The start of a new year is a great time to revamp your routines and craft better habits. You might resolve to join a gym, vow to go to bed earlier, eat more vegetables, or read more books. But don’t stop with working towards a better you! Work towards a better environment and a lower utility bill! At EnerChange, we think the start of a new year is a perfect opportunity to reduce energy consumption with a few easy changes. If you’re interested in saving energy and cutting energy costs at home or at the office, start small. Pick one or two of these energy saving techniques, and resolve to stick with it in 2013.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Remember this at the office, not just at home. Commercial buildings use more energy for lighting than residences, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
- Turn off your computer when not in use. At the very least, use the “sleep” or “hibernate” mode. Most computers allow you to configure the sleep mode to activate automatically after a period of inactivity.
- Unplug phone chargers, camera chargers, small kitchen appliances, hair dryers, and any other electronics when not in use.
- Set the thermostate to 68 degrees in winter, and rely on sweaters for additional warmth.
- Only run the dishwasher for full loads, and use the shortest cycle possible.
- Replace incandescent lightbulbs with LED lights or compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to use 75-90% less energy.
- If you’re not recycling, start now. Invest in plastic recycling bins for inside your kitchen or office space, and educate your family or coworkers about what can be recycled and what can’t be. Many cities, including Minneapolis, are introducing single-sort recycling, making it even easier to do your part.
- Reduce your reliance on the clothes dryer. Hang clothes to dry outside, or install twine, rope, or cables in the laundry room for air drying. Dryers are one of the biggest energy drainers in homes, second only to refrigerators and air conditioners.
- Wash clothes in cold water. It takes a significant amount of energy to heat hot water, and most clothes do just fine without it.
If you’re interested in learning more about ways to reduce energy consumption, contact EnerChange to schedule a free energy audit. EnerChange provides free energy audits for non-profit organizations. We’ll analyze your bill, review your building, connect with services offered by your utility company, and help maximize energy efficiency rebates.