When the time comes to purchase new appliances, consumers often base their choices on how energy efficient the new appliance will be. Luckily most of the work involved in figuring out just how energy efficient and appliance is has already been worked out, by the people who endorse appliances with the Energy Star. Combining the Energy Star endorsement with the Energuide rating system, which tells consumers exactly how much energy the appliance uses, will help shoppers make the best possible purchases.
One of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprints of households and businesses is to concentrate on improving the efficiency of energy usage. And one of the best places to begin efficiency improvements is with lighting.
Richard Yancy, Executive Director of Green Light New York explains why starting with lighting to improve energy efficiency: “Because it’s the cheapest efficiency improvement you can make, and also because people can see it.”
Yancy explains that Project Green Light New York is trying to be a “living room for energy efficiency.” The project combines education with interactive models, while also creating a space for learning and discussion. The location for the GLNY resource center exemplifies the goals of the project: the juxtaposition of cutting-edge lighting in one of New York City’s oldest and most historic buildings, on Chambers Street near City Hall and the federal courthouse, shows that efficiency can easily begin with lighting, even in the oldest of buildings.
Improving consumer’s energy efficiency and lowering their carbon footprint is a goal of IDT Energy.
The Energy $mart New Construction Program in New York was launched in order to encourage buildings to incorporate energy efficient and renewable energy resources into construction and operation. A large variety of entities are eligible to become part of the program, including government facilities, non-profit organizations, health-care facilities, elementary and high schools, colleges and universities.
The NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) is behind the program, which also allows agricultural, commercial, industrial/manufacturing, institutional and multi-family buildings over 5 units to participate.
The sum of $91 million has been allotted to conduct technical assessments of how efficient energy use can be utilized in a particular building’s design and structure. The money will also be used to compensate for the extra capital expenses required to purchase and install energy efficient equipment and devices, up to 75 percent.
There is also money available from the program for technical assistance, whole-building design, LEED projects and commissioning services. The program began on January 4, 2012, and will continue funding on a first-come, first-served basis until December 31, 2015.
The US Department of Energy has a wonderful, concise booklet to help consumers save on their energy bill throughout the year. Saving energy is not only good for the individuals and families by helping them save money, it is also beneficial to the country as a whole. As the DOE puts it,
“Saving energy reduces our nation’s overall demand for resources needed to make energy, and increasing your energy efficiency is like adding another clean energy source to our electric power grid.”
Here are just a small number of suggestions to help people save on their electric bill, which IDT Energy supports:
- Have a programmable thermostat installed to run heating and cooling systems more efficiently.
- Don’t use your dishwasher’s drying cycle; just let the air dry off your clean dishes.
- Remember to turn off appliances when not in use
- Even better, unplug your appliances when not in use to save on “ghost” electric usage. You can have a number of appliance all plugged into a power strip which can be turned off, making this task easier.
- Lowering the thermostat on your hot water heater down to 120°F keeps your water hot enough, but can save lots of energy.
The DOE has lots more tips and suggestions for saving energy. It’s good for you and its good for our community.
Little things can make a big difference when it comes to saving energy, according to reporter Stacy Johnson. Learn more about simple energy conservation at home:
As winter rages on and another polar vortex threatens the United States, families can benefit greatly from learning a bit about heating and ways to conserve energy at home. Home Energy Saver recently shared this infographic in an effort to boost awareness and support energy conservation:
— Energy Department (@ENERGY) December 17, 2013
Winter is upon us, and during this chilly, festive season, it is important to stay on top of energy consumption. Keeping the house warm, cooking in the oven and long, hot showers all contribute to higher energy costs.
Craft/DIY Eco Tips offers some great winter energy savings ideas in this short video:
Saving energy is a top priority in almost every household. Many parents find that they struggle to keep their family’s energy consumption under control. One great way to get on top of things is to start involving every member of the family in the efforts, including the children.
TVA Kids offers some great energy saving tips for youngsters:
Set your home’s thermostat a few degrees lower. For each one-degree change, your family can save up to 5 percent on your home’s heating and cooling costs!
Turn off lights and all electronics (like computers, televisions, stereos, and video-games) when you leave a room.
Use the microwave instead of the oven for cooking your meals.
Use machines like washers, dryers, and dishwashers after 8 p.m.
Open your blinds or curtains on sunny winter days to let the sun shine into your home.
Save hot water by taking short showers instead of baths.
Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
Occasionally hold a ribbon up to the edges of your home’s windows. If air is leaking into, or out of, the house, the ribbon will move. If you find a leak, let someone in your family know so they can fix it.
IDT Energy CEO Geoffrey Rochwarger recently shared some advice for businesses, explaining that creating value is essential in any industry.
“Managers must evolve their business plans to meet customers’ changing needs. Every business, if it wants to grow, needs to identify how customers’ behaviors change and how this creates new markets—large and niche—that are as yet untapped. This goes for companies large and small,” he said. ““It is crucial for businesses to understand how they can leverage their customer’s additional needs to produce new revenue streams. This can be done in many ways. It may mean offering more services, tailoring existing services to further serve customers’ needs, or adjusting pricing tiers in a way that makes the product or service better for customers while augmenting the business’ earnings potential.”