Energy Costs and a DoItYourself Audit Energy Costs and a DoItYourself Audit
Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends more than $1,600 a year on home utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. And electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. And as for the road, transportation accounts for 66% of all U.S. oil consumption. The good news is, there is a lot you can do to save energy and money at home and in your car. Start making small changes today (see the tips below). To cut your energy use up to 25%, see the Long-Term Savings Tips throughout this Web site.
The key to achieving these savings in your home is a whole-house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole-house approach, view your home as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example, your heating system is not just a furnace—it's a heat-delivery system that starts at the furnace and delivers heat throughout your home using a network of ducts. Even a top-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnace will burn a lot of fuel if the ducts, walls, attic, windows, and doors are not insulated and leak. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest to save energy are spent wisely.
Energy-efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term financial rewards. Reduced utility bills more than make up for the higher price of energy-efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes. In addition, your home could bring in a higher price when you sell. This booklet shows you how easy it is to reduce your energy use at home and on the road. The easy, practical solutions for saving energy include tips you can use today, throughout your home—from the roof, walls, and insulation that enclose it to the appliances and lights inside. Please, take a few moments to read the valuable tips in this booklet to start saving energy and money today.
Tips to Save Energy Today
Easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy.
- Set your thermostat comfortably low in the winter and comfortably high in the summer. Install a programmable thermostat that is compatible with your heating and cooling system.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
- Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120° F.
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on home appliances and products.
Courtesy of DOE