Ten Simple Energy-Saving Tips to Start Today
October is Energy Awareness Month. As temperatures drop this time of year, it’s the perfect time to think about your energy use and ways to use energy more efficiently. Every day we work to change the way people use energy through innovative energy programs such as home energy audits, distributed energy resources, electric vehicle shared charging, etc. Implementing changes from energy programs can equal big savings, but small changes can also make a big impact. That’s why we put together ten simple energy tips to start today.
1. Walk or bike. Next time you head out, choose to walk or bike instead of taking your car wherever possible. On average, the energy one family uses driving cars daily is roughly 10 times what we need to power a house for one day. Using a more sustainable choice always makes a difference.
2. Dim your screen. Assess the brightness of your computer screen and reduce the brightness. Turning your computer screen’s brightness down to 70 percent can save you up to 20 percent more energy and make your battery last even longer.
3. Opt out of spam emails. From unread newsletters to expired promotions, spam emails waste space and use around 33 billion kWh of electricity every year, according to one McAfee study. By opting out, you can help lower send lists to reduce their energy use, while clearing space in your inbox.
4. Wash your clothes on cold. Approximately 90 percent of the energy you use washing clothes comes from heating the water. Choosing to wash your clothes on cold can significantly reduce the energy you use in every load. Plus, it’s often better for clothes in the long run!
5. Shop small. Shop local. By heading to a business nearby instead of ordering online, you’ll reduce the electricity needed to shop without sacrificing convenience. You’ll also get to meet the makers and markets in your community, whose creative energy helps keep our local economies strong. It’s a win-win for the environment and your local small businesses.
6. Unplug when not in use! How many devices do you have plugged in and not in use at home right now? Take a quick walk around and unplug a few things you don’t use frequently to avoid drawing unnecessary power to those items.
7. Avoid using extra electricity during peak times. When it’s extremely hot or cold it puts a strain on the energy grid. If you have an electric vehicle, do not plug it in during peak times. Avoid doing laundry during this time. Run your AC at a higher temperature and your heat at a lower temperature. Once the peak time has passed, you can draw more power.
8. Listen to music offline. If you were to stream music or podcasts for an entire eight-hour workday, you’d burn through nearly 1 GB.
9. Regularly clean or replace filters in your home. Dirty filters make your system work harder and run longer than necessary. Plus, changing filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations is a great way to keep your home healthy.
10. Donate, reuse, or buy a gently used costume for Halloween! The textile industry consumes much more energy than you might think, especially when you include the transportation needed to move materials worldwide. By reusing an old costume or donating to a local thrift store, you’ll help reduce the energy required to make new materials. Plus, you may even end up with the most unique costume in the neighborhood!
These energy-saving tips are by no means exhaustive, but they’re easy and accessible changes that make a real impact on our world for future generations. Being mindful of your energy use is a step in the right direction toward all our energy and sustainability goals. These tips show small lifestyle changes can have a major impact. If you’re looking for more ways to revolutionize how you use energy, get in touch.