If you care about climate change and peak oil, you’re always thinking about ways to get off of fossil fuels around the world and to save energy around your house.
Home energy tweaking can become an obsession. It has for me. Just take light bulbs for example. It seems that only a few years ago, I swapped out all our old incandescents for compact fluorescents that used less energy and were supposed to last longer.
But our CFLs didn’t last longer at all. Some even burned out after just a few months. Pretty disappointing. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long before I could afford to replace all our CFLs with LEDs. They’re supposed to use even less energy and last a crazy long time — a decade or more. Let’s see if they can keep that promise!
Meanwhile, lights are a good start. They’re easy to change. And changing them makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. But lights are just the start. There are much bigger energy users in your house, especially your refrigerator and, of course, air conditioning and heating.
When fall turns cold and you get your first $475 heating bill in December, it’s clear how far you still have to go in cutting your home’s energy use.
Fortunately, just as the leaves finish falling from the trees, so tips for home energy savings start falling down on consumers from electric companies.
As an example, the infographic below comes from the PR department at Constellation Energy. You may or may not like them better than any other big investor-owned utility. But their tips for energy savings are sensible and clear. They could help you save some money at home while helping you do your part to help the world use fewer fossil fuels.
Biggest news to me: leaving my laptop on overnight isn’t as harmless as I thought.
And while using a smart thermostat sounds better than having to remember to turn the heat up and down manually, it sounds even smarter to do without heating as much as possible. For example, to warm your body rather than heating your room. You know, turning down the heat to 60 or 55 degrees or even lower and then putting on long johns, sweaters, and wool caps to stay warm.
But that only works if your housemates are willing to go along with the program. Not everybody is ready to bundle up in their skiing outfit so they can sit down to dinner.