Here are some quick and simple things that cost little or nothing, and may save you money and protect our island environment:
Replace regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs
CFLs use one-fourth the energy of an old-fashioned incandescent bulb, last longer and are cooler, reducing the need for air conditioning. Changing just one 100-watt bulb to an equivalent 26-watt CFL, based on three hours use per day, can save 81 kWh and up to $24 per year per bulb.
Use Fans instead of air conditioners
Two fans, rather than an 8,000 BTU room air conditioner running four hours a day, can save over $1,150kWh and $345 a year. Be sure to turn fans off when not in room as they are not cooling the air; their purpose is to move air across your skin which IS cooling.
Cutting just two minutes per shower could save up to 1,533 kWh and $460 per year.
Fix leaky faucets
A faucet leaking just one drop of hot water per second costs 400 kWh and $120 per year.
Wash clothes in cold water
Switching from Hot Wash/Warm Rinse to the Cold/Cold cycle on a standard, top-loading washing machine for just two loads a week can save 225 kWh and $68 per year.
Eliminate energy sneakers (phantom load)
Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, cell phone chargers, toasters and televisions use energy. Use a power strip to conveniently turn off computers (after properly logging off), monitors, printers and chargers for camera batteries, phones and PDAs, all of which use standby power when not in use. Using a power strip to turn off your computer alone can save 50 kWh and $15 per year.
Air dry dishes
Letting dishes air dry instead of using heated drying on the average dishwasher saves 110 kWh and $33 per year.
Limiting how often and how long you open the refrigerator will save electricity and protect the appliance. Also limit opening the oven while cooking or baking to save electricity; protect the appliance and speed up cooking times, too.
Install motion/occupancy detectors indoors and out
Cutting use of a 150-watt, outdoor flood light from six hours to one hour per night with a motion sensor saves up to 270 kWh and $81 per year. Switching off a 100-watt light for just one, 8-hour day per week, can save 41 kWh and over $12 per year.
Use ENERGY STAR® appliances
When it is time to replace or add appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol on refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers, as well as DVD and VCR players, televisions and home office equipment. Visit ENERGY STAR to learn more.
Do your own home energy audit
Take the online My Home Energy Check energy survey at ENERGY STAR for a free analysis of where your home energy dollars are going and some tips for possible savings.
For more information on ways you can reduce your use of electricity and lower your bill, check out Hawaiian Electric’s complete Energy Tips and Choices guide.
Be sure you’re recycling at home
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates. The website Earth 911 can help you find recycling resources in your area.
Mahalo to HECO for providing part of this information