5 Ways To Save

1. Make the switch to LED

LEDs are a great example of how innovation and technology can make your life easier. They last up to 25 times longer and consume 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Tip: By switching just five of your home’s most frequently used bulbs with ENERGY STAR™-certified LEDs, it’s possible to save 9% on energy costs annually. Good news is, LED adoption in the United States increased from 13 million to 78 million in just two years. Make sure you are part of this group too!

2. Seal Those Leaks

On average, heating and cooling account for almost half of a home’s energy consumption. In fact, all the little leaks can be equivalent to leaving open a 3-foot-by-3-foot window.

Tip: Take simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors and you can save up to 20% on heating costs.

3. Heat and Cool Efficiently

Don’t waste money heating or cooling an empty home. Install a programmable thermostat and schedule your home’s heat to lower (or raise cooling temp) when you are away or asleep, and turn back up (down) when you are returning home or waking-up.

Tip: Follow the U.S. Department of Energy recommended temperatures and be energy-efficient all year.

4. Maintain Your HVAC System

Make sure to clean or change your furnace filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter will slow down air flow, making the system work harder to keep you warm and costing you more money.

Tip: Consider getting a winter tune-up. Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a semi-annual or yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency, saving you money and making your home more comfortable.

5. Look for the ENERGY STAR™ Label

ENERGY STAR™ is the simple choice for energy efficiency. Available across more than 70 product categories, the blue label makes it easy to find products that have been independently certified to use less energy.

Tip: If you are undertaking a major home remodel or new build, consider installing ENERGY STAR™-certified HVAC equipment and windows. ENERGY STAR™-labeled windows can cut heating costs by as much as 30%  compared to single-pane windows, while increasing indoor comfort and lessening fading of home furnishings.

You Can Do More: More Tips to Save on Your Next Energy Bill

You’ve completed the Light Bulb Challenge and followed five steps to save energy. Congrats! You can always find more ways to use energy more wisely and contribute to lower energy consumption and costs, so here are a few more tips for you:

6. Turn the Electronics Off

That sounds easy, but it is likely that if you go around your house you will find electronics that are plugged in (and still drawing electricity) but not in use.

Tips: Turn off all lights, appliances and electronics not in use. A power strip can help turn off multiple items at once. (Sometimes the simplest things are really effective!)

7. Winter Tip: Invite the Sun In

Yes it feels like the sun abandons us during the winter, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it during these shorter days.

Tips: Open curtains and other window treatments on your west-and south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and save anywhere from 2-12%.

8. Summer Tip: Keep the Sun Out

This tip is easy to forget, but vital: excess sunlight will make it harder to keep your home cool and comfortable.

Tips: During the day, keep your blinds and shades closed to prevent warm air from building up in your home.

9. Summer Tip: Plant Trees and Shrubs

Without proper shading, direct sunlight can make your home feel like an oven. In addition to closing your blinds and windows, you can plant trees and shrubs around the exterior of your home to provide much-needed relief from the sun.

Tips: If you live in a single family house, head over to your local nursery and consider acquiring a few trees to plant around the foundation of your home based on the direction of the sun.

10. Clean Up Your Dishes Efficiently

If there’s one thing that has the power to unite people, it’s food. And with food comes dishes to clean. Fear not – there really is a more efficient way to use your dishwasher.

Tips: Make sure to choose the air-drying function and avoid the “rinse hold” setting. Do you have a dishwasher that doesn’t have an air-drying function? Simply open the door at the end of the washing cycle and let the dishes air dry!

11. Clean Up Your Clothing Efficiently

That’s an easy one. A washing machine spends 90% of its energy to heat water.

Tips: Consider using cold water instead. In addition, try to run full loads as much as possible, since the machine uses the same amount of energy regardless of the load size.

12. Commuting Efficiently: Tune Up

Fixing a car that’s out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%, saving about $82 a year.

Tips: Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%, or more than $1,300!

13. Commuting Efficiently: Inflate Your Tires

Keeping tires properly inflated can improve mileage by up to 3.3%, or about $61 a year (under-inflated tires can lower mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure in all four tires). Proper inflation also improves tire longevity – and driver and passenger safety.

Tips: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cautions not to rely on the pressure setting on the tire’s sidewall, but to consult your owner’s manual or look for a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb or in the glove box.

5 WAYS TO SAVE AT WORK

1. EFFICIENT LIGHTING OPTIONS: MORE!

Most operations that upgrade to more efficient lighting systems see a payback on investment in one to two years. If you’ve already signed up for the Office Lighting Challenge and want to do more, consider: upgrading all of the building’s lighting to LEDs and turning off lights when not in use (automatic timers can help).

2. UPGRADE AND MAINTAIN HVAC SYSTEMS

Upgrading to higher efficiency heating, cooling and air conditioning systems (HVAC) can lead to substantial savings. Consider an energy service company contract or financing to avoid the upfront investment and earn the savings over time. A service contract can also manage maintenance.

3. BUILDING ENERGY CONTROL SYSTEM

Properly manage temperatures by zone, based on activity in the building, and save money when areas are empty.

4. HIRE A FACILITIES ENERGY MANAGER

Studies show that having a point person responsible and accountable for managing energy helps prioritize projects and investments through completion, along with the savings.

5. BENCHMARK YOUR PROPERTY

We improve what we measure and track; studies show properties that benchmark against peers tend to see greater energy savings. Often just knowing what’s possible helps you set realistic goals and take action.