Living Green

In your efforts to live green, consider energy efficiency as one of your main priorities. Save money on your utility bill and lessen your impact on the environment with these simple actions. Start with the energy-saving tips, buy energy-efficient appliances and expand these strategies into your business and community.

Heating, Cooling and Insulation Tips

  • Dress appropriately to the weather. In summer, wear lighter clothing to reduce the need for air conditioning. In winter, put on a sweater before cranking up the heat.
  • During the summer, a 5ºF higher setting on your air conditioning thermostat will save about 10% on cooling costs.
  • During the winter, set the thermostat to 68ºF when you are home (health permitting) and lower when you are away. Lowering the temperature 3 to 5ºF can save you up to 20% on heating costs.
  • Reduce air conditioning costs by using fans, keeping windows and doors shut and closing shades during the day.
  • Replace or clean furnace filters regularly and get a furnace tune-up. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted can help you save on heating costs.

Lighting and Electronics Tips

  • Turn off unnecessary lighting and use task or desktop lamps with CFLs instead of overhead lights.
  • Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and save on lighting costs. If all Californians replaced five bulbs with CFLs, it would be like taking 275,000 cars off the road.
  • Unplug electronics, battery chargers and other equipment when not in use. If all Californians unplugged electronics when not in use, it would be like taking 120,000 cars off road.

Water Use and Appliances Tips

  • Cut water use by installing faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads and low-flush toilets. As much as 19% of California electricity is used to pump, transport and treat water.
  • Turn your water heater down to 120º or the "Normal" setting when home, and to the lowest setting when away. Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy costs.
  • Wash clothes in cold water. About 90% of the energy use in a clothes washer goes to water heating.
  • Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when fully loaded. Fewer loads reduce energy and water use. Use the air-dry option instead of the heat-dry. Check and clean the dishwasher drain.
  • Make sure your dryer's outside vent is clear and clean the lint filter after every load.

For more energy- and water-saving tips, visit FlexYourPower.org.

For Your Business

Are you looking for comprehensive energy-saving solutions for your business or organization? Energy efficiency improvements boast some of the highest returns on your investment. Boost your profits with energy efficiency and conservation; take a look at these Best Practices Guides from Flex Your Power.
Don't forget that you can also cash in on rebates offered by your local utilities. They have free programs to help you implement energy-saving strategies. Use the Rebate and Services locator at right to find programs.