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What Can Individuals Do to Save Energy?

 

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides great information for the homeowner:

http://hes.lbl.gov/hes/makingithappen/mih.html

Please read the above link!

Here are some other helpful ideas:

  • Purchase and use compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs) instead of incandescent bulbs.
  • Turn off the lights when leaving an area
  • Fully insulate your house or business building with maximum effective insulation
  • Install best technology windows to block heat transfer between outside and inside temperature differences
  • On hot summer days, close draperies & blinds to block sun heating.  On cold winter days, open draperies and blinds during daytime to allow maximum sun heating.  Close them on cold nights to prevent radiation loss of heat through the windows.
  • Use storm windows and doors in winter
  • Reduce air transfer between inside and outside spaces with installation or excellent weather stripping
  • Replace old appliances with “Energy Star” rated equipment
  • Furnaces
  • Air conditioners
  • Dish washers
  • Microwaves
  • Clothes washers
  • Install solar panels on the roof to generate electricity
  • Dry your clothes on a line. If you can’t, click here
  • Take “navy” showers
  • Purchase wind power from your local electric utility company as part of your utility bill
  • Install a small, home-size unit wind turbine to generate electricity
  • Install a geothermal heating/cooling system for your home to eliminate in-home use of fossil fuel and to reduce electricity usage
  • Press the legislature to pass a law mandating “Smart Meters” in all homes and businesses to permit management of electricity use by individuals during peak demand periods
  • Operate electric equipment at “off-peak” times
  • Conserve hot water (typically 15% of an electric utility bill)
  • Reduce “standby” power by shutting down computers and other small electronics when not in use. visit  www.standby.lbl.gov
  • Install and use a programmable thermostat
  • Set the thermostat low enough in winter that a sweater is comfortable.  In summer, set it high enough that short sleeves and shorts are comfortable.
  • If available, purchase fuel oil containing a biodiesel portion
  • Keep tires fully inflated
  • Do or request a home energy audit. US Dept of Energy website gives excellent guidance at this link
    or this site
  • Compost your garbage
  • Reuse plastic water bottles
  • Recycle
  • Eat less meat. Excellent protein sources are available from various non-animal foods
  • Buy local to avoid long distance transportation of goods and food.
  • Take reusable bags to the grocery store and advocate for elimination of plastic bags.
  • Advocate for elimination of plastic bags in general purpose stores.
  • If possible, install a “green roof” with growing plants. Structural soundness is required for the extra weight
  • When replacing roofing shingles, purchase light colored shingles to more effectively reflect sunlight and to reduce air conditioning load in the summer.  In winter, the sun’s intensity is only about 10% of that in the summer, so the beneficial heating in the winter is more than offset by the cooling-need reduction in the summer.
  • Plant one or more trees to sequester carbon dioxide. Poplars are especially effective.
  • Reduce miles driven: Walk, bike, use mass transit
  • Car pool to work
  • Bundle automobile trips to maximize their effectiveness in reducing miles driven
  • Drive smarter at optimum speed on the highway for best fuel efficiency
  • Own a hybrid vehicle
  • Teleconference instead of driving or flying to meetings
  • Reduce trips by airplane
  • Learn more about climate change; its causes and reduction possibilities
  • Tell others about climate change and these sorts of possibilities to save energy
  • Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions
  • Consider the impact of your investments
  • Take political action to benefit reduction of climate change
  • Support local environmental groups working on climate change. http://chescocooler.org/online/about/our-partners/