February 22, 2017

Energy Conservation Tips


•Set the thermostat comfortably low in the winter and comfortably high in the summer. Install a programmable thermostat that is compatible with your heating and cooling system.
•Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
•Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
•Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use.
•Take short showers instead of baths.
•Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
•Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.
•Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR® products meet strict efficiency uidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Commercial, Industrial and Public facilities

•Optimize space temperature settings by time of day and by season, moderating conditions during unoccupied hours.
•Improve lighting system efficiency by installing new high efficiency lighting technologies.
•Reduce lighting energy use when spaces are unoccupied. Use automatic controls, and encourage manual switching by employees.
•Weatherize buildings to reduce wall, window and door losses.
•Turn off office equipment, room air conditioners and production equipment when not in use. Use automation or time clocks.
•Enable power management features on all desktop computers and monitors that trigger due to inactivity.
•Perform periodic maintenance of all heating, air conditioning and ventilation equipment in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
•Verify proper ventilation rates, aligning them with occupancy levels. Reduce or turn off ventilation in unoccupied areas except where required for health or safety.
•Implement procurement practices that emphasize energy efficient equipment targeting ENERGY STAR® labeled products where available.
•Reduce leaks in compressed air systems.

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The costs of lighting can add up to more than one fifth of your electric bill. Here are some tips for using your
lighting most efficiently:

Indoor Lighting Tips

•Take a look at how your lighting is arranged. If possible, put your table and floor lamps in the corners, where the light will reflect off two walls instead of one.
•Use natural lighting whenever you can. Keep blinds and drapes open during the day so that you don’t waste energy.
•Consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.
•Use task lighting; instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example,
use fluorescent under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops under cabinets.
•Consider three-way lamps; they make it easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter light is not necessary.

Outdoor Lighting Tips

•Use outdoor lights with a photocell unit or a timer so they will turn off during the day.
•Use high pressure sodium or metal halide lamps for outdoor applications if color quality is not a factor.
•Turn off decorative outdoor gas lamps; just eight gas lamps burning year round use as much natural gas as it takes to heat an average-size home during an entire winter.


Home and office lighting accounts for anywhere between 20% to 50% of electrical consumption. Making use of compact fluorescents (fluorescent lights adapted to screw into standard lamp and fixture sockets) can reduce the consumption compared to the  load of incandescent lamps by 75%. Compact fluorescents (CF’s) also help to reduce unwanted heat gain during hot summer months yet still provide equivalent lighting.

Advantages of compact fluorescent lighting:

•A 25-watt compact fluorescent light produces as much light as a standard 100-watt incandescent.
•Compact fluorescents have a rated life of 10,000 burn hours versus a rated life of only 750 burn hours for incandescents.
•Compact fluorescents last between 4 to 7 years in normal household use
•Compact fluorescents are available for both indoor and outdoor use.
•Compact fluorescent lamps are available in numerous styles including three-way, flood, dimmable and bug lights.
Even though it may seem cliché, the best way to conserve light energy is simply to turn off the lights when you’re not using them.

Saving water indoors

– Buy a front loading washer, which uses 1/3 less water than top loading models.

– Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.

– The toilet handle frequently sticks in the flush position letting water run constantly,
replace or adjust it.

– Install a toilet dam or displacement device such as a bag or bottle to cut down on the amount of
water needed for each flush.

– Don’t let water run while shaving or washing your face.

Saving water outdoors

– Avoid purchasing recreational water toys which require a constant stream of water.

– Check sprinkler systems and timing devices regularly to be sure they operate properly.

– Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces losses from evaporation.

– Avoid the installation of ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless the water is recycled.

– Don’t overwater your lawn. As a general rule, lawns only need watering every five to seven days in the summer and every 10 to 14 days in the winter.

General water saving tips

– Be aware of and follow all water conservation and water shortage rules in effect in your community.

– Encourage your school system and local government to help develop and promote a water conservation ethic among children and adults.

– Try to do one thing each day that will result in saving water. Don’t worry if the savings are minimal because every drop counts.

– Support projects that will lead to an increased use of reclaimed waste water for irrigation and other uses.

– Get involved in water management issues. Voice your questions and concerns at public meetings conducted by your local government or water management district.

The following are a few simple ways for you to make sure your home is efficiently keeping the warm air in and the cold air out.

– Keep the thermostat set to 68 degrees, and set it back even more when you are sleeping or away from your home. You can purchase a programmable thermostat to automatically turn the thermostat down at night and when you are not home. By turning down your thermostat one degree, you can save up to 3 percent on your heating bill.

– Look for a furnace that is ENERGY STAR® approved for energy efficiency.

– Make sure there is adequate insulation in your attic, walls, basement, crawl spaces, and floors.  You should also make sure the accesses to your attic are insulated and weather-stripped.

– Check your furnace filter monthly and change it when needed. Keep the space around your furnace clean to ensure it is operating efficiently.

– If needed, have your heating system tuned-up by a professional. Keep all heat registers and air ducts clear of obstructions.

– Install storm windows and doors, and replace any weather-stripping or caulking that may be damaged.

– Remove window air conditioning units from your windows during the winter months, or fill the cracks with weather-stripping. Seal drafty windows with plastic.

– Use a portable electric space heater to add warmth to the room you are in.  Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use.

– Close the fireplace damper when it is not in use. You can also shut the door and close the heat vents in rooms that are not used.

– During the summer, it can be a difficult and costly task to keep your house cool. Here are a few tips to keep the house cool:

– During the day, block the heat from the sun by closing windows, doors, and curtains.

– To save money on cooling costs turn the thermostat to 80 degrees or higher when you are sleeping or away from home. Raising the temperature by 5 degrees for eight hours can reduce your cooling costs by 3-5 percent.

– Look for an air conditioning unit that is ENERGY STAR approved.

– Avoid creating unnecessary heat and humidity in the house during summer days.  Plan to do heat and moisture-creating activities such as washing dishes, doing laundry, bathing, and cooking before noon or past 8 p.m.

– Limit the amount of time you run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans.
Only run them for as long as it takes to get rid of any odors to minimize losing cool air.

– If you use a window air conditioning unit, make sure it fits correctly into the window
to reduce the amount of cool air lost.

– Consider using a window fan, which requires as little as 1/10 the amount of energy
needed to run an air conditioner.

You can save around 10% a year  on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back  10°–15° for eight hours. You can do this automatically without sacrificing  comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat.

A programmable  thermostat offers a  lot of flexibility in its temperature settings.  Using a programmable  thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or  air-conditioning according to a pre-set schedule. As a result, you don’t  operate the equipment as much when you are asleep or when the house is not  occupied.  Programmable thermostats can  store and repeat multiple daily settings (six or more temperature settings a  day) that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or  weekly program. When shopping for a programmable thermostat, be sure to look  for the ENERGY STAR label.

General Thermostat Operation

You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10°–15° for 8 hours, you can save about 5%–15% a year on your heating bill—a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates. In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning, too, by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lowering the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually,
programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal as you wake or return home. A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. This misconception has been dispelled by years of research and numerous studies. The fuel required to reheat a building to a comfortable temperature is roughly equal to the fuel
saved as the building drops to the lower temperature. You save fuel between the time that the temperature stabilizes at the lower level and the next time heat is needed. So, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save.

Choosing and Programming a Programmable Thermostat

Most programmable thermostats are either digital, electromechanical, or some mixture of the two.
Digital thermostats offer the most features in terms of multiple setback settings, overrides,
and adjustments for daylight savings time, but may be difficult for some people to program.
Electromechanical systems often involve pegs or sliding bars and are relatively simple to program.
When programming your thermostat, consider when you normally go to sleep and wake up.
If you prefer to sleep at a cooler temperature during the winter, you might want to start the temperature
setback a bit ahead of the time you actually go to bed; you probably won’t notice the house cooling off as
you prepare for bed. Also consider the schedules of everyone in the household; is there a time during
the day when the house is unoccupied for four hours or more? If so, it makes sense to
adjust the temperature during those periods.

When selecting windows for your home, it’s important to consider what type of glazing or glass you should
use to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Based on various window design factors—such as window
orientation, your climate, your building design, etc.—you may even want different types of glazing for different
windows throughout your home.

There are many types of glazing technologies available for windows which include the following:

Window gas fills

To improve the thermal performance of windows with insulated glazing, some manufacturers fill the space between the glass panes with gas.

For these gas fills, window manufacturers use inert gases—ones that do not react readily with other substances.  Because these gases have a higher resistance to heat flow than air, they (rather than air) are sealed between the window panes to decrease a window’s U-factor*.

Heat-Absorbing, Tinted Window Glazing or Glass

Heat-absorbing window glazing contains special tints that change the color of the glass. Tinted glass absorbs
a large fraction of the incoming solar radiation through a window. This reduces the solar heat gain coefficient,
visible transmittance, and glare.

Gray- and bronze-tinted windows—the most common—reduce the penetration of both light and heat into
buildings in equal amounts (i.e., not spectrally selective). Blue- and green-tinted windows offer greater penetration
of visible light and slightly reduced heat transfer compared with other colors of tinted glass. In hot climates,
black-tinted glass should be avoided because it absorbs more light than heat.

Insulated Window Glazing or Glass

Insulated window glazing refers to windows with two or more panes of glass.  To insulate the window, the glass panes are spaced apart and hermetically sealed to form a single-glazed unit with an air space between each pane of glass.  The glass layers and the air spaces resist heat flow. As a result, insulated window glazing primarily lowers the U-factor*, but it also lowers the solar heat gain coefficient.

Low-emissivity Window Glazing or Glass

Windows manufactured with Low-E coatings typically cost about 10%–15% more than regular windows, but they reduce energy loss by as much as 30%–50%. A Low-E coating is a microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layer deposited directly on the surface of one or more of the panes of glass.  The Low-E coating reduces the infrared radiation from a warm pane of glass to a cooler pane, thereby lowering the U-factor* of the window. Different types of Low-E coatings have been designed to allow for high solar gain, moderate solar gain, or low solar gain.

To keep the sun’s heat out of the house (for hot climates, east and west-facing windows, and unshaded south-facing windows), the Low-E coating should be applied to the outside pane of glass. If the windows are designed to provide heat energy in the winter and keep heat inside the house (typical of cold climates), the Low-E coating should be applied to the inside pane of glass.

Reflective Window Glazing or Glass

Reflective coatings on window glazing or glass reduce the transmission of solar radiation, blocking more light than heat.  Therefore, they greatly reduce a window’s visible transmittance (VT) and glare, but they also reduce a window’s solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC).

Reflective coatings usually consist of thin, metallic layers. They come in a variety of metallic colors, including
silver, gold, and bronze. Reflective window glazing is commonly used in hot climates where solar heat gain control is critical.

U-factor: The rate at which a window, door, or skylight conducts non-solar heat flow.
It’s usually expressed in units of Btu/hr-ft2-ºF.

If you’re wondering when you should turn off your personal computer for energy savings, here are some general guidelines to help you make that decision. Personal computers use about the same amount of energy to startup as they use when
they are on for about two seconds. For energy savings, consider turning off

•The monitor if you aren’t going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes
•Both the CPU and monitor if you’re not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours.

Make sure your computer is on a power strip/surge protector. When the PC is not in use for extended periods, turn off the PC with the switch on the power strip. Even when you turn some PCs off with the switch on the PC
itself, it may consume a small amount of power. If you don’t use a power strip, unplug the CPU and monitor.

Most PCs reach the end of their “useful” life due to advances in technology long before the effects of being switched on and off ten or more times have a negative impact on their service life. The less time a PC is on, the longer it will last.  PCs also produce heat, so turning them off reduces building cooling loads.

Here are some tips on energy saving for computer equipment:

 ENERGY STAR® labeled computers

Most computers come with power saving features (look for the ENERGY STAR® label). Enable the computer’s APM (Advanced Power Management) and ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) can reduce power consumption up to 40 watts when in idle state. This also results in less heat dissipation and reduces the cooling load on the air-conditioner and thereby saving more energy.

•Set your printer to enter power-saving mode after being idled for 30 minutes.
•Remember to power off your printer after office hours.  It’s a good idea to use a timer switch to turn on/off
the printer automatically.

•USE LCD panels

•Select darker screen background.  LCD panels consume up to 90% less energy than CRT monitors, especially those labeled with ENERGY STAR.

•Use dark screen saver.  Select darker background colors and you’ll save 20% more energy than a light and bright background.

•Enable the Turn Off Monitor feature.  Select a dark screen saver that launches after 15 minutes of inactivity.

The suspend state of the Turn Off Monitor box in the Screen Saver tab should be set for 20 minutes, so that
the monitor will be automatically turned off after being idled for 20 minutes.

Typical Wattages of Various Appliances

Here are some examples of the range of nameplate wattages for various household appliances:

Aquarium = 50–1210 Watts
Clock radio = 10
Coffee maker = 900–1200
Clothes washer = 350–500
Clothes dryer = 1800–5000
Dishwasher = 1200–2400 (using the drying feature greatly increases energy consumption)
Dehumidifier = 785
Electric blanket- Single/Double = 60 / 100

Ceiling = 65–175
Window = 55–250
Furnace = 750
Whole house = 240–750

Hair dryer = 1200–1875
Heater (portable) = 750–1500
Clothes iron = 1000–1800
Microwave oven = 750–1100
Personal computer

CPU – awake / asleep = 120 / 30 or less
Monitor – awake / asleep = 150 / 30 or less
Laptop = 50

Radio (stereo) = 70–400
Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet) = 725
Televisions (color)

19″ = 65–110
27″ = 113
36″ = 133
53″-61″ Projection = 170
Flat screen = 120

Toaster = 800–1400
Toaster oven = 1225
VCR/DVD = 17–21 / 20–25
Vacuum cleaner = 1000–1440
Water heater (40 gallon) = 4500–5500
Water pump (deep well) = 250–1100
Water bed (with heater, no cover) = 120–380