Humans are conducive to adopting certain habits. This can be looked at as a flaw but, also can be a strength. The difference on whether or not it’s a flaw or strength is whether or not it’s a good or bad habit.
You are probably wondering what does this have to do with “energy saving tips”? Well, that’s a great question. The energy efficiency/building science industry focuses mostly on the performance of the building itself. The part of this industry that is often forgotten, even by energy professionals, is the performance of the individual or homeowner. GreenEdge, through our Home Energy Audit, can run all the tests and numbers on how a building should perform given a certain retrofit or applied technology, but if that isn’t used in conjunction with addressing the homeowner’s habits/behavior, it can be ineffective.
A common misconception in this industry is that it’s expensive to apply some of the energy efficient upgrades. This also happens when individuals consider building an energy efficient home verses the typical home. The truth of the matter is many energy saving measures can be done by simply altering current habits and not spending a dime at all. Don’t spend thousands of dollars installing solar panels to supplement your electricity if you have a habit of leaving all the lights on all day, or not using your programmable thermostat because you don’t feel like reading the directions. The point I am trying to make is if you are considering more expensive energy upgrades to your home or even if you are not, consider changing some of your everyday habits. You would be surprised at how much energy you will save, which means your hard earned money stays in your pocket. Using a programmable thermostat can save the average homeowner around $180 annually if used correctly (Energystar.gov).
Here are some small things that you can start doing today:
- Turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Switch to CFL or LED light bulbs
- Putting your lights on dimmer switches and/or using motion sensors for some areas of the home.
- Don’t use that 20 year old refrigerator in the garage or basement to store beer (get a new one for that).
- Set the programmable thermostat to turn the heat/AC down during the hours you are gone.
- Use “smart” power strips on your devices that use standby power….see recent BLOG post.
- Turn off TV’s and other devices that are not being used.
- Consolidate laundry into larger loads.
- Don’t run the dishwasher until it is full.
- Taking shorter showers.
- Consider wearing warmer clothes in the winter and turning down the heat (opposite in the summer).
I’ll be honest each of these by themselves won’t save you enough money to be rich but, stringing together a bunch of these habits can really make a difference to your annual bottom line. Sure, these good habits can be tough to get going, but the great part about human behavior is once we get that habit started it tends to stick.
When we consult with our clients we make the time to address some of these simple energy saving habits which do go a long way.
Many of these topics listed above will be talked about in more detail in future BLOG posts. Stay tuned and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up to receive these BLOG posts in a monthly email by simply putting in your email address on the right bar of this page and clicking submit. To learn more about GreenEdge’s services, please CLICK HERE!