Washington, D.C.—Today, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is giving a big shout-out for Energy Efficiency Day calling on Americans to be proactive and take positive steps to be more energy efficient. Joining with hundreds of other organizations, cities, businesses, and individuals in a nationwide effort to become more energy independent, improve the environment, and save hundreds of dollars in unnecessary energy costs, CFA has identified 10 simple ways that consumers can save energy and money.
“CFA has been promoting energy efficient policies and practices for decades,” said Mel Hall-Crawford, CFA’s Director of Energy Programs. “Energy costs take a huge bite out of household budgets with the typical household spending, on average, $2,000 each year on home energy bills and another $2,000 at the gas pump. Today is an opportunity highlight some ways consumers can put some of that money back into their pockets. It can start with something as simple as changing to an LED light bulb or making sure your tires are properly inflated. But the more steps you take, the bigger savings—CARPE DIEM!”
- SWITCH TO LEDs: Replace your ‘old school’ incandescent light bulbs with new light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) and save about $90 a year in electricity costs. You pay a little more up-front, but shop around, prices are dropping. They use between 70-90% less energy, last at least ten times longer and light like the old fashioned ones do. To match the soft, yellow-white light of your old bulbs, choose LEDs between 2700-3000 kelvin. Bulbs with a cooler or bluish light will be between 4000-6500 kelvin.
- DON’T GET BURNED WITH HOT WATER: Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120F. Water heaters are the second highest source of energy use in the home.
- KEEP ‘EM CLEAN: Check furnace, heat pump, and AC filters once a month and replace them regularly. A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and cause problems with your equipment.
- SEAL THE LEAKS: Simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around doors, chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors can save up to 20% on heating costs.
- GET WITH THE PROGRAM: Don’t waste money heating or cooling an empty home. Install a programmable thermostat and schedule your home’s heat to lower (or raise cooling temp) when you are away or asleep, and turn back up (or down) when you are returning home or waking-up.
- BE A STAR: Look for products that have earned the ENERGY STAR® label. They meet strict energy efficiency criteria that will reduce your utility bills, and help the environment. ENERGY STAR® clothes washers, for example, use about 45% less water and 25% less energy than standard models.
For Your Car
7. STAY PUMPED. Under-inflated tires reduce performance and require more gas. Keeping them properly inflated can improve your gas mileage. Check the label on your door or glove box to find out what the pressure should be.
8. NO NEED TO SPEED: Most cars’ fuel economy starts to dip after you reach 50-55 miles an hour, so avoid speeding. Accelerating rapidly and breaking frequently wastes gas, too. And don’t forget, needless idling gets you 0 MPGs
9. KEEP IT TUNED: Changing your oil and replacing the oil filter will improve fuel economy, and keeping your car tuned up will help you save even more at the pump.
10. COMBO TRIPS: Combine your errands into a single outing so you can avoid making multiple round trips.
For more energy saving info, visit energystar.gov