'In the nation's pursuit of energy affordability, climate change mitigation, and energy security, energy efficiency stands out as perhaps the single most promising resource.' -- Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy, McKinsey and Company, September, 2009.
We couldn't have said it better ourselves. The problem is, while both business and residential energy efficiency can be major ways to save energy, money, and the planet, it is, just, well, a little boring. RENEWABLE ENERGY gets all the attention, and to be sure, solar, wind, geothermal and tidal power are all exciting ways to save energy, prospects that in the long run will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and unstable foreign power.
But long before these technologies reach a price point that is appealing to most Americans, we can harness the power of improving business and residential energy efficiency to take small, sustainable steps towards a healthier planet, which is why we've come up with five simple and inexpensive ways to save energy and money by using less electricity around the home and office.
Five Ways to Save Energy
1) Your PC likes breaks too -- Ok, quick! Put your computer to sleep (cue the Jeopardy theme). If it took you more than three seconds, you're working too hard. One of the easiest ways to save energy is with an ecobutton(TM). It's ridiculously easy to use, impossible to ignore on your desk, and its software reports your dollar and CO2 savings every time you use it, which feeds your green conscience.
2) Light only the page -- Do you read books in bed before you go to sleep? We do. But we get all the light we need using an LED-illuminated Lightwedge(R). And we never feel guilty about our residential energy efficiency levels if we fall asleep with the Lightwedge(R) still on.
3) Slay the vampire -- When you switch off your big screen TV, you're not getting the big picture. Because we are an impatient society, our electronic devices use energy even when turned off, just on the chance you might show up. This standby, aka 'vampire' power, is nearly equal to the amount the device sucks while in use. Get a smart strip to improve residential energy efficiency and stop Dracula in his tracks.
4) Dim your lamps -- We're cheating a little. Using less light is more about conservation than residential energy efficiency, but there are times when less is okay. Not many stand-alone lamps have dimmer switches, one of the best ways to save energy. We've got an app for that however -- a lamp-friendly dimmer. And for an energy-efficient alternative to an incandescent, consider a fully compatible, dimmable, energy saving bulb.
5) Greenlight your world -- There is a direct relationship between enthusiasm for business and residential energy efficiency and the value gained from making the effort. Consider 23-watt eco-friendly light bulbs that have it all:
High Hopes for the Future of Business and Residential Energy Efficiency
We have high hopes for renewable energy and are following every development when it comes to ways to save energy. But for now, because the cheapest, cleanest kilowatt of electricity is the one that's never used in the first place, we think McKinsey & Company is on to something.
We hope our simple business and residential energy efficiency ideas for living more lightly will inspire you to take action and to dream up your own to help save the only planet we'll ever call home.
1. Based on a national average retail electricity price of 11.47 cents per kilowatt hour. Source: Energy Information Administration.
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