Where the Smart Get Energy Efficient

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Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been talking about why energy efficiency matters- to Save the Internet!

Now… what can you do about becoming more energy efficient? In the next few weeks, Smartcool will be publishing a number of helpful handouts on energy efficiency measures for specific types of buildings.

Before we get into those details, here are some areas you can start attacking your energy bill:

Heating & Air Conditioning = 56% of residential electricity, 44% of commercial electricity

Seal and insulate your building envelope. Why would you want to pay to heat or cool the outdoors? Use weather stripping or caulking to seal up windows, doors and any other cracks in your building envelope. Check that your building is properly insulated to maintain your indoor temperature with less energy.

Adjust your temperature. In many cases, you can save a lot of energy simply by turning the thermostat down a couple degrees in the winter- or up a couple degrees in the summer.

Choose energy efficient systems. One of the best ways you can heat and cool your building is with a heat pump. These tend to be the most energy efficient option on the market and work incredibly well for the majority of buildings that use a moderate amount of climate control (homes, small to mid-sized retail or office buildings, etc.).

Appliances= 20% of residential and commercial electricity

Purchase energy efficient models. When you are making the decision to buy a new stove, a new toaster, or a new TV, choose the most energy efficient models.

Unplug unused equipment. If you are going on holiday, unplug everything! Your TV does not need to eat up your spare cash by staying plugged in with no one there to watch it. The rest of the time, unplug things when they are not in use, including phone and laptop chargers. Need help remembering to unplug?

Lighting = 10% of residential electricity, 20% of commercial electricity

Switch to CFL bulbs. These use 1/3 to 1/5 the amount of energy of a normal incandescent bulb and they last 8 to 15 times longer. So you use less energy and create less waste!

Install occupancy sensors. Instead of lighting up a space with no people, make sure you are only using energy when there is someone there to see it!

Switch lights off. There are plenty of timers available that can be easily added to lamps and other lighting to make sure you only leave them on for a certain period of time. Or you can put up reminders so that lights get turned off when people leave a room.

It’s time we all got a lot smarter with our energy- now let’s get going!

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.