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From striking heatwaves (with record-breaking temperatures in 2021); to flooded cities & extreme cold temperatures. We are seeing lately the increment of extreme weather events. One of the greatest challenges we are facing as a society is the climate crisis. By contrast, of the easiest solutions to tackle it is energy efficiency. It not only helps combat climate change but also has a direct impact on our wallets.
According to data from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, 40% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions come from the use we give to energy. And 40% of the energy we use is consumed in US buildings. In fact, the residential and commercial sectors accounted for about 22% and 18% respectively—40% combined—of total US energy consumption in 2020. Hence, addressing energy efficiency is one of the solutions to the problem.
The effects of this crisis are so broad that measurements have been taken on all levels. From the national government to local policies. For instance, an executive order was issued, that addressed climate change as one of the top priorities of the country in matters of both, foreign policy and internal national security. It also stated the importance to allocate resources to focus on clean energy and energy efficiency. But, you should probably be wondering where you fit in this narrative, and what can be done on your end to make a change. Well, improving your home’s energy efficiency can be one simple, yet efficient, answer.
We will guide you through some simple, friendly steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency while also saving you some money.
To begin with… what is energy efficiency?
You should’ve probably heard numerous times the term energy efficiency, right? Well, if you are still not sure about what it is, don’t worry, we have your back. Energy efficiency covers a wide range of topics that are somehow connected to each other. It ranges from energy efficiency itself to energy savings, consumption, sufficiency & transition.
To give you a brief definition of it, the term energy efficiency means spending less energy to perform a specific action. These actions can vary from flipping a switch and lighting your home, to doing laundry, or cooling your entire flat. And can be implemented – or improved – from switching to energy-efficient appliances to changing the whole design of a home. It is, by default, the opposite of wasting energy and will eventually help you cut down your bills while having a positive impact on the environment.
In this short video by Student Energy, you will understand how it is measured, the difference with related terms & its importance.
How to be more energy-efficient at home?
Track your consumption
Benchmarking is an excellent method to start figuring out where you can improve your energy efficiency. Having an energy audit, and effectively performing the needed tasks can effectively put from 5%-30% of your energy bill, back in your pocket.
Appliances & electronics:
1. Make sure your appliances work
This may seem obvious, but having appliances that don’t work at all, or just don’t work properly can cause you major money losses. If you make sure your appliances are up and running you can rest assured that – when plugged, the energy consumed by them will be worth it.
2. Try to shop energy star rated appliances
The truth is if you want to start saving energy, buying appliances with the ENERGY STAR® label is your fast track – and no, this is not paid advertising. Replacing older, less efficient appliances with newer, more efficient ones can be a good investment to save you thousands in the long run. You’ll not only save energy (and money), but you’ll also save the hassle of having to rush out and replace a dead unit in the short term.
We have an article explaining everything you should know about the blue label, make sure to check it out!
3. Turn your electronics off when not in use
This is another simple way to save money & be more efficient. If you’re not using your small appliances or electronics make sure you turn them off or even unplug them. Some appliances are what’s considered energy vampires and drawn energy even when they’re off or in standby mode.
4. Keep things full
Be sure to make full loads of laundry, and dishwasher cycles. You will be using less energy and water when you turn them on. Also, remember fridges and freezers work best when they’re completely full, so try to maintain them as full as possible. Just avoid overfilling them because this reduces ventilation and makes the appliance work harder.
5. Trust the process while baking
Don’t peek in the oven! When you peek, the temperature can decrease by 25°F, requiring extra energy from your oven to get it back up to the needed temperature. Another great way to save some electricity is to turn your oven off a few minutes before the timer expires. Your oven will be hot enough to keep cooking your food those minutes, but you won’t spend that extra energy.
Think about your home’s envelope
The most efficient way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to start with the wrapper – walls, attic, windows, and doors. Improving the efficiency of systems like heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances.
Insulation is the most effective way to decrease the pace at which heat escapes. This works for any season, from winter to summer, you’ll require less energy to heat or cool your place.
PS. Check out our top 5 saving tips to spend less on electricity this summer.
We know small initiatives can be insufficient to achieve all the carbon reductions required by climate change. However, with some minor adjustments, and some legislative changes we can make a great push to reduce the emissions. If you want to find out what’s your current home’s energy efficiency, The US Department of Energy developed the Home Energy Score. It is a national assessment system based on its structure as well as its heating, cooling, and hot water systems. The Score shows a home’s energy efficiency and gives you recommendations on how to increase the home’s energy efficiency to enhance the score and save money.
Energy efficiency is a great way to save you your hard-earned money while also contributing to lower CO2 emissions. As you could see, there are small and simple ways to make these changes. You can take advantage of a great range of benefits.
You can check out our website, enter your zip code, and some basic information about your consumption. You will find out if there’s a rate that may benefit you more than your current one. At Power Choice Now, finding a new energy supplier is straightforward. As a client, you benefit from competitive energy markets, by this, we mean you are entitled to choose the energy supplier that best suits your needs.