Energy Saving Importance and Tips for the Home

The most likely reason for someone to Google “energy saving tips for the home” is to save money. But there are so many other reasons we should be watching our electricity consumption because it impacts so much more than our wallets. Let’s explore why saving energy goes beyond costs, and how we can be more mindful of the planet we live on for future generations to come.

 

energy saving

Decrease the Use of Fossil Fuels

When we conserve electricity, we are using less fossil fuels to power our homes. The electricity in the U.S. is mainly produced by the burning of coal, natural gas, and oil (67%), with a small percentage (16%) being renewable energy. If you aren’t using an electrical company that uses renewable energy or green energy, and you don’t have solar panels installed on your roof, your electricity powering your home is probably produced through the burning of fossil fuels. If we don’t want to see our nation’s coal, oil, and natural gas supply become depleted, we need to burn less fossil fuels. If we can make simple energy saving decisions, we can protect our non-renweable sources like coal and oil from becoming extinct.

Decrease Air Pollution and Global Warming

If energy saving techniques are implemented in the home to decrease our fossil fuel use, we are also decreasing air pollution. The burning of fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide into the air, a main contributor of global warming, among other pollutants like nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and hydrocarbons. Until we can move into more renewable sources of energy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (see Obama’s Clean Power Plan), the best way we can decrease air pollution and prevent the damaging effects of global warming from the burning of fossil fuels is to reduce our energy consumption.

fossil fuels
Burning of Fossil Fuels

 

Decrease Our Water and Land Pollution

Coal and oil transportation and production affects our water and land. Water pollution has occurred many times due to oil spills, affecting ocean life and plant life. Coal has also been a contributor to water pollution as well. The compounds that make up coal create a dilute acid that is washed away into streams and rivers when water runs through coal mines. Coal is also a contributor to land pollution during the coal mining process. Not only does mining create soil erosion, but the processes of strip mining and mountaintop removal exposes other toxic pollutant substances found underground. These pollutants found when mining coal get washed away and buried into valleys, also having an impact on animal and plant life.

 

The next time you turn on a light switch or open your refrigerator, ask yourself this simple question: “Can I do more to improve my energy consumption?” The answer is always YES, even if you aren’t ready to switch your electricity company from PECO to one that is “100% Green”. Here are a few things you can do to conserve energy in your home:

Energy Saving Tips for the Home

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED light bulbs – replacing just 5 of your most used light fixtures with ENERGY STAR rated bulbs can save you $75 a year!
  • Turn off lights when you are not using a room
  • Use dimmer switches for indoor lights
  • Use a timer for outdoor lights or have a licensed electrician install a motion sensor light
  • Turn off and unplug electronics when not in use
  • Replace all major appliances with ENERGY STAR rated appliances
  • Have a licensed electrician install ceiling fans for the summer – this can make you feel cooler so you will use less of your air conditioning
  • Use a power strip for electronics and turn the power strip off when the electronics are not in use
  • Unplug battery chargers
  • Install a programmable thermostat for your AC and heating system

 

These are just a handful of many different things you can do to conserve energy. For more energy saving tips, visit:

 

http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/energy-saver-guide-tips-saving-money-and-energy-home

 

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