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Conserving Energy

“there are no such things as great deeds — only small ones done with great heart.” —mother theresa, founder of the missionaries of charity and nobel peace prize winner, 1979

Turn Off The Lights light switch
CFLs for sale in BC Bookstore

You can reduce your gas and electricity bills each month while helping to protect the environment by making a few small changes to your daily routines. Follow the simple tips below to save in more ways than one!

Tips for All Seasons…

  • When they’re not in use, turn off — or, where possible, unplug — items (other than computers) that consume electricity: lights, individual coffee makers, televisions, and other electronic equipment. Laptops, battery chargers, TVs, stereos, and other electronics continue to draw electricity when plugged in. In particular, unplug laptops and chargers (cell phone, iPod, Palm Pilot, et al.) when you are not recharging the batteries.
  • Turn off your computer monitor when it is not in use.
  • Review requirements and assignments for turning off office equipment such as printers and copiers.
  • Turn off office, classroom, and task lights when not in use.
  • When possible, use task lights, with compact fluorescent lighting, rather than overhead lights. Open office blinds for natural light.
  • Run full loads in washers and dryers. Use “warm” or “cold” instead of “hot” water settings whenever possible.
  • According to MassSAVE, the typical U.S. family spends $1,300 a year on home energy bills. Most utility companies provide a no-cost home energy assessment. An energy expert will look at your home from roof to basement and identify where energy efficiency improvements can be made. Visit www.masssave.com.
  • Visit www.nstar.com

 

For Lighting…

  • If every home in New England changed just one lightbulb to an Energy Star–qualified one, the savings would total more than $45 million each year.
  • CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs) last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs and use only a fraction of the energy, saving you money over their lifespan - but they still contain mercury!
  • LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are solid light bulbs which are extremely energy-efficient.  These lights are now available with standard bases which fit common household light fixtures.  LEDs are the next generation in home lighting.  Visit www.eartheasy.com to learn more.
  • Led lamps consume the least amount of energy.  Use these lamps when possible.
  • Holiday lights using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use one-tenth the energy of typical mini-lights and are cooler, which reduces fire risk.
  • Use task lighting: Instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example, use fluorescent or LED under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops under cabinets.
  • Turn off the lights when leaving a room, or install motion sensors that shut off lights when nobody is in a room.

 

For Appliances…

  • When possible, purchase appliances that have the Energy Star label. They will save you money over the lifespan of the appliance.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use; they may still draw energy from the socket if they are plugged in. As much as 10% of energy use for appliances is consumed when they are switched off.
  • A laptop computer, uses 50% less energy than a desktop does. If you use a desktop, shut off the monitor when not in use.
  • Shut the fridge door. Every minute a refrigerator is opened requires 3 minutes of energy to cool it.
  • Keep your refrigerator between 37 and 40° Fahrenheit and your freezer at 5°F to maximize energy efficiency without spoilage. A full freezer or fridge uses less energy. Objects hold cold temperatures better than air does. Something as simple as putting a few gallons of water in the fridge when it’s empty can save you money.
  • If you have an ancient refrigerator, chances are high that it is an energy hog. Use ice and coolers for holiday party needs and get rid of the second refrigerator.
  • Clean the lint filter to keep the dryer running at a high efficiency level.
  • Consider air-drying clothes.