Do you want to be more environmentally friendly? Tired of contributing to our foreign dependence on oil? Then take some simple steps to reduce your household energy costs. These are courtesy of Alan Zelicoff, who wrote about his experiences in 'Saving Energy Without Derision' (part 1 & part 2).
The first thing he wisely advocates is 'picking the low hanging fruit'. He calculates that many households can save up to 30% of their energy costs just by making some simple changes like the following_
- The use of compact fluorescent lighting in the most commonly used lights in the house
- Turning back of the thermostat at night to 55 degrees in the winter, coupled with judicious use of small electric space heaters in commonly occupied rooms.
- Insulation of windows with cellular shades.
- Disconnection of seldom-used electrical devices that continuously drain small amounts of power, but which in aggregate can account for well over 1,000 kw-hrs per year of electricity. (This includes things like clocks, toasters, and VCRs)
- Put lids on pots when boiling water on the stove
- Turn down your hot-water heater a few degrees. If you have to mix your hot water with significant amounts of cold water to take a shower or do dishes, then it's set too high.
I've been working on some of these at our place. Give them a try too, and let me know how it goes.