyone forgets to turn off, make a sticker or a sign to hang next to the switch that says "Lights Out!" or "Don't Forget!"
Where possible, use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Those funny-looking bulbs produce the same amount of light by using 1/4 of the electricity. Plus, they last for years and years without burning out.
Keep light fixtures clean. A cleaner light bulb is a brighter bulb.
Check the light schedule in your workspace. Who makes sure the lights are switched off? If you see light on overnight or on the weekend, find out if they can be shut off.
Harness the sun. Opening the blinds is a free way to brighten up a room.
Help light bulbs last longer. Install dimmers in the kitchen and dining room -- it adds ambience while saving energy! Use sensors outside to turn lights on only when needed.
Get rid of light bulbs altogether. Solar-powered outdoor fixtures provide electricity-free lighting.
Switch brands. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones. They cost a little more, but use less energy and last a lot longer.
Remove the guesswork. Buy Energy Star. More than 50 types of products (from lightbulbs to new houses) bear this label. It means you're buying the most energy-efficient products on the market.
Take shorter showers. You'll use less hot water - and water heaters account for nearly 1/4 of a home's energy use. Set your water heater temperature to no more than 120 degrees.
Use only what you need. Only fill your kettle with the amount of water you need and only run the dishwasher/laundry when you have a full load.
Look for Energy Star Appliances. When buying a new appliance look for the Energy Star rating and think about the lifetime cost rather than just the purchase price.
Flip the Energy Saver Switch. Implement the energy saving features on your computer – this can save $25 to $75 per year in energy costs. Or simply turn the computer and monitor off when they're not in use -- 60% of the power used by a computer is used by the monitor.
Unplug it. Unplug all your infrequently used electronics (Printer, Fax, TVs, DVD players, VCRs, Cell-phone chargers) to keep them from using electricity when they're not in use.
Close it. Keep doors and windows closed during hot or cold periods. If your space is mechanically ventilated, you will be provided with conditioned, filtered, fresh air already.
Take it easy. Turn down the air conditioning, peak summer loads cause the worst pollution and contribute to brown-outs.
Wear appropriate clothing. Put on a sweater (and turn down the thermostat).
Maintain your equipment. Dirt and neglect are the most common causes of equipment failure. Clean or change the furnace filter once a month (or as recommended by the manufacturer).
Install a programmable thermostat. Used properly, this little gadget can save you as much as $150 a year in energy costs. How? By scaling the temperature down when you're away and scaling it back up when you return.
Invest in new technology. Replace your refrigerator or water heater if either is more than 10 years old. Replace your heating and cooling system if it's old and inefficient. Buy energy-efficient windows and exterior doors. Over a period of years, the energy savings will help make up for the purchase prices.
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