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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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