Whenever you save energy , you not only save money , you also reduce the demand for such fossil fuels as coal , oil , and natural gas . Less burning of fossil fuels also means lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) , the primary contributor to global warming , and other pollutants .
You do not have to do without to achieve these savings . There is now an energy efficient alternative for almost every kind of appliance or light fixture . That means that consumers have a real choice and the power to change their energy use on a revolutionary scale .
The average American produces about 40,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year . Together , we use nearly a million dollars worth of energy every minute , night and day , every day of the year . By exercising even a few of the following steps , you can cut your annual emissions by thousands of pounds and your energy bills by a significant amount .
Home appliances :-
1 . Turn your refrigerator down . Refrigerator account for about 20% of Household electricity use . Use the thermometer to set your refrigerator temperature as close to 37 degrees and your freezer as close to 3 degrees as possible . Make sure that its energy saver switch is turned on . Also , check the gaskets around your refrigerator / freezer doors to make sure they are clean and sealed tightly .
2 . Set your clothes washer to the warm or cold water setting , not hot . Switching from hot to warm for two loads per week can save nearly 500 pounds of CO2 per year if you have an electric water heater , or 150 pound for gas heater .
3 . Make sure your dishwasher is full when you run it and use the energy saving setting , if available , to allow the dishes to air dry . you can also turn off the drying cycle manually . Not using heat in the drying cycle can save 20% of your dishwasher’s total electricity use .
4 . Turn down your water heater thermostat . Thermostats are often set to 140 degrees F when 120 is usually fine . Each 10 degree reduction saves 600 pounds of CO2 per year for an electric water heater . If every household turned its water heater thermostat down 20 degrees , we could prevent more then 45 million tons of annual CO2 emissions the same amount emitted by the entire nations of Kuwait or Libya .
5 . Select the most energy – efficient models when you replace your old appliances . Look for the energy star label – your assurance that the product saves energy and prevents pollution . Buy the product that is sized to your typical needs-not the biggest one available . Front loading washing machines will usually cut hot water use by 60 to 70% compared to typical machines . Replacing a typical 1973 refrigerator with a new energy efficient model , saves 1.4 tons of CO2 annually .
6 . Be careful not to overheat or overcool rooms . In the winter , set your thermostat at 68 degrees in day time and 55 degrees at night . In the summer keep in at 78 . Lowering your thermostat just two degrees during winter saves 6 % of heating related CO2 emissions . That’s reduction of 420 pounds of CO2 per year for a typical home .
7 . Clean or replace air filters as recommended . Energy is lost when air conditioners and hot-air furnaces have to work harder to draw air through dirty filters . Cleaning a dirty air conditioner filter can save 5% of the energy used . That could save 175 pounds of CO2 per year .
SMALL INVESTMENTS THAT PAY OFF
8 . Buy energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs for your most used lights . Although they cost more initially , they save money in the long run by using only ¼ the energy of an ordinary incandescent bulb and lasting 8-12 times amount of bright , attractive light . Only 10% of the energy consumed by a normal light bulb generates light . The rest just makes the bulb hot . If every American household replaced one of its standard light bulbs with an energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb , we would save the same amount of energy as a large nuclear power plant produces in one year . In a typical home , one compact fluorescent bulb can save 260 pounds of CO2 per year .
9 . Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket , which costs just $10 to $20 . It can save 1100 lbs. of CO2 per year for an electric water heater , or 220 pound for a gas heater .
10 . Use less hot water by installing low-flow shower heads . They cost just $10 to $20 each , deliver an invigorating shower and save 300 pounds of CO2 per year for electrically heated water or 80 pounds for gas-heated water .
11 . Weatherize your home or apartment , using caulk and weather stripping to plug air leaks around doors and windows . Caulking costs less then $1 per windows and weather stripping is under $10 per door . These steps can save up to 1100 pound of CO2 per year for a typical home . Ask your utility company for a home energy audit to find out where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient . This service may be provided free or at low cost . Make sure it includes a check of your furnace and air conditioning .
12 . Whenever possible , walk , bike , car pool or use mass transit . Every gallon of gasoline you save avoids 22 pounds of CO2 emissions . If your car gets 25 miles per gallon , for example and you reduce your annual driving from 12000 to 10000 miles , you’ll save 1800 pounds of CO2 .
13 . When you next buy a car , choose one that gets good mileage . If your new car gets 40 miles per gallon instead of 25 and you drive 10,000 miles per year , you’ll reduce your annual CO2 emissions by 33,00 pounds .
REDUCE , REUSE , RECYCLE
14 . Reduce the amount of waste you produce by buying minimally packaged goods , choosing reusable products over disposable ones , and recycling . For every pound of waste you eliminate or recycle , you save energy and reduce emissions of CO2 by at least 1 pound . Cutting down your garbage by half of one large trash bag per week saves at least 1100 pounds of CO2 per year . Making products with recycled materials , instead of from scratch with raw materials , uses 30 to 55% less for paper products , 33% less for glass and a whopping 90% less for aluminum .
15 . If your car has an air conditioner , make sure its coolant is recovered and recycled whenever you have it serviced . In the United States , leakage from auto air conditioners is the larges single source of emissions of chlorofluorocarbons ( CFCs) , which damage the ozone layer as well as add to global warming . The CFCs from one auto conditioner can add the equivalent of 4800 pounds of CO2 emissions per year .
When you plan major home improvements , consider some of these energy saving investments . They save money in the long run and their CO2 savings can often be measured in tons per year .
16 . Insulate your walls and ceilings . This can save 20 to 30 % of home heating bills and reduce CO2 emissions by 140 to 2100 pounds per year . If you live in a colder climate , consider super insulating . That can save 5.5 tons of CO2 per year for gas heated homes , 8.8tons per year for oil heat , 23tons per year for electric heat . (If you have electric heat , you might also consider switching to more efficient gas or oil)
17 . Modernize your windows . Replacing all your ordinary windows with argon filled , double-glazed windows saves 2.4tons of CO2 per year for homes with gas heat , 3.9tons of oil heat and 9.8tons for electric heat .
18 . Plant Shade trees and paint your house a light color if you live in a warm climate or a dark color if you live in a cold climate . Reductions in energy use resulting from shade trees and appropriate painting can save up to 2.4tons of CO2 emissions per year . (Each tree also directly absorbs about 25 pounds of CO2 from the air annually) .
BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY
19 . Work with you employer to implement these and other energy-efficiency and waste reduction measures in your office or work place . From or join local citizens groups and work with local government officials to see that these measures are taken in schools and public buildings .
20 . Keep track of the environmental voting records of candidates for office . Stay abreast of environmental issues on both local and national levels and write or call your elected officials to express you concerns about energy efficiency and global warming .
Dillip kumar Parichha , Asst. Manager (HR) , NESCO