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Take Action | Purchase Conservation Credits | Reduce Gasoline & Oil Usage
Reduce Electrical Usage
| Conserve at Home|
Reduce Chemical Usage
Reduce Home Electricity
Saving Electricity at Home
Do we need to save
Current usage: While the population
of the United States has expanded 89 percent over the past 50 years,
the amount of electricity use has grown 1,315 percent. Per-capita
average consumption of electricity in 2000 was more than seven times
as high as it was fifty years ago. The Energy Information
Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2001 report predicts that the
US's near-term energy future will include greater consumption,
productions, and imports.
all this electricity come from?
In the United
States, coal has been and continues to be the source of most
electricity, accounting for over half of all electricity generated
by the electric power sector in 2000. Natural gas and petroleum's
combined usage stood at 19 percent in 2000, with nuclear power
accounting for 20 percent of total electricity generation. Renewable
energy resources (primarily derived from hydroelectric power)
contributed 8 percent.
Is this a
Yes. The United States was
self-sufficient in energy until the late 1950s when energy
consumption began to outpace domestic production. From 1970 to 2000,
U.S. energy consumption grew 45 percent while production rose only
13 percent. The Nation imported more energy to fill the gap: in 2000
US petroleum imports reached an annual record level of 11 million
barrels per day. Heavy reliance on fossil fuel energy imports has
economic, political, as well as environmental implications. The
Annual Energy Outlook 2001 report projects U.S. energy-related
carbon dioxide emissions to exceed 2 billion metric tons of carbon
in 2020, 33% more than in 2000.
currently wasting electricity?
Yes, we are wasting
electricity in our homes by using inefficient light sources.
Lighting represents as much as 25% of our home's electrical use. We
are lighting our homes inefficiently by continuing to use
incandescent light bulbs (the same technology invented by Thomas
Edison over 100 years ago!). More than 90 percent of the energy
produced by incandescent lights is heat, not light.
How can we save electricity?
incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights. A new
13-watt compact fluorescent light bulb produces as much light - as
many lumens - as a traditional 60-watt incandescent bulb using only
one-quarter of the electrical energy! Fluorescents now have a screw
base that fits a normal light bulb socket and produce a wide
assortment of color light that match the warm glow of incandescents.
Fluorescents last 10 to 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs -
10,000 hours or more.
Standard halogens are modern
versions of Edison's incandescent bulb, and they last longer - 2,250
to 3,500 hours. Yet, most people use much more wasteful high-wattage
halogen tubes in their homes. Free-standing torchiere lamps use
either a 300- or a 500-watt halogen tube that wastes energy by
creating four times more heat than the average incandescent bulb. A
500-watt halogen reaches temperatures of over 1,200 degrees -
creating a serious fire hazard. New, energy-efficient torchieres use
compact fluorescent bulbs and provide 25% more light than popular
halogen torchieres and use one-fourth the energy. The new compact
fluorescent torchieres are also far safer than the halogen
torchieres because they do not operate at the same high
Will my compact
fluorescent bulbs make a difference?
Residential use of electricity is greater than either commercial or
industrial use. A single 20-watt compact fluorescent lamp used at
home in place of a 75-watt incandescent will save about 550
kilowatt-hours over its lifetime. If your electricity is produced in
a coal-fired power plant (like 20 percent of California's
electricity is), that savings represents nearly 500 pounds of coal
not burned, which means that 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide and 20
pounds of sulfur dioxide will not get into the
Get 100 homes to switch to electricity saving
compact fluorescent bulbs and Save 55,000 kilowatt-hours of
Prevent 132,000 pounds of carbon and sulfur dioxide
Where do I get it and how
much does it cost?
fluorescent bulbs can be found at your locally-owned hardware store.
The price of a 75-watt equivalent flourescent bulb can range from
$5.00 - $9.00, depending on the brand. A new generation of compact
fluorescent bulbs now meets the stringent criteria for long-life and
energy savings set by the federal government's ENERGY STAR® program.
Check for the Energy Star® label to help you select a bulb brand.
Retailers of Energy Star products often offer promotions, discounts,
and rebates on these items.
Remember that, while these lights
are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they will last over ten
times as long (10,000 hours vs 750 hours)! The purchase is cost
effective: With the compact fluorescent bulb you will save a total
of $20.50 over three years (through electricity cost savings and
bulb replacement savings). If you replace 25 percent of the lights
in high-use areas with fluorescents, you can save about 50 percent
of your lighting energy bill.
else can I do to save electricity?
- Simply turn off lights when you don't need them or use the
following inexpensive lighting controls: automatic timers,
photosensors, motion detectors or occupancy sensors, and dimmers.
- Turn down your thermostat. For every degree you lower your
heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5% on
heating costs. Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees or off at
night or when leaving home for an extended time saving 5-20
percent of your heating costs.
- Eliminate wasted energy. Unplug spare refrigerators. Turn off
kitchen and bath-ventilating fans after they've done their job.
Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning to
prevent up to 8% of your furnace-heated air from going up the
chimney. Insulate your water-heater.
- Reduce hot water temperature. Set your water heater to the
"normal" setting or 120º, if possible. Shorten showers since they
account for 2/3 of your water heating costs. Cutting your showers
in half will reduce your water heating costs by 33 percent. Use
low-flow shower heads to reduce hot water usage.
- Use appliances efficiently. Do only full loads when using your
dishwasher and clothes washer. Use the cold water setting on your
clothes washer since it reduces your washer's energy use by 75%.
Be sure to clean your clothes dryer's lint trap. Use the
moisture-sensing automatic drying setting on your dryer. Put your
computer and monitor to sleep when not using. Unplug electronics
when not in use to prevent leaking energy. The best way to
minimize these losses of electricity is to purchase Energy Star®