Unplug appliances when they arent in use
. Did you know that appliances that are plugged in keep using energy, even when theyre switched off Even an appliance as small as a coffee pot continues slowly sapping energy every moment it stays plugged in, long after the last cup of coffee has been consumed. Power down your computer and unplug it at the end of the day. Computers use a lot of energy, and when they stay plugged in youre wasting both energy and money.Dont leave your TV plugged in a
Turn off the lights
. This is the simplest, most common way to save electricity, and it really works. Start paying attention to how many lights are on in your house at a given time. Be mindful of how many lights you really need to be using at once. When you leave a room, make a habit of turning off the lights, every single time. If you really want to go all out, have your family use just one or two rooms at night, rather than spreading out all over the house and keepi
Change your bulbs
. Replacing regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED bulbs is a big energy savor. Incandescent bulbs release most of their energy through heat, while CFL and LED bulbs are more energy efficient and last much longer.CFL bulbs were the first alternative to incandescent bulbs, and they use only about 1/4 the energy of incandescent bulbs. They contain trace amounts of mercury, so they must be disposed of properly when they
Embrace natural light
. Open up your curtains and let the sun shine in! Using natural light whenever possible instead of relying on artificial light can greatly reduce the amount of electricity you use during the day. The same is true whether you work in an office or spend your days in your house. Exposure to natural light also increases happiness,giving you an even greater incentive to raise the blinds.Try to arrange your workspace so that natural light floods your des
Use less hot water
. Heating water takes a lot of energy. Its not necessary to take cold showers, but being mindful of how much hot water you use, and how the water is being heated, can save a lot of electricity and money.Make sure your water heater is insulated so that it isnt losing too much heat. Consider getting a water heater that doesnt run on a continuously lit pilot light.Take showers instead of baths. Baths use a lot more water than showers.Take shorter sho
Use the air conditioner less frequently
. Sometimes its unavoidable to use the air conditioner, but theres no reason to have it on from the beginning of spring to the end of the summer without ever turning it off. Find other ways to cool yourself down when possible.
Service your air conditioner
. Roughly half of an average homes annual energy bill (gas and electric), about $1,000, is spent on heating and cooling. Air conditioners placed in direct sunlight use up to 10 percent more electricity. If yours sits in the sun, plant tall shrubs or shade trees nearby but dont enclose the unit or impede the airflow. Place window units on the north side of the house or install an awning over them.Keep your window or central air conditioner tuned up
Kill energy vampires
. Seventy five percent of the electrical use by home electronics occurs when theyre turned off, according to the Department of Energy. These energy vampires suck electricity all day long costing you an extra $100 each year. So if youd like to keep that Ben Franklin in your wallet, unplug your electronics or plug them into a power strip, then turn off the strip.Dont worry about losing the settings on new computers and TVs. They have a memory chip th
Clean out the lint for dryer efficiency
. A clogged lint screen or dryer duct drastically reduces the efficiency of your dryer, whether its gas or electric. Clean the lint screen after each load and clean the exhaust duct once a year. The cleaner shown here has an auger brush that attaches to a drill to clean out the ducts. Its available at home centers.Electric dryers use about $85 of electricity annually. A dirty lint screen can cause the dryer to use up to 30 percent more electricity
Change furnace filter
. Keeping your furnace (gas or electric) tuned up has two big benefits: It makes the furnace run efficiently and it prolongs the furnaces life span. And you can perform the annual tune up yourself in about three hours. Change the filter every month of the heating season (or year round if the filter is also used for A/C). Be sure you insert the new one so it faces the right way. The filter protects the blower and its motor; a clogged filter makes th
Save on electric water heating
. If you only use an electric water heater at certain times of the day, youre wasting electricity keeping the water hot 24-7. To solve that problem, install an electronic timer switch (Photo 1; sold at home centers). Timers are available for 120 and 240 volt heaters. They can be programmed for daily or weekly schedules so you only heat the water when you need it. A timer can save you $25 per year.To make your water heater even more efficient, drai
Get smart metering
. Smart metering programs vary among utility companies, but the basic idea is the same: The utility installs a special smart meter that tracks how much electricity youre using. The utility uses that data to make sure its power grid doesnt get overloaded and cause blackouts. If the grid nears capacity, the utility can shut off major appliances in homes for short periods of time (such as 15 minutes per hour). Not all companies offer smart metering, b
Run your refrigerator for less
. Your refrigerator uses more electricity than all your other kitchen appliances combined. To keep its energy costs down, clean the coils twice a year, which improves efficiency by 30 to 50 percent. Your fridge and freezer run more efficiently when theyre full. Put water containers in the fridge and ice bags in your freezer to keep them filled. Keep the refrigerator setting between 35 and 38 degrees and the freezer between 0 and 5 degrees F.Refrige
Buy Energy Star appliances
. When you shop for appliances, look for the Energy Star label. It means the appliance meets certain energy efficiency guidelines. The average household spends $2,000 each year on energy bills. Energy Star says that appliances bearing its label can cut those bills by 30 percent, for an annual savings of about $600. But you dont have to replace everything to see a savings. Just replacing an eight year old refrigerator with a new Energy Star model ca
Install smarter switches
. Motion sensors (occupancy sensors) automatically turn lights on and off so you only get (and pay for!) light when you need it (Photo 1). Using motion sensors can save you $100 per year. Some motion sensors need to be manually turned on but turn off automatically. Theyre great for bedrooms because they wont turn on when you move in your sleep.Some switches are installed in junction boxes; others are wireless. You can also buy light fixtures with b
Switch to CFLs
. Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) is one of the quickest, easiest ways to save money and a place everyone can start. CFLs use about 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. This can save you up to $35 in electric costs over the lifetime of each bulb. Switching to CFLs in the five most frequently used fixtures in your house will save about $60 per year, according to Energy
Reduce excessive heating or cooling
. Space heating in winter is a big power guzzler, and the same for summer cooling for those homes with cooling systems. Use localised equipment rather than central air conditioning or heating systems, and only heat or cool occupied rooms. The room temperature should not be more than 10 degrees (Celsius) more or less than the outside/ ambient temperature. Fan or oil heaters with thermostats are best, and avoid under floor heating. In summer use a fa
Install an efficient shower head
. Cape Town water bylaws limit shower flow rates to no more than 10 litres per minute. To test this at home, hold a bucket under the showerhead for 12 seconds. Measure the amount of water within the bucket with a measuring jug. If there is more than 2 litres then your showerhead is inefficient. A good, modern product will save both water and electricity without compromising your shower experience, and the saving usually pays back the investment wit
Install efficient lighting
. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) use 75% less power than old incandescent bulbs, and last much longer. Note that CFLs contain small amounts of harmful chemicals, so please dispose of them safely. Best is to take them to safe drop off points e.g. at retailers like Woolworths or Pick n Pay. New light emitting diodes, or LEDs, are even more efficient than CFLs, and last 130 times longer than CFL bulbs. They have limited applications in homes at this
Install a solar water heater
. This can save the most electricity of all. It typically saves about two thirds of water heating cost, but this varies and it should be installed with a timer for the best possible saving. With rising electricity tariffs, and the new subsidies from Eskom , the payback period is now no more than 5 years. Install a heat pump as an alternative, if a solar water heater is not possible. Heat pumps can achieve similar savings but they are a new technolo
Insulate the ceiling roof
. A ceiling and good roof insulation can keep the home 5 degrees (Celsius) warmer in winter, and 10 degrees cooler in summer. More comfortable indoor temperatures mean less need for electrical heating and cooling, with savings of about 75% for adding both a ceiling and insulation, or 25% for just adding insulation (if there is already a ceiling). Insulating other parts of the house also helps (e.g. stopping heat loss through windows or under doors)
Less Use of Fossil Fuels
. Electricity can be obtained from solar or wind power, but most electricity used in homes comes from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil or coal. These fuels are needed to power the turbines that produce electricity. These resources are not unlimited or renewable; the faster they are used and the more electricity that is consumed, the quicker they will be depleted.
Use appliances and electronics responsibly
. Appliances and electronics account for about 20% of household energy bills in a typical U.S. home. The following are tips that will reduce the required energy of electronics and appliances Refrigerators and freezers should not be located near the stove, dishwasher or heat vents, or exposed to direct sunlight. Exposure to warm areas will force them to use more energy to remain cool.Computers should be shut off when not in use. If unattended comput
Monitor your fuel economy
. It may be boring, but it matters in two ways.Firstly, over multiple tanks of fuel or for consistent trips, like commuting to work, measuring fuel economy helps you to see if making changes to your driving has a considerable effect on your fuel gas mileage.Secondly, if you have instantaneous estimate of fuel economy on your dash board you can use it to help you optimize your driving style for fuel gas mileage. This is particularly useful for impr
Maintain your motor
. Looking after your car can not only help improve fuel economy a little, but is important for safety and the longevity of your vehicle.According to the EPA having your car properly tuned can improve gas mileage by up to 4%, properly inflating tires can help as much as 3% and using the correct oil is good for up to 2%.Essentially you want to make sure your car is rolling smoothly and combusting fuel efficiently. Bad wheel alignment, an under infla
Turn down the thermostat
. Turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree can reduce your energy consumption by over 5%. You wont even notice the difference in room temperature. On the same note, dont heat rooms when you are not using them.
Decrease the hot water temperature
. Your hot water thermostat neednt be higher than 60 degrees centigrade (140 degrees Fahrenheit). Any higher and you will only be mixing it with cold water to cool it back down for use.Give your boiler regular checkups, especially if you have had it for a few years.
. Only use the washing machine when you have collected a full load. If you must wash a partial load, use the economy or half load setting. Also, modern washers work just as effectively at 40 degrees Centigrade (100 F) as they do at 60 (140 F), but the reduced temperature will make a difference in terms of energy used.Tumble dryers use up a huge amount of energy. If possible, hang your clothes on a line instead. This is better for your clothes as we
Switch your ceiling fan
. To turn in a counter clockwise direction In the summer; in the winter, run it at low speed, but clockwise.
Change or clean your AC s air filters
. At least once a month to keep your system running at peak performance.
Make sure your AC has a rating
. Or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio SEER of 15. Not only will your AC be more efficient, you could also be eligible for a rebate up to.
Make saving automatic
. Set your thermostat fan switch to auto to save energy. Leaving it in the on position keeps air running constantly.
Insulate your walls
. With injected foam insulation to help you save energy by keeping hot outside air from seeping through porous block walls check with your local building supply company for details.
Give your AC tune up
. Running an inefficient AC system can result in high monthly bills. Plus, you could qualify for a rebate.
Check for household leaks
. To make sure air isnt escaping through openings such as fireplace dampers, doors and windows.
Use ceiling fans
. To cool off for less. Ceiling fans use no more electricity than a standard light bulb. However, be sure to turn fans off when you leave they only cool people, not rooms.
Cover all bare floors
. Carpeting or rugs add to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
Give your air compressor space
. To work efficiently. Never stack anything against your HVAC or drape anything over it.
Buy bulbs for less
. Check out the Duke Energy Progress Residential Lighting Program to find local retailers who offer energy efficient compact fluorescent CFL bulbs at discounted prices.
Replace standard bulbs with CFLs
. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more energy efficient than regular bulbs, while giving off the same amount of light.
Use the right bulb
. Make sure youre using the appropriate CFL bulb for your light fixture they come in various sizes and types for different lighting needs.
Replace halogen light bulbs
. which can get hot enough to be a fire hazard, with CFLs they use less energy and dont get as hot.
Keep your freezer full
. It uses less energy than an empty one. For maximum savings, consider filling your freezer with gallon containers of water.
Replace your refrigerator
. Look for the yellow EnergyGuide label to compare features. Choose models with improved insulation and power saving switches.
Turn off your water heater
. Until if you plan on leaving home for a few days. And you get back. Most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour.
Choose the right water heater
. For your needs. While they may promise savings, tankless models are pricey to install and on demand water heaters may actually increase your electric bill.
Avoid energy vampires
. Even when theyre turned off, home electronics in standby mode use energy to power features like clock displays.
Unplug battery chargers
. when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use. Many chargers draw power continuously, even when the device is not plugged into the charger.
Reduce the strain on your AC
. By applying reflective coating. This will help you save by decreasing the amount of heat coming into your home.
Keep your roof lasting longer
. Reflective roofs not only reduce heat buildup, they also prevent the expansion and contraction that degrade roofs.
. Motion sensors are the perfect solution for left on lights. They turn off automatically so you don t waste electricity.Motion sensors occupancy sensors automatically turn lights on and off so you only get and pay for! light when you need it. Using motion sensors can save you 100 per year. Some motion sensors need to be manually turned on but turn off automatically. Theyre great for bedrooms because they wont turn on when you move in you
Water heater timer
. A timer turns on the water heater only when you need it, so you dont waste electricity heating and reheating water that sits in the tank.If you only use an electric water heater at certain times of the day, youre wasting electricity keeping the water hot 24/7. To solve that problem, install an electronic timer switch Photo 1; sold at home centers . Timers are available for 120 and 240 volt heaters. They can be programmed for daily or weekly