Installing energy efficiency technologies can have a significant positive impact. Let's take a look at several of these technologies.
Space Heating and Cooling
- Upgrading to energy efficient space heating and cooling equipment has an enormous potential for improving comfort, reducing energy use, and lowering energy bills. Changing the temperature of air only requires 'low grade' energy and it can be done with almost any energy source including electricity, oil, gas, biomass and solar. Good building design can maximize the use of passive solar energy for heating and cooling. There are various methods to eliminating energy inefficiencies related to space heating and cooling equipment including:
- Replacing old inefficient heating and cooling equipment with more efficient equipment;
- Reducing duct leakage; and
- Improving controls (programmable thermostats).
- Hot water use is another major cause of energy use in homes. As with space heating and cooling, there are many ways of reducing energy requirements for this task. These methods include:
- Using less hot water is an obvious option and can be done easily by fitting low flow showerheads and low flow taps.
- Simply repairing leaks in faucets and showers can save hot water. A leak of one drip per second can cost $1 per month, yet could be repaired in a few minutes for much less.
- Considering drain heat recovery and solar pre-heating techniques.
- Other key strategies include:
- Installing more efficient water heating system;
- Installing a Heat Trap;
- Lowering Temperature of Water Heater (at the thermostat in the water tank);
- Insulating hot water pipes; and
- Switching fuel from electric to gas/oil.
Appliances and Lighting
Efficient appliances and lighting save resources and money, reduce environmental impacts, and keep your home cooler in the summer by minimizing heat gain inside the home.
- Lighting accounts for about 20 percent of all electricity use in the country and about 15 percent of electricity use in homes. The typical household spends about $110 per year on lighting and most of this is wasted on inefficient incandescent light bulbs. These bulbs are actually heaters in disguise, converting 90 percent of the electricity to heat, and only about 10 percent to visible light. There are practical alternatives to standard light bulbs -- compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs are now widely available in a variety of sizes and shapes. The Department of Energy has developed a lighting worksheet to illustrate how energy efficiency pays for itself.
- Additionally, there can be significant differences in the energy consumption of appliances. It depends on an age of an appliance, whether it was designed before or after the standards went into effect, or the efficiency level of the model. For instance, the amount of energy used to run one 1977 model refrigerator can power three 1998 models.
- Energy saving techniques related to appliances and lighting include:
- Reducing usage of appliances and lighting;
- Installing energy efficient appliances; and
- Installing energy efficiency fixtures and lighting.