Energy Efficiency Tips
This table was mainly derived from a Rocky Mountain Institute report (in 2012). There are quite a few measures that will cost you nothing, so take a look at them first. The table lists a number of energy efficiency measures. The cost ranges are approximate. The savings column represents POTENTIAL yearly savings. These are based on assumptions which may not apply to your household but they provide a starting point. Download a copy of this list (pdf).
Cooking consumes about 3% of household energy. There are many ways we can cut energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions. Most of them are free:
putting lids on pots
cleaning the pan under the burner so it reflects more heat onto the bottom of the cooking vessel
using a Crockpot, toaster oven or microwave instead of turning on the oven when appropriate
putting the extra coffee in a thermos instead of keeping the coffee pot plugged in all morning
avoid using the toaster for one slice of bread at a time (can put as much carbon into the air - from its use of fossil-fueled electricity - as the bread contains in carbon as carbohydrate.)
When the RMI report was written (about 10 years ago) in the US, some 35 million computers, 11 million printers, 7 million fax machines, and 4 million copiers call home. RMI estimates that households that do have computers could reduce electricity consumption of such equipment by such no cost measures as:
turning them off at night (nearly three million users keep their computers, and, presumably, other home office equipment, on 24/7/52: one computer on all year uses 1,230 kWh costing $98 per year and emits, needlessly, 1,460 lbs of CO2 for the on-time of 20 hrs beyond the ~4 hrs of use-time per day for the typical home computer)
Use a programmable thermostat to automate this. Also increase temperatures even more when the house is not occupied.
Navy showers have three benefits: conserve water which is a finite resource, reduce the municipal cost of treating water and processing the extra sewage load, reducing the cost of heating the extra water.
Carbon offsets calculator.
TVs with instant on, telephone answering machines, VCRs, and plug-in tools all use ~2-6 watts.
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimated that such “phantom” or stand-by loads consume an average of 67 continuous watts in the typical home, and waste 587 kWh, $47, and 840 lbs of CO2 per year. These figures are from approx 2000, and since then the number of appliances using phantom power has increased. Devices such as Kilawatt can be used to measure the consumption of devices.
You can disconnect the equipment (NO COST) or purchase powerbars (LOW COST) which can control a number of pieces of equipment (such as for a home computer)
If the windows are designed to provide heat energy in the winter and keep heat inside the house (typical of cold climates), the Low-E coating should be applied to the inside pane of glass. Window films sell for around $45/window.
upgrade to electricity-saving laptops when buying a new computer (laptops use about 15 W compared to 140 W for typical desktops),
buy EnergyStar office equipment and enable associated software, and
plug computers, printers, and desk lights into an occupancy-sensing control strip that turns selected equipment off when you’re not around.
This may not be cost-effective if you wash clothes in cold water and take short, navy showers. You still need a water heater for those days when there is not enough sunlight. period is up, zero energy cost essentially means having free hot water for years to come.
Modifications that can be made to your heating system include creating zones in your home with individual thermostats, so that unused rooms are not being heated.
Currently models up to 20 SEER are available.
High efficiency gas furnaces (up to 96% efficiency) require external air input/output vents.)
Some utilities and Canadian provinces provide rebates to partially offset this cost.
Make sure that the installer insulates the gap between the new windows and the exterior walls.
If the windows are the original windows in a house built before 1940 it may be better to leave them alone.
The values of the cost range column are