Turn off that light! - Sustainable Stamford, CTSaving electricity has a direct impact on the environment — and on your budget.

About 70% of all electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. Electricity generating plants spewed out more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2006.

Conserving electricity also reduces the load on power plants and power lines. So utilities need to spend less money building new power plants or upgrading existing ones.

Here are some easy ways to curb electrical usage:

  • Turn off lights when you leave a room. Do this even if it's just for a few minutes, because those minutes add up. For added convenience, install a motion detector switch.
  • Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They use a quarter of the energy that regular bulbs do, and last 10 times longer.
  • Keep your major appliances clean. This includes:
    • Cleaning filters and coils in air your conditioner
    • Removing lint from your clothes dryer
    • Cleaning the condenser in your refrigerator and freezerThese appliances are more energy efficient than ordinary ones. They may be slightly more expensive, but they more than make up for the added cost through energy savings.

  • Buy ENERGY STAR qualified appliances. These appliances are more energy efficient than ordinary ones. They may be slightly more expensive, but they more than make up for the added cost through energy savings.
  • Use cold water for your clothes washer's rinse cycle. If you have an electric water heater, as much as 94% of the energy used by the washer may be going to heat the water.
  • Turn the thermostat on your water heater down to 120 degrees. The water will feel just as hot, and you'll save electricity in the bargain.
  • Adjust the thermostat on your air conditioner or electric heater so it consumes less power and still keeps you comfortable.
  • Seal cracks and drafts in your house so heat doesn't escape in winter and seep in during summer. Heat loss and excess heat both steal energy.
  • Use drapes and shades to shield rooms from the sun, keeping the room cooler.
  • Run hot water from your faucet into the sink for a few moments before you turn on the dishwasher. This will ensure the water entering your dishwasher is hot.
  • When renovating your home or building a new one, consider letting in natural light through skylights or "sun tunnels."
  • Use solar power wherever you can. Everyday examples include hot water heaters and patio and walkway lights.
  • Install motion sensing outdoor lights.

 

 


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