Here are simple ways to lower your bills and environmental impact. Save money while you save the planet!
Flip the Switch
LED lights are more energy efficient and longer lasting. They last 21x longer than incandescent bulbs. LEDs only use 7W to achieve the same brightness as a 60W incandescent bulb, or 18W CFL.
Contact your electricity provider. They may offer free or discounted LEDs.
Fix the Leak
One drip per second wastes 1,661 gallons of water and can cost up to $35/year.
Usee the U.S. Geological Survey’s Drip Calculator to see how many drips make a deluge of wasted water.
Go with the Low Flow
Replace old, inefficient water faucets with low-flow, WaterSense labeled options. These Environmental Protection Agency approved faucets use at least 20% less water and save energy compared to regular faucets.
Switching to a WaterSense faucet can save an average household up to 700 gallons of water a year!
All the Way Turnt Up (Or Down)
According to the US Department of Energy, adjusting your thermostat by 7° – 10°F from the normal temperature for 8 hours a day can help save up to 10% on cooling and heating.
During the winter, it is recommended to set the thermostat to 68ºF during waking hours and lowering for sleep or while you’re not home. Similarly, adjust the temperature to 78ºF during the summer to easily save energy and money.
Programmable and smart thermostats can be helpful, though somewhat expensive. They automate raising or lowering the temperature so you can set it and forget it.
Your utility provider may offer rebates for smart thermostats.
Don’t let vampire energy suck the life out of you. Unplug electronics that are not in use to avoid wasting electricity. According to Duke Energy, these seemingly innocuous devices can add up to 20% to your monthly electricity bill.
In the United States alone, vampire power costs consumers more than $3 billion each year and adds up to $200 in yearly energy costs for average home. This wasted energy could power 11,000,000 homes*
Use the US Department of Energy Appliance Energy Calculator to find out how many kilowatts your gadgets eat and how much it costs you annually to keep feeding the machines.
If you must leave your devices plugged in, opt for an advanced power strip. They smell better than a clove of garlic and can automatically cut off power when devices are not in use saving you up to $100 a year.
Don’t be Afraid of the Dark
A common family motto – TURN OFF THE LIGHTS WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE ROOM.
A rule of thumb from the Department of Energy – turn off the lights if you’ll be out of the room for at least 15 minutes. It’s especially important to do so if you use incandescent lights. 90% of their energy is given off as heat, and only about 10% results in light.
Let Me Upgrade You
Look for ENERGY STAR certified appliances. These US Department of Energy approved devices include dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators, and freezers – the items that account for 20% of an average household electric use. The ENERGY STAR appliances use 10% – 50% less energy than standard appliances and can help lower your electricity bills.
Your energy efficiency improvements including heating, cooling, and water-heating equipment may be eligible for tax credits with the US government.
Cutting Energy Costs at Lulu
At Lulu, we’re all about being budget-savvy, responsible environmental stewards.
Our print-on-demand business model means no books are manufactured until a reader buys them. Books are manufactured at the printing facility closest to the final shipping address. Our technology eliminates massive print runs (that may not sell), the need for warehouse storage fees, cuts down on shipping emissions, and ultimately saves our authors money.
The Lulu office uses programmable thermostats, motion-sensor light switches, and has plenty of natural light from double-paned, insulated windows. Sometimes we don’t even turn on the lights! And our kitchen is stocked with ENERGY STAR appliances.
But don’t just take our word for it. You can see Lulu’s commitment to the environment with our B Corporation Impact Assessment score.
For more energy-efficiency tips and information, see a few of our favorite Lulu books.
Renewable Energy: Discover the Fuel of the Future by Erin Twamley & Joshua Sneideman
How do we heat our homes, light our rooms, and power our cars? With energy! Individuals, businesses, and governments are looking for ways to expand our sources of renewable energy, including solar, wind, biofuel, hydro, and geothermal.
In Renewable Energy: Discover the Fuel of the Future, readers learn about these
renewable energy sources and weigh the pros and cons of different energy sources to make their own informed opinions about which resources are the best choices for different uses.
• Discussions of pros and cons
• Hands-on activities
• Links to online primary sources
• Accessible science
It’s the Thermostat, Stupid!: Every Home and Business Has a Thermostat, Yet No One Really Knows What It’s Doing….At Least Until Now! by Joel Gilbert, P.E.
Monitoring the temperature of the thermostat on a heating and cooling system can help put residential and small business customers in charge of their energy consumption.
Author Joel Gilbert, an expert on energy efficiency and productivity, provides a new paradigm that allows electric and utility professionals to boost customer engagement. His advice allows you to help clients modify their usage, save money, and see immediate results.
While the meter plays an important role, it’s merely the scorecard in the energy game; everyone knows that the real action is on the playing field. You can build a better relationship with customers by encouraging them to watch the thermostat rather than the meter.
Helping homeowners learn how thermostats operate is a simple concept that can revolutionize the way customers think about heating, cooling and even water heating. Transform the way consumers view and manage these costs with It’s the Thermostat, Stupid.
Sustainable Living: For Home, Neighborhood and Community by Mick Winter
A guide to living more sustainably by using less energy, spending less money, and enjoying life more. Suggestions for your home, your neighborhood and your community.