How to Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Many of these tips were originally posted via THE NATIONAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL
EASY ENERGY-SAVING HABITS
Don’t forget the basics. This simple stuff will save energy — and money — right now.
Unplug seldom-used appliances, like an extra refrigerator in the basement or garage that contains just a few items. You may save around $10 every month on your utility bill.
Unplug your chargers when you’re not charging. Every house is full of little plastic power supplies to charge cell phones, PDA’s, digital cameras, cordless tools and other personal gadgets. Keep them unplugged until you need them.
Use power strips to switch off televisions, home theater equipment, and stereos when you’re not using them. Even when you think these products are off, together, their “standby” consumption can be equivalent to that of a 75 or 100 watt light bulb running continuously.
Set Computers to Sleep and Hibernate
Enable the “sleep mode” feature on your computer, allowing it to use less power during periods of inactivity. In Windows, the power management settings are found on your control panel. Mac users, look for energy saving settings under system preferences in the apple menu.
Configure your computer to “hibernate” automatically after 30 minutes or so of inactivity. The “hibernate mode” turns the computer off in a way that doesn’t require you to reload everything when you switch it back on. Allowing your computer to hibernate saves energy and is more time-efficient than shutting down and restarting your computer from scratch. When you’re done for the day, shut down.
Take Control of Temperature
Put your thermostat on a timer so that heating and cooling occurs only when you really need it.
Use sunlight wisely. During the heating season, leave shades and blinds open on sunny days, but close them at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows. Close shades and blinds during the summer or when the air conditioner is in use or will be in use later in the day.
Set the thermostat on your water heater between 120 and 130 degrees. Lower temperatures can save more energy, but you might run out of hot water or end up using extra electricity to boost the hot water temperature in your dishwasher.
Wash your clothing in cold water. Most modern washing detergents are cold-suitable. Cold water is also more gentle on your fabrics, so your clothing will last longer. Bonus!
Use air dry vs. heat dry for your dishwasher. Your dishes will still dry without the extra energy of the washer’s heating element.