Ways to Save Energy
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Ways to Save Energy


Save Energy, Save Money!

While saving energy is always a prudent course of action, in these financial hard times it becomes increasingly important if you want to make ends meet and live within a budget. There are a variety of methods available for improving energy efficiency ranging from turning off lights when not in use (or not turning them on unless necessary) to purchasing energy-efficient appliances and properly insulating your home. Obviously, the up-front expenditure of funds required for energy-saving activities ranges from zero into the thousands of dollars.




Conduct a Home Energy Audit

To effectively save energy and lower your energy budget, it is imperative that you begin by conducting a home energy audit. To perform a home energy audit, you will assess your usage of electricity, heating and cooling requirements, and general daily routine for your household. There is even energy audit software available to assist you with your audit. Included within any energy audit will be an evaluation of the current condition of your appliances and energy-consuming devices such as your heating and air conditioning unit and vehicles you use. Regarding vehicles, a trip audit becomes an essential part of your overall home energy audit.

If you are looking for ways to go green, you may want to look into replacing old, inefficient household devices responsible for high energy consumption, noting that proper disposal or recycling of appliances and electronics is a major part of the go green philosophy. If you are simply attempting to reduce your household budget and appliance replacement is not practical, there are numerous no-cost or low-cost energy-saving activities you can pursue — mostly centered around changing personal energy-consuming habits. The most effective energy-saving strategy will combine no-cost, low-cost and perhaps some higher-cost methods for reducing energy consumption.


Government Energy Assistance

If you are on a fixed income or a tight budget, there are energy tax credits and energy assistance programs, such as LIHEAP, in which you may be eligible to participate. Federal and state tax credits are often available for energy-saving upgrades to your home. Energy upgrades eligible for tax credits may include installation of solar panels or a solar water heater, replacement of standard windows with double paned windows (generally considered to be the best energy-efficient windows), installation of (more efficient) insulation and replacement of worn weather-stripping, and purchase of an energy saving furnace. Simply giving your car that much-needed tune-up may substantially reduce gasoline consumption.


Think Green!

Changing your mindset to one of energy conservation is an integral requirement for saving energy. Engage your entire family in this activity. Ask your children to participate in your home energy audit by identifying ways in which the family can collectively save energy and they, as individuals, can do their part. You’ll be surprised at some of the novel and innovative solutions your kids will provide!

Saving energy does not have to be painful! Following a family member around the house turning off lights does not instill a proper attitude toward energy conservation, and may, in fact, be counterproductive. Reducing energy costs by reducing energy usage stems from an awareness by each family member of their energy footprint and what they can do — without a great deal of effort — to reduce that footprint.

Saving energy is a worthy goal, but one which requires a specific motivation. For some people, this goal will be “saving the Planet,” while for others, it will simply be saving money. Some of us may even choose to save energy for the purest of reasons: “If something can be done without using energy, I should save that energy by not using it.” Do not, however, sacrifice safety in order to reduce energy usage. If you walk around in a dark house, you could stub your toe or, worse yet, step on the cat!


Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published 28 September 2009.



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