A whopping 46 percent of home energy use is, umm, energy loss! In other words, no productive energy use at all! Here are simple ways of reversing this, mostly by changes of habit. Thanks to climatecrisis.net and The Home Energy Diet (New Society Publishers, 2005), for many of the carbon savings figures.
1. Each degree you turn down the heat saves 3 percent of heating costs, while each degree you raise the temperature of your air conditioner saves 3-4 percent of cooling costs. By changing the temperature by two degrees all year you can save about 2,000 pounds of C02 a year.
2. Cook with a slow cooker or a toaster oven (or even a solar oven!) to reduce electrical use from kitchen appliances. For a meal that requires 1 hour to cook in an electric oven, and which uses 2.7 pounds of C02, a crockpot uses 0.9 pounds of C02 for seven hours, a toaster oven takes 1.3 pounds of C02 for 50 minutes, and a microwave only 0.5 pounds of C02 for 15 minutes of cooking. A solar cooker requires NO C02!
3. Switch to a laptop instead of using a desktop computer and cut three-quarters off your electrical use. Turn off the laptop at the end of the day.
4. Switch to cold water washing and save 80 percent on energy used for laundry and save an estimated $60 a year. Hang dry your clothes instead of using the dryer and save 700 pounds of C02 a year.
5. Plug anything that can be powered by a remote control or that has a power cube transformer (little black box) into a power strip, and turn it off, and/or unplug, when not in use.(Power cubes are 60-80 percent inefficient.)
6. Turn off the lights when you aren’t using them and reduce your direct lighting energy use by 45 percent. Stop using heat-producing halogen lamps (they can also be fire hazards). Install occupancy or motion sensors on outdoor lights.
7. Switch to compact fluorescent from regular incandescent bulbs and use 60 percent less energy per bulb and save 300 pounds of C02 a year.
8. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket and save 1,000 pounds of C02 a year. Insulate your hot water pipes.
9. Use public transportation whenever possible, carpool, shop locally, and ideally switch to a hybrid or energy-efficient car (if you haven’t already).
10. Keep your tires inflated to improve gas mileage by three percent. Every gallon you save also saves 20 pounds of C02 emissions.