35 Ways You Can Save Money on Energy
Reduce Energy Costs at Home...Driving...at Work
Conservation is a great way for individuals and the country overall to reduce energy consumption and save money.
You will also be helping to fight global warming and clean up the environment.
Here are 35 things you can do:
Car and Driving Gas Savings
- Drive at the speed limit, accelerate slowly. You can save 5% - 10% or more, depending on your car and your current driving habits.
- Plan shopping and other trips with driving fewer miles in mind. Can you combine trips, choose a shorter route or avoid rush hour traffic?
Maintain your car (correct tire pressure, engine tune-up, change air filter, and change oil and oil filter according to your car's recommended schedule).
As seasons change, tire pressure changes with temperature change, so check tire pressure a few times each year.
- Don't store heavy items in your trunk. Extra weight lowers gas mileage.
Buy gas at the coolest time of the day, usually early in the morning or late at night...gas expands when it is hot.
You get more gas for your money when it is cooler.
- Turn your car engine off if you are waiting for someone. Idling in parking gear for even a short time wastes considerable gas.
If you live in a state with toll booths on highways and bridges and e-z pass or a similar automatic payment system is available, make sure to sign up for and use the payment system.
This will save you time waiting in line and surely save you money on gas.
- Make your next car an energy efficient car. Don't buy a SUV unless you really need one.
Commuting to Work and Work-Related Energy Savings
- Talk with your employer about telecommuting (working from home) one or more days per week, changing your work hours to avoid rush hour traffic, or working a four day work week to reduce commuting.
- Consider car pooling or using public transportation if available.
Encourage your employer to start a Going Green program, or if your employer already has a program, support it enthusiastically.
Learn about how companies can get employees involved and supporting Going Green programs, including providing suggestions and feedback about the company's Going Green initiatives.
Home Energy Savings
- Turn off lights, televisions and radios when you are not in a room.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs. They reduce electricity costs and generate less heat, saving on air conditioning costs.
- Turn off computers overnight and when not used for long periods of time.
Many appliances and electrical devices actually use a small amount of electricity even when they are turned off.
If you have appliances and electrical devices that are not used frequently, unplug them when not in use to reduce electricity cost.
Buy energy efficient appliances and computers.
Most new appliances are more energy efficient than older models purchased years ago.
It may be cost-effective to replace some of your old appliances.
- Use cold or warm water rather than hot water for washing clothes.
- Don't take excessively long showers. You will save on both energy and water costs.
- Install water-saving shower heads.
The temperature on your hot water heater may be higher than it needs to be.
Try lowering the temperature slightly and see if the temperature of your hot water is still OK.
Maintain comfortable temperatures year-round, but don't over-do heating and air conditioning.
If no one is home during the day, cut back on heat and air conditioning while away.
During heating season, use a down quilt or heavy blankets and lower your thermostat overnight to 62°.
Likewise, when you are away from home for a couple of hours or longer, lower the temperature before you leave.
These actions will lower your heating bills significantly with no impact on your comfort.
Make sure your home is well insulated (attic, walls). Caulk all cracks and replace weather stripping where there are air leaks.
Install storm doors and storm windows where needed.
If you own your house, consider installing solar panels on the roof of your house to generate electricity.
You can also install solar panels for generating hot water.
If you are buying a new house or you are installing replacement shingles on your roof, select light color shingles or other materials that will reflect rather than absorb heat.
Your house will be more comfortable in the air conditioning months and you will save on air conditioning costs.
If your house does not have an attic fan, consider having one installed.
If your house has an attic fan, make sure it is working properly.
You can lower the temperature in your attic during air conditioning months considerably, reducing air conditioning costs.
- If you are thinking of changing your job or moving to a different home, try to live closer to your job.
Some electric companies charge less for electricity after 9:00 p.m.
Check with your electric company and if they charge less late at night, that is a good time to run your dish washer, clothes washer and dryer.
- Replace heating and air conditioning filters often. Dirty filters will add to heating and air conditioning costs.
If your heating and central air conditioning systems are old, they may be energy inefficient.
It may be cost-effective to replace old heating and air conditioning systems now.
This is also true for room air conditioners.
- Install foam rubber insulation gaskets behind electric outlet and light switch plates on outside walls of your house (available at many hardware stores).
- Ceiling fans can often make your home more comfortable year-round and reduce air conditioning and heating costs.
If your house has old windows and exterior doors, they may not be well insulated and may have air leaks.
If this is the case, have the air leaks plugged or consider replacing some or all of the windows and exterior doors.
If your house has oil heating and access to natural gas is available, consider converting to gas.
Natural gas will likely be less expensive going forward and the US has an ample supply of natural gas for the foreseeable future.
Consider having an energy audit of your house.
Some electric/gas companies conduct energy audits at reduced prices or for free (ask your electric/gas company).