Energy conservation is about much more than just saving our non-renewable resources. Sure, energy conservation methods can help save money and increase your property values, but more importantly, they are about protecting the environment.
The time to start is now, so Kiwi Energy would like to take this opportunity to share some valuable information and some simple and impacting energy conservation methods.
What Is Energy Conservation?
Energy conservation starts with education, and this education starts by understanding just what energy conservation means. There is a misconception that it is about making available non-renewable resources last, and while there is a modicum of truth to that, energy conservation is a much broader concept.
Energy conservation is really about reversing the trends; not only reducing the consumption of currently available resources, but doing it to a level that will allow these resources to replenish in time.
Energy Conservation Methods
There are numerous energy conservation steps you can take; some large, some small. Implementing some (or all) of these may make a big difference in your life and in your community.
Not only do old incandescent light bulbs use a lot of energy, but 90% of the energy they use is also given off as heat, which can raise the temperature of a room and result in the unnecessary use of air conditioning during warm weather.
The obvious energy conservation method here is to turn off lights when not needed. You can also switch out incandescent bulbs for Energy Star rated CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs), halogens, or LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes). At Kiwi Energy, energy star rated bulbs are available to customers for redemption or purchase through the Ecogold customer portal.
A more extensive step is to do a survey of your light fixtures to determine which you use the most, and replace them with Energy Star certified fixtures.
Even when electronics and appliances are not on and running, they are still drawing power. Whenever possible, unplug devices like TVs, computers, and DVD players. You can simplify this by using a power strip for multiple items, and either turning off the power strip or unplugging it all together.
A New York Times article explains that there are about 50 devices and appliances in the average household that are always drawing power, and this draw accounts for approximately 25% of residential energy consumption.
A charger that is left plugged in with nothing on it can use about 0.1-0.5 watts of energy, and devices not being used but left on chargers will continue to draw power. Known as “phantom energy” or “standby energy,” this seemingly small amount can add up. If the 128.58 million households in the U.S. reduced their energy usage by 0.5 watts per day, that is a potential energy usage savings of 64.29 million watts every day.
Reducing water consumption, particularly hot water, can help reduce energy usage and preserve our freshwater supplies. Water-based energy conservation methods include:
- Only wash full loads of laundry
- Wash laundry with cold water
- Air dry/line dry your laundry
- Lower water heater temperature
- Turn off water heater when away for extended periods of time
- Don’t leave water running while brushing your teeth
- Wash and dry dishes by hand
- Install low-flow shower heads
- Install faucet aerators
- Use high-efficiency toilets
Customers of Kiwi Energy also have the option to choose from a variety of water-efficient products through our Ecogold customer loyalty program. Customers can use their rewards to redeem these items and save even more energy down the road.
Heating and Cooling
The greatest consumption of energy is in the heating and cooling of your home, accounting for 47% of your energy usage, so using energy conservation methods to curb this usage can have a significant impact.
Often referred to as “weatherizing” your home, you can reduce your heating and cooling consumption by:
- Turning down the heat in winter
- Turning up the thermostat in summer (so air conditioning runs less often)
- Installing a setback thermostat
- Having an energy audit completed
- Installing Energy Star rated windows
- Getting a clean & tune on your furnace and central air annually
- Replacing old, inefficient furnaces with Energy Star certified furnaces
- Replacing old, inefficient AC units with Energy Star certified AC
- Replacing furnace filters regularly
- Cleaning your dryer lint traps both inside and outside
Kiwi Energy we make it easy to save energy in your home by offering thermostats, weatherizing, and other home efficiency products.
You can do so much more with energy conservation methods by thinking outside the box and trying things such as:
- Pulling shades during the day to keep rooms cool in the summer; leaving them open on winter days to use the heat of the sun
- Using landscaping for natural heating and cooling
- Leaving the oven door closed while in use (you can lose 50% of your heat by opening the door!)
- Leaving the oven door open when you are through cooking or baking during winter months to warm your kitchen
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Don’t forget, there are energy conservation methods that can be practiced outside of the home. Use alternative sources of energy like solar, wind, or water, and give the following a try:
- Instead of flipping a switch to light up an outdoor walkway, use solar lamps
- Drive less and walk or bike more
- Carpool whenever possible and group your errands to avoid making unnecessary trips
- Reduce your reliance on and use of plastics
- Keep some reusable storage containers in your car or take them with you when going out to eat instead of getting to-go containers
- Use filtered water in insulated water cups instead of bottled water
Contact Kiwi Energy
Kiwi Energy is all about reliable service and a safe and sustainable environment. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us for more information about energy conservation methods and to set up service.