POWER's Tips & Information 

Some of the most important things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home and lifestyle are the simplest, cheapest, and easiest. Rather than spending lots of money on solar panels or installing new windows, it’s best to first address existing problems, replace outdated appliances, and most importantly, get into the routine of making a few simple lifestyle changes. It's a lot less expensive, too!

POWER has the information you need to start saving money on your energy bills.

Top 10 Ways to Save Energy (& Money)

  1. Install and use a programmable thermostat

  2. Change out old incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

  3. Caulk and weatherstrip around windows and doors.

  4. Use cold water while washing your clothes and wash full loads of clothes at a time. Dry clothes on a clothesline outdoors or in a warm part of the house - right next to the furnace or in a sunny room.

  5. Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and add insulation (e.g. jacket) to your water heater.

  6. Take shorter showers and replace your shower head with an energy saving shower head.

  7. If you have a dishwasher, wash your dishes in a dishwasher and only wash full loads of dishes.

  8. In the summertime, use fans and open windows for ventilation instead of air conditioning, especially at night.

  9. When shopping for new appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label which identifies efficient products and buy the right sized equipment based on the needs of your family.

  10. Compost food scraps, recycle appropriate products, and properly dispose of garbage and toxic materials
     

If you’re thinking about other ways to be more sustainable, take a look at your local library! Sources may disagree slightly on some topic, so it’s good to look in a few different places before deciding on which changes to make in your life and in your home. It’s especially important to talk with contractors and other experts when considering upgrades to major parts of your house, like the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system, piping, or insulation. These retrofits can end up being a large construction project lasting several days, but are ultimately the greatest energy savers in the long run.
 

Along with the guide are links to helpful websites. Two sites that deserve an explanation are hosted by ENERGY STAR and the US Department of Energy (DOE). ENERGY STAR is a US government program that helps homeowners find the easiest, cheapest, and best ways to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes. The site gives suggestions, tutorials, and analyses of real products to help homeowners. The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website from the DOE provides similar information and includes federal efficiency standards

 

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