U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Energy Savers Tips

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Save Energy and Money Today

Tips to Save Energy Today

Easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy.

  • Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.

  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR® label.

  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.

  • Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.

  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).

  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°F.

  • Take short showers instead of baths.

  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.

  • Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.

  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Visit http://www.energysavers.gov/ for more energy-saving ideas.

Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. And each year, electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. And as for the road, transportation accounts for 67% of all U.S. oil consumption. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to save energy and money at home and in your car. Start making small changes today (see sidebar). To cut your energy use up to 25%, see the Long-Term Savings Tips throughout this booklet.

The key to achieving these savings in your home is a whole-house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole-house approach, view your home as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example, your heating system is not just a furnace—it's a heat-delivery system that starts at the furnace and delivers heat throughout your home using a network of ducts. Even a top-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnace will waste a lot of fuel if the ducts, walls, attic, windows, and doors are not properly sealed and insulated. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest to save energy are spent wisely.

Energy-efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term financial rewards. Reduced utility bills more than make up for the higher price of energy-efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes. In addition, your home could bring in a higher price when you sell.

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Content Last Updated: 1/22/2009