Energy Saving Tips
Save money with these easy energy tips for your home and office!
Heating and cooling your home or office space can account for more than 50% of your utility bill.
- Purchase energy efficient heating and cooling equipment which can save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs over the life of the unit.
- Use a programmable thermostat to help regulate temperatures while away or at night -- you can save 10% a year by turning your thermostat back 7–10 degrees for 8 hours a day.
- Change furnace filters regularly – clean filters keep heating and air systems working efficiently.
- Inspect air ducts and repair leaks –heated air leaked into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your utility bill.
- Seal air leaks around your home - check windows sills and door frames, attic entrances, fireplace doors and flues, recessed lighting, outlet and switch panels, and plumbing and utility accesses into your home.
- Add insulation to your attic - one of the most cost-effective ways to regulate your household temperature year round is to add insulation.
- Use shades or drapes to control the warmth of the sun in your home during winter and summer months.
Water heating can account for almost 20% of your utility bill.
- Purchase an Energy Star water heater of the correct size to meet your family’s hot water needs - a family of four typically needs only a 50 to 60 gallon tank.
- Adjust the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees – typical households don’t need water hotter than this – and remember to turn your heater down or off when you are gone for extended periods of time.
- Insulate your hot water tank as well as the first 6 feet of the water pipes connected to the water heater.
- Periodically drain a portion of water from the bottom of the water heater according to manufacturer’s instructions to remove sediment that can lower its efficiency.
- Install low-flow faucets and shower heads - a 10 minute shower with a regular shower head can use over 40 gallons of water whereas a low flow faucet at 2.5 gallons per minute will use only 25 gallons of water.
- Use cold water for laundry – 90% of the energy consumed by your washing machines goes toward heating water.
Lighting, appliance and electronics usage can account for about 20% of your utility bill.
- Use energy efficient incandescent bulbs which last much longer and use less energy than tradition bulbs - replacing 15 traditional bulbs in your home or office with energy efficient bulbs can save you $50 a year.
- Place solar powered outdoor lights along walkways - they are inexpensive and can decrease the need for electric lights.
- Make use of timers, photocells, dimmers and three-way bulbs to control lighting usage in and outside your home or business.
- Use power strips to plug in TVs, game consoles and computers, and turn the power strips off when not in use - many electronics continue to use several watts of power when in standby mode.
- Run full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine – large and small loads require the same amount of electricity to run.
- Purchase Energy Star appliances and electronics - they use less energy than required by federal standards and will save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs over the life of the unit.
Choosing a Renewable Energy System
Want to save money and make your home more energy efficient, but don’t know where to start? Renewable energy systems allow your family to live more comfortably all year round, without worrying about a high energy bill each month.
Don’t know what type of system is right for your family?
To help you distinguish between the different types of renewable energy systems, we have created a comparison chart that highlights how each one ranks for areas you might be concerned about.
Solar Energy Panels Act
I am signing today H.R. 12874, the Solar Photovoltaic Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1978, a bill that authorizes an aggressive program of research, development, and demonstration of solar photovoltaic energy technologies.
The bill's long-term goal is to make electricity from photovoltaic systems economically competitive with electricity from conventional sources. I share that goal, and in my amended budget for fiscal year 1979 I asked the Congress for $105 million for photovoltaics research.
However, this bill also establishes specific numerical objectives for the Solar Photovoltaic Research, Development, and Demonstration program. These specific objectives are very optimistic. Technical and economic obstacles could make it difficult to meet these goals without massive Federal investments, or even with such investment. The Congress recognized that these objectives may be unrealistic and specifically provided that the Secretary should request changes in the goals if obstacles arise. Congress also recognized the risks involved in premature commercialization of solar photovoltaic technologies. It is still too early to concentrate on commercialization of photovoltaics. Photovoltaic systems hold great promise, but in the short run we must emphasize research and development, including fundamental work on the physical properties of these systems, so that this promise can be realized.
Therefore, I will not propose to the Congress that a broad Federal solar photovoltaic purchase program tied to the specific goals of this act be undertaken soon. Rather, consistent with congressional intent, we will focus on research and development that will accelerate cost reductions. We will also continue, where appropriate, small, carefully targeted photovoltaic purchases to meet technical objectives. This approach should lay a firm foundation for the advancement of solar power from photovoltaics in the future.
NOTE.: As enacted, H.R. 12874 is Public Law 95-590, approved November 4.
The statement was released on November 6.