Energy Conservation the Easy Way

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.


Written by Liz -

Not to overly geek out on your blog, but recently on a multi-million dollar residence, the owner insisted that our firm use only incandescent lamps in his house. No fluorescents. Not even in the 2-3 story spaces... Thousands of dollars in energy costs at stake here- so we did a blind taste test with him with the correct color fluorescent lamps (3000-3500K- since you asked). He couldn't tell the difference, but once we told him they were fluorescents and showed him the savings if he used them in even *part* of his McMansion- he still didn't want them... Incredible. So thanks for doing your part to help make up for this guy. I bet he doesn't put lids on his boiling water either.

Written by Chris -

Yeah, in the book this guy wrote, he talked about how he got his company to turn off half of the lights at night and power down most of the computers. At one 1000-person company, the savings were in the thousands of dollars per month. I think the only way to convince people to be energy efficient is to speak in terms of dollars and cents. Ideals like environmentalism are great and all, but hit people in the pocketbook and they'll pay attention really quickly.

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