Energy conservation to incorporate into your daily life
We hear a lot about energy conservation these days. As the renewable energy sector continues to develop and Americans become more concerned about air quality, more people are realizing the importance of incorporating sustainability efforts into their daily lives.
Reducing energy usage helps to decrease the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere. Plus, aside from the environmental benefits, energy conservation may come with financial savings. While it can be difficult to change our habits, there are many small but impactful steps you can take every day that can save energy and money.
Think about your lighting
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, lighting accounts for 15 percent of the average home energy bill. Luckily, there are several easy-to-implement ways to reduce the amount of electricity your lights are using.
For one, you can make a gradual switch to halogen incandescent, CFL and LED light bulbs. Though these bulbs are more expensive than traditional incandescents, much of that cost will eventually be recovered in energy savings. As the U.S. Energy Department noted, switching out the bulbs in just five of your most frequently used light fixtures could save you as much as $75 a year.
Another simple solution? Avoid overhead lighting. Making the most out of your natural lighting by opening curtains or blinds may eliminate the need for artificial light for a few hours of the day. Instead of lighting an entire room, you can also utilize smaller accent lamps to illuminate specific areas, such as using a small lamp by your favorite place to read.
Unplug and save
You might not realize it, but even if you're not using an appliance, it might still be pulling energy. As the Natural Resource Defense Council suggested, if you have appliances that you use infrequently, such as an extra refrigerator in your garage, you should unplug these devices to make sure their motors aren't running unnecessarily. While it is a minor inconvenience to remember to pull the plugs, it can make a big difference. The NRDC found unplugging unused appliances could shave $600 off your utility bill over five years.
Don't forget your tech
The Internet is increasingly becoming a bigger part of our lives and the devices we use to access it can be big energy wasters. As the Energy Department advised, taking a few simple steps to control the power management of your devices can make a difference. Using the sleep or hibernate mode on your laptop or desktop computer can save as much as $30 a year, the agency found.
Your chargers will also continue to use energy if you leave them plugged in, even if they are no longer charging your device. While the expense that energy is adding to your electric bill is pretty minimal, it is contributing to your carbon footprint. Cell phone chargers create carbon dioxide, and as CNET reported, the global amount is pretty significant – an estimated 6.4 megatons of greenhouse gases are created by smartphone charging annually. You can do your part to easily cut down on CO2 emissions by taking your charger out of the socket when not in use.
Gexa Energy is committed to a more sustainable future for Texas and the U.S. As part of the NextEra family of companies, Gexa supports the development of renewable energy resources and promotes education about energy conservation. For more energy saving tips, be sure to visit GexaEnergy.com.