It Pays to Invest in Energy Efficiency

Denison University in Granville, Ohio; Photo by Pbass1956

Denison University in Granville, Ohio; Photo by Pbass1956

According to a recent opinion essay in the New York Times, retrofitting old buildings to make them more energy efficient is a great way to save money.

Mark Orlowski, the founder and executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute explained that,

“The returns are tremendous, and there’s virtually no risk.”

SEI is an organization that supports research, education and practical tools to encourage institutions, usually of higher learning, to invest in ways to reduce climate change.

An example is cited of how Denison University in Granville, Ohio, invested $108,000 to install sensor-controlled heating and cooling systems in Burton D. Morgan Hall. They also had energy efficient lighting installed in the ten-year-old building, completed in 2003. Between the lowered gas and electric bills since the retrofitting, the University has saved about $28,000 per year. It took less than 4 years to recoup their investment, and can expect to continue saving money.

To learn more keep reading here.

Efficient Lighting Leads to Lower Emissions

Begin with Lighting to Reduce Emissions and Improve Energy Efficiency

Begin with Lighting to Reduce Emissions and Improve Energy Efficiency

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.

Efficient Energy Saving with Energy Star

Becoming more energy-efficient is a great way of helping the environment and reducing bills.  One way of doing this is ensuring home appliances are replaced at the right time – not too early when they don’t require replacement – and not too late, when they are well past their efficiency date. The average yearly energy bill – whether with IDT Energy or any other utility service provider – is approximately $2,200.  About 13 percent of that figure goes on large appliances (not including electronics).

It is also advisable to trade in old appliances that are no longer using energy efficiently, with new ones that have the Energy Star certification. These help to boost both energy and financial savings and are kind to the environment.  By swapping a washing machine that predates 1994, with an Energy Star-rated model, a family can save $110 in their yearly energy costs. So it makes sense to keep an eye on appliances and their efficiency.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a rising topic amongst families and businesses, with energy saving tips and facts becoming more and more sought after. Everyone knows there are many advantages to reducing energy use at home, but the concept of energy efficiency is often misunderstood.

According to Wikipedia, efficient energy use is:

“The goal of efforts to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services.”

It lists several examples:

“Insulating a home allows a building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature. Installing fluorescent lights or natural skylights reduces the amount of energy required to attain the same level of illumination compared with using traditional incandescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights use one-third the energy of incandescent lights and may last 6 to 10 times longer. Improvements in energy efficiency are most often achieved by adopting a more efficient technology or production process.”

It goes on to explain that “there are various motivations to improve energy efficiency. Reducing energy use reduces energy costs and may result in a financial cost saving to consumers if the energy savings offset any additional costs of implementing an energy efficient technology. Reducing energy use is also seen as a solution to the problem of reducing emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, improved energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes and transportation could reduce the world’s energy needs in 2050 by one third, and help control global emissions of greenhouse gases.”

IDT Energy on Keeping Cool without Breaking the Bank

When the summer starts heating up, it’s very tempting to just crank up the air-conditioner irrespective of the bills you will thereafter receive.  But when you get the bill, you may reconsider – by which time it will be too late since you will have already used all that extra electricity.  That is why IDT Energy has some great saving tips that will ensure you stay cool but don’t break the bank.  One way is to set the thermostat a little warmer for the night times. According to figures from the Department of Energy, doing this can render a 10 percent saving on heating and cooling bills with a mere thermostat change of 10 to 15 percent for eight out of each 24 hours.  This doesn’t even have to be at all complicated either since these days there are various programmable thermostats available which facilitate the process.  Another way of saving money on the bill from air-conditioning usage, is by regularly changing the filters.  An estimated 5 to 15 percent can be saved by doing this.  As well, it will improve the air-conditioning quality and there will be way less noise.

When you next go outside of your house, take a look at the air-conditioning unit from there too.  It’s important to regularly wash its coils and ensure there is nothing that blocks the air follow.  Coil cleaning can result in a 2-4 percent capacity improvement which again will result in substantial financial savings.

IDT Energy has many tips on how to make substantial savings in the summer when it seems like your home electricity is always in use.  You can indeed remain cool without over-spending. You just need to work out sensible ways of doing this.

Washing Dishes the Energy Saving Way: IDT Energy

If anybody tells you that using a dishwasher wastes water and energy, you can assure them that, depending on how you use your dishwasher that is simply not true. There are several things that you actually save by using the dishwasher rather than washing your dishes by hand.

Water

Are you surprised? Don’t be. If you only use your dishwasher when it is completely loaded up, the amount of water used will actually be less than if you washed each of those dishes by hand. One researcher found that the difference comes to 37% less water.

Time

For many people, time is money. Certainly in today’s world of two parents away from home all day at work, the time spendt washing dishes by hand could better be used enjoying the company of family and friends, plus numerous other chores which must be done.  As a time-saving device, the dishwasher rocks.

Electricity

Yes, a dishwasher does use more electricity than washing by hand, but as appliances become more efficient, you might be surprised at how little electricity the dishwasher really needs. After all, most of the electricity, about 80% used by the dishwasher is for heating the water. Whether you hand wash or machine wash, hot water still needs to be made. Also be sure to look for the Energy Star label to ensure you are purchasing the most energy efficient appliance around.

IDT Energy urges consumers to carefully pick appliances best suited to their family’s needs and lifestyles, and be energy smart.

Quick Energy Saving Tips with Your Indoor Lights: IDT Energy

Certainly, every little bit counts when you’re trying to save money.  One easy way to cut corners is to take a look at your energy bill and to try to make some changes. Whether you use IDT Energy or another provider, there is always a way to reduce your bill a bit more and to cut down on your energy costs.

Take lighting for instance.  A typical household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting.  You can reduce these costs by 50-75% with a few key adjustments.

Here are a few ways to make your indoor lighting choices more cost effective:

  1. Use fluorescent lamps rather than incandescent bulbs.  They last 6-12 times longer and they are of high quality.
  2. Buy ENERGY STAR products whenever you can.  You’ll save as much as $30 in electricity costs over the lifetime of each and every bulb.
  3. Install dimmers and timers that help you to save on electric costs by turning lights off when they aren’t in use.  Simmers allow you to lower your light levels, thus saving money.
  4. If you plan to remodel, look for recessed downlights, called “cans” that are rated for contact with insulation. They are IC rated.
  5. Make sure your home optimizes for natural light. Purchase light curtains, paint rooms with light hues and keep blinds open to let in natural light.

Stay Warm for Less with IDT Energy

Have you noticed that winter has arrived? Well of course you have, and so has IDT Energy. It’s time to discuss some great ways to save money during the high energy consuming winter months.

IDT Energy can’t emphasize enough some of the following suggestions which can help you save a lot of money on your power bill during this cold, dark time of year.

  1. Don’t delay insulating your home. Cover everything, from the walls, floors, heating ducts and don’t forget the ceilings and attic access. Basement trapdoors also need attention.
  2. Have you ever noticed how cold your glass windows get, especially at night? Cover those windows with shutters, drapes or clear plastic to keep the cold air out and warm air in.
  3. Put caulk around doors and windows. Check for cracks and holes in window and door frames, too, and plug them all up.

Winter Energy Saving Tips: IDT Energy

Winter is arriving rapidly, and it is a little known fact that the cold weather can greatly affect your electricity bill. Companies such as IDT Energy can testify to the fact that proper use of appliances and a few quick home repairs can make this season much less expensive.

First, get a programmable thermostat. Used properly, it can reduce temperature regulation costs by up to 10%. Set it at 20?C during the day and 18 when you’re sleeping or away. Second, regularly check the weather- stripping throughout your house. Drafts can increase your energy use by up to 30%. The winter months tend to be darker, and so more electric light is used throughout the daylight hours. Switch your incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones, as they use less energy and last longer. Lastly, make sure to close the doors to all the rooms that are not being used, as well as closets. The heat is easily wasted.

How to Save Money While Getting the Most from Your Dryer

Almost any energy company, like IDT Energy, would agree with the statement that using less energy can lower the monthly bill. It is relatively easy to conserve energy once you are aware of the appliances which consume the most power. One such appliance is the dryer- people often don’t realize how much electricity they use each day when they run it over and over again. Of course, using a clothesline during the summer months would conserve the most energy, however, many people don’t have a convenient location to use one, nor do they want to spend the extra time required to hang and remove the clothes.

The first way to conserve energy while using a dryer is to wring out the clothes in advance. This will help the drier work quickly and more efficiently. Sorting the clothes by weight will also increase the driers performance. Make sure not to overload it. The dryer uses more energy and works less efficiently when it is too full. If there are too many clothes that need to be dried, put one load in immediately after the other in order to take advantage of the energy that may still be lingering from the previous load.  Also, make sure to clean the lint filter often, and vacuum the exhaust hose at least once a year.

If you are looking to purchase a new dryer, some have moisture sensors and will shut down the moment the clothes are dry.