Carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for up to 77% of polluting greenhouse gas emissions. 

 

With just a small amount of effort, you can help make a lasting impact on the environment and reverse the trends of climate change for future generations by cutting your personal CO2. And you’ll money at the same time!

 

There are lots of ways to reduce your home’s energy usage and CO2, from switching to LED light bulbs to installing energy efficient appliances. 

 

Now check out our list of energy saving tips and start sharing in the effort to safeguard the Earth now by reducing your carbon footprint with these simple ideas that will also save you money:

  1. Use Renewable Energy to Power Your Home
  • Over 30% of energy-related CO2 in the U.S. is associated with electricity
  • If you live in a de-regulated energy state where consumers have a choice of energy providers, select a 100% renewable energy plan 
    • For example, in the largest deregulated state, Texas, you can view low cost green energy plans (alongside fossil-sourced plans) from major providers at HomeEnergyClub.com. In 2020, the first green energy “price parity” (grid parity) site, GetGreenEnergy.com will offer 100% green energy plans from major providers in all deregulated states for less than fossil-sourced plans; this groundbreaking site is expected to initiate mass adoption of renewable energy plans. 
  • By converting to a green plan, a small or mid-size home that burns an average of about 1000 kWh of energy per month will cut 1,159 pounds of CO2, equivalent to the amount of CO2 absorbed annually by 3,600 young trees
  • If you live in a regulated energy state that provides home solar subsidies, the government incentive can offset the cost of solar panel equipment. 
    • In addition, there are federal home solar subsidies available
  1. Improve Attic Insulation
  • The Dept. of Energy estimates that a properly insulated attic can reduce your energy consumption and give you savings of 10 to 50% off your monthly bill
  •  Although commonly used fiberglass has a lower upfront cost and is easy to apply and replace, this type of insulation can hide air leaks and is less efficient
  • Green home builders recommend that blown-in cellulose insulation has a better R-Value Rating of 3.2-3.9, which gives it much better insulation quality

 

  1. Use Appliances Certified by Energy Star Program
    • Purchase Energy Star Products which are certified to be more energy efficient, reducing your energy consumption between 10 to 50% each year
      • Energy Star is a program of the U.S. Dept. of Energy
    • Water heaters are one of the most energy-consuming appliances. When you buy a new water heater, make sure it has an Energy Star rating with an R-Value of at least 24. 
      • This can give you an annual energy savings of at least 16%

 

  1. Get a Smart Thermostat 
    • A smart thermostat will learn your preferences and suggest settings to conserve energy, reducing your home heating and cooling energy use up to 15%

 

  1. Buy LED Lightbulbs
    • Although LEDs have a higher upfront cost, the cost is offset by having a much longer lifetime 
    • They will reduce your CO2 and save you money by using 1/3rd to 1/30th of the energy of incandescent light bulbs

 

  1. Turn Off Lights 
  • Lighting usage accounts for around 11% of your home’s energy
  • Installing smart light switches on existing light fixtures can save energy by turning lights off when you are not using rooms, and have added benefits like dimming or remote usage

 

  1. Unplug Your Devices 
  • Many electronics will consume energy when plugged in, even when not in use
  •  Stand-by energy can be lessened by using an advanced or smart power strip 
    • By simply unplugging or flicking the “off” button on a power strip you can save on your energy costs and help reduce your individual carbon footprint by 20% or more

 

  1. Place Exterior Shading Around your House
  • Carefully positioned trees can reduce a household’s energy consumption for   heating and cooling by up to 25%
  • The Dept. of Energy estimates that the proper placement of three trees can save an average household between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually 
  • Shading of an air conditioner can increase its efficiency by as much as 10%
  • Improve energy efficiency by using cost effective “Low-e” window film on existing windows and enjoy an energy savings of around 15-20% 
  • Keeping your windows and doors sealed to cut down on drafts gives you an advantage of around 10 to 20% energy reduction and savings

 

  1.   Wash in Cold 
  • You can eliminate 90% of a typical washing machine’s electricity usage by washing with cold water

 

  1.  Get a Low-Flow Showerhead 
  • If every household in the U.S. installed one of these, the country could reduce annual water consumption by 250 billion gallons, conserving the energy required to process and bring clean water to your tap
    • These shower heads use two gallons per minute or less vs the 2.5-gallons per minute from a standard showerhead

 

Caution: Double Pane Windows are Painful for your Pocketbook

    • According to the Energy Star program, the average home can gain up to $465 in energy savings per year by replacing single pane with double pane windows
  • However, because the cost of replacing windows may run tens of thousands of dollars for many homes, it can often take decades to recoup your investment

 

Estimated Average Energy Conserved and Savings Per Year 

 

Energy Saving Tip Average Energy Reduction and Savings 
Energy Star Appliances 10 – 50%
Energy Star Water Heater 16%
Smart Thermostat 15% 
Attic Insulation 10 – 50%
LED Lightbulbs 30% 
Turn Off Lights 10%
Unplug Your Devices 20%
Exterior Shading Around Your House 25%
Wash in Cold 90%

 

Most people already know that lowering your energy usage is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money, but many people don’t know exactly which items to focus on in order to get immediate, high-impact results. We hope you’ll found our information helpful in doing just that.

 

Whether you use advanced options like purchasing a smart home system to manage your usage, or low-tech solutions like keeping curtains closed during hot weather, you can take action right now to cut your usage and help safeguard the planet. 

 

Sources: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/how-much-can-you-really-save-energy-efficient-improvements

https://www.energystar.gov/

https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator

 

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