Have you ever put time and sweat into a project – at work, around the house, as a volunteer – only to learn after the fact that there was an easier or faster way to do it?
While you might be frustrated now, you will be delighted to get the same or better outcome with less effort next time.
Energy efficiency is all about getting the same or better outcome with less energy. It also brings other significant benefits, including potential savings on your gas and electric bills, improved performance of devices and appliances, and ultimately, a cleaner, greener environment. Increased adoption of energy efficiency also brings new jobs in construction, plumbing, electrical work, building design and maintenance, and other industries.
October 4, 2023, is Energy Efficiency Day across the United States. According to EnergyEfficiencyDay.org, there are 1,137 local governments, universities, organizations, corporations and other stakeholders have pledged to participate this year in the annual event and awareness campaign. The goal is to share tips and tools that promote the multiple benefits of energy efficiency.
To celebrate Energy Efficiency Day, here are five projects you can do around the house to reduce energy usage. Remember, just a little bit of effort can lead to significant benefits.
- Clean out your fridge. Cleaning out the refrigerator is no one’s idea of a picnic (though it might be a good excuse to have one), but according to experts at the U.S. Department of Energy, “it is essential for optimal energy and cooling performance as well as assuring the health of you and your family.”
- Switch to LED: LED lights last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs and consume up to 90% less electricity. It’s also important to switch your lights off when you are not home or, at a minimum, put them on a timer.
- Service your air conditioner routinely: According to the Department of Energy, routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15%. So, keep your cool and lower your energy bill, too.
- Insulate your hot water tank. You don’t have to jump in on the cold plunge craze – you can reduce your energy usage and keep your hot shower, too. According to the Department of Energy, “Just like insulating your walls or roof, insulating your electric water heater is an easy and inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency and save you money each month. If you have an older water heater, check if it has insulation with an R-value of at least 24. If you don’t know the R-value, touch the tank. Consider insulating your electric water heater if it’s warm to the touch.”
- Adjust your thermostat or install a programmable thermostat: The adjustments that will provide the most cost-effective savings include adjusting your thermostat when you are not home, lowering the heat on your thermostat in the winter and using the air conditioning less in the summer. According to Energy Sage, heating and cooling costs make up half of a home’s energy bills. On average, a programmable thermostat can help you save up to $180 per year.
The benefits of practicing ways to reduce energy usage are significant to lower energy costs, reduce harmful carbon emissions that pollute our air and water, and help to preserve our natural resources. RESA invites you to share ways to practice energy efficiency by sharing these tips and tagging @RESAUSA #EEDay2023.