It’s important to realize that the energy choices we make everyday all have impacts – some positive, others negative, and some a blend of both. However, energy efficiency is the energy option that typically provides the most benefits with the least costs. Making the right energy choices can help you lead a greener lifestyle while saving some green, too.
Learn Where you Stand by taking an Energy Quiz
Take an energy quiz today, and test your energy IQ! Several cover a broad range of subjects, while others provide more detail about your personal energy consumption.
A few of the more popular quizzes can be found on the following websites:
Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
Carbon footprints are a great to learn just how much energy you are currently using to help you see where smart energy choices can reduce your consumption and your monthly bills, as well.
Any of these websites – and dozens more – provide a fairly simplistic way to do this:
Take Personal Action in Your Home
Now that you have a better idea of what your energy usage looks like, you’re ready to move forward. To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of some of the more common energy saving ideas to share with you.
- Get a Home Energy Audit. Delve further and find out where your investments will make the biggest impacts. Get a professional audit done, or do it yourself.
- Purchase ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs. The CFL is one of the best known symbols for smart, efficient energy choices for a reason. All ENERGY STAR bulbs use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Using this type of lighting can save you approximately $40 over the lifetime of a single bulb.
- Seal doors, windows and ducts in your household. Sealing leaks can be done in an afternoon with modest inputs and modest gains.
Upgrade to double-pane windows, or install a storm door. Installing new, efficient windows requires more time and upfront investment, but the savings can be substantial: almost 10% of your annual heating/cooling bills. Installing a new storm door can save up to 2% on your annual energy costs depending on your climate zone.
- Unplug your electronics when not in use. While a ‘sleeping’ appliance might draw 15 watts when plugged directly into an outlet it will use ~2 watts when plug into a power strip that is turned off.
- Keep on top on your thermostat all year long. Making smart decisions about your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills. Keeping your home at 68 degrees or below uses 3-5% less energy than higher temps. Furthermore, by using a programmable thermostat and changing your air filter at least once at the start of each season, you can reduce your annual heating and cooling expenses by approximately 20% or ~$180/year.
Take Personal Action for Your Drive
Just as there are easy actions to save energy in your home – there are ways to help improve fuel efficiency on the road as well.
- Check your tire pressure often, and keep up with maintenance. Inflating to proper tire pressure is an easy way to get more mileage from your vehicle saving up to 11 cents/gallon . Also, regular tune ups with oil changes and new spark plugs result in more efficient fuel combustion which means fewer emissions and more miles-per-gallon saving up to 14 cents/gallon.
- Drive more slowly and try not to idle. Stay under 60 mph to use less fuel and save up to 84 cents/gallon. Plus, if you plan to idle more than a minute or so, turning off the engine can save fuel in the vehicle and reduce air pollution outside.
- Upgrade to a more fuel efficient car. Hybrids today are twice as efficient as other vehicles, getting more than 50 MPG. If you’re not ready for that kind of investment yet, though, upgrade from a gas guzzler to a mid-range car. Moving from 20 to 30 mpg will save more than $930/yr, if you drive 15,000 miles annually.
Support our Work
- Become a supporting member of SACE to make a difference here in the Southeast and support energy efficiency.
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- Bookmark our Upcoming Events page to keep abreast of current events in our region.