Energy efficiency

Doing more with less energy is key to building a sustainable future.  Surprisingly, increased energy efficiency is not that difficult to achieve - Especially if we all work together!

Why should you care about energy efficiency?

Virtually every aspect of our lives depends on a predictable flow of affordable electricity. Yet this energy comes at a cost. To our environment. And to our wallets.

When you save electricity:

  • You save money.
  • You reduce pollution.
  • You help fight global warming.
  • You help avoid “rolling blackouts.”
  • You reduce the need for new power plants.
  • You make a difference!

Energy efficiency at home

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) with energy efficient LED's.
  • Replace or clean furnace filters regularly and get a furnace tune-up. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted can save up to 5% on heating costs.
  • Heat with solar!  In the winter, open drapes and curtains on south-facing windows to heat your home with sunlight. Close drapes and curtains to retain heat at night.
  • In the summer, keep south-facing windows covered, and open those on the northern, cooler side of the house. Use fans to circulate air.
  • Replace your old, inefficient furnace with an ENERGY STAR-qualified model.
  • Turn down the thermostat. Lowering the temperature three to five degrees can save you 10% to 20% on heating costs.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat.
  • Set your refrigerator temperature to 36-39°F (2-3°C). Set freezer to 0-5°F (-18 to-15°C).
  • Install proper ceiling, wall, and attic insulation and weather-strip doors and windows to save up to 25% on heating costs.
  • Choose an energy efficient water heater.  Adjust your water heater thermostat to 120°F or less and save 10% to 15% on water heating costs.
  • Replace your older clothes washer with a qualifying high-efficiency model, which uses 35% to 50% less water. Wash in cold water to save even more.
  • Install low-flow shower heads to conserve water and save 5% to 10% on water heating costs. Showers can account for up to 50% of your hot water usage.
  • Purchase an ENERGY STAR-qualified dishwasher and run it only when it is full. Use the air-dry option instead of the heat-dry. Check and clean the dishwasher drain.

Energy efficiency at work

  • Set programmable thermostats to turn heating on 30 minutes before people arrive, and off 30 to 60 minutes before they leave. Set them no higher than 68°F during occupied periods in the winter.
  • Turn off lights in offices, conference areas, and lunchrooms when rooms are not in use.
  • Use task lighting instead of overhead lighting. Replace light bulbs with LED's.
  • Dress comfortably for the weather. Adjust your layers before adjusting the thermostat.
  • Keep windows and doors closed to prevent loss of heated air. Open your drapes and shades during the day to allow the sun to warm your office.
  • Encourage your employer to regularly perform maintenance on heating and ventilation systems to keep them running efficiently.
  • Unplug electronic devices when they are not in use. Plug everything into a power strip and switch it off after shutting down equipment.
  • Close drapes and shades to limit the amount of heat that escapes.
  • Set thermostats no higher than 63°F during off-work hours.
  • Turn off all printers, copiers, fax machines, kitchen equipment, and lights.
  • Shut down computers when possible. Be sure to turn off monitors.


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