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5 Bright Ideas to Reduce Energy Use

Updated on July 5, 2011

In a society where we flip a switch, and a light comes on, it's easy to forget at what cost our energy comes... and I don't just mean in terms of the electricity bill. While we push for a shift towards renewable energy, we all need to use what we do have responsibly.

How much damage is your household doing? This energy use calculator can give you an idea of the average wattage and operating costs required by your household appliances. Even if you already own all Energy Star appliances, there’s more you can do. A few quick tips to reduce your energy usage:

5 Ways to Use Less Energy

  1. Buy compact fluorescent bulbs. They may be slightly more expensive per bulb, but last up to 10 times longer. Using 75% less energy than a standard incandescent, they save you $30 or more in electricity bills over the lifetime of a single bulb.
  2. Refrigerators eat up the most elecricity of any appliance in the average household. Set the temperature on your refrigerator to 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and your freezer to 0 degrees to maximize efficiency.
  3. Even if you can’t refit your entire home with solar panels, it’s easy enough to set up solar-powered lighting for your yard and patio, where they soak up the sun all day, and shine bright all night.
  4. Switch your desktop computer for a notebook or laptop, or at the very least exchange your boxy monitor for a flat-screen. They use a lot less energy in the long run.
  5. Unplug appliances you’re not using. Even when off, the television and computer still draw power. Don’t just hit the light switch at night–unplug that lamp on your side table.

If you’re wondering what’s in it for you (beyond the obvious aid to the environment), challenge yourself to make each of these changes for a month solid, and then check the impact on your energy bill. It takes 21 days to make a habit, so they say, and in this case, it only takes one billing cycle to see the results!

Check out the products below to help you get started on your quest for a more eco-friendly (and wallet-friendly) electricity bill, and leave your own tips for green energy usage in the comments below!


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    • watergeek profile image


      6 years ago from Pasadena CA

      This was a quick, easy, and informative read. Thanks Maddie. I might add that reducing hot water consumption is an easy way to save energy (via water efficient showerheads, faucets, clothes washer), and so is installing a solar hot water heater - presuming sun hits your roof.

    • PaperNotes profile image


      8 years ago

      Didn't know 37 and 0 degrees for the fridge could make it more efficient. thanks for the tip!

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      9 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      nice hub with useful tips, just to add, ironing your clothes all together once a week, rather than doing it partially everyday will also save a great amont of electricity.

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image


      9 years ago from Earth

      Great tips, and I also agree..thanks for the idea Ralph, I've done this. =)

      I also tend to just use my television for light whenever possible. I'm already watching it, why should I turn on another light if its dark? ;P


    • profile image

      Latrelle Ross 

      9 years ago

      What a great hub! It's so important to simply become aware of how much energy we are using instead of blindly continuing with the way we have always done things.

      Thanks for all the tips.

    • sammyaddams profile image


      9 years ago

      excellent advice. They are all really simple tips to follow yet very effective.

    • treadmills profile image


      9 years ago

      Simple but useful tips, thanks for posting

      I try my best to be aware of my energy consumtion but sometimes I get lazy :o)

    • Isela profile image


      9 years ago

      I read your hub to my family, and we sat down and together pin pointed things we can start doing. Thanks for a great Hub!

    • ocbill profile image


      9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I like tips #2 and 5. Although, for #2 not everyone has a refrigerator that gives you 3 digits to choose from.  Ours is only "0 through 9".  I always preach #5 to people. Good Hub !

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great Piece ! great advice, even if everybody just did one or two of those things what a difference it would make.

    • profile image

      gwyn estember 

      9 years ago

      this is what we should focus on, now that we are having a world crisis. starting to save on small things is what we can do to help save this dying world...

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi Maddie, Very good suggestions. It is very relevant to me, in our country Nepal. We have power cut for 16 hours a day as load shedding due to shortage of capacity to meet increasing demand. Just few days back our load shedding time reduced to 12 hours a day due to rain.

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      9 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Good one, Ralph. I guess I was coming at this from too much of an apartment-dweller's perspective... I have no control over the water heater in my building. Nor do I have any idea where it is. ;) But for the homeowner, it's a great idea.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      How about turning down the temperature setting on the hot water heater? And making sure your water heater is well insulated.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 

      9 years ago

      Good article, ideas and resources...


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