The Energy Elf will help you avoid the Power Goblin, and show you how to make your home more energy efficient. Follow along to see what energy saving tips the Energy Goblin has discovered.
Turn off lights! The lights in most homes add up to almost 15% of their total electricity use. Turning the lights off when not in use is one really simple way to become more energy efficient.
Use energy-saving bulbs. New energy-saving light bulbs - called compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs for short – will use about 25% less energy than the old ones. And they last up to 10 times longer! Use CFLs replace the old bulbs.
Shut off computers. If you step away from the computer, and won’t be using it again for at least 2 hours, it’s best to shut it off. It uses less energy to start a computer than to let it run for a long period of time, even if it’s in sleep mode.
Use power strips. Many appliances that remain plugged in – such as TVs and computers - continue to use a small amount of energy even when they’re shut off! The effect is called “phantom” energy. Spooky. But when you plug these devices into a power strip, you can easily cut the power to all of them at once by switching off the strip. Good save!
Turn off Entertainment devices. When electronic devices such as DVD players and video game systems are left in standby mode, they continue to use electricity. Over time, all that wasted power can really add up.
Use natural light, heat & cool. Nothing in your home consumes more energy than its heating and cooling system. Ever notice how warm it can be near the window on a sunny day, even in the winter? Leaving blinds open can reduce the amount of work your home’s heater has to do, and if you want to stay cool in the summer, it helps to keep them closed.
Unplug your phone charger when not in use. Most chargers – even when they aren’t connected to a device – draw 5-20 times more power than is needed to maintain a charge. And cell phone chargers are one of the biggest culprits – think of how much time they just sit there all alone, wasting energy.
Talk to your parents about Energy Star appliances. Look for the Energy Star logo! The appliances and electronics in your house are responsible for about 20% of your home’s total energy bill. More energy efficient appliances mean more savings. When it’s time to buy new appliances, talk to your parents about looking for the Energy Star label. To receive this label, appliances must meet strict energy-efficiency guidelines.
Talk to your parents about programmable thermostats. Your home’s heating and cooling system is controlled by a thermostat which regulates temperature. By turning it back a few degrees while everyone’s asleep or away, you can easily save energy. Talk to your parents about using a programmable thermostat to do this automatically.
Talk to your parents about home improvements. Heating and cooling needs can be reduced by up to 10% by investing in proper insulation and sealing air leaks. Talk to your parents about what could be done around your home to improve its energy efficiency.