Every light we flip on, every television we leave playing, every extra long hot shower we enjoy; they all utilize energy. And unfortunately, in addition to putting a dent in your finances, excessive energy consumption has a negative effect on the planet as well.
According to the EPA, 39% of the energy consumed in the US is to produce electricity so the easiest way to make a difference at home is to limit your electricity use. Don’t leave lights on and televisions running, unplug appliances when they’re not in use as they continue to draw power even when off, and minimize your use of hot water, as well as heat and air conditioning when possible.
Other options include converting your home to a renewable energy source, like solar, geothermal, or wind power. While geothermal may not be feasible for a home, the prevalence of suburban solar panels or small wind turbines has become great. Potentially, a home could exist entirely off the electrical grid via solar or wind power and produce enough energy to actually sell back to the grid. Your home could power itself and make money. Many locations also offer tax incentives for the installation of solar power systems. While you will have to pay more initially for equipment and installation, in the long term these upgrades will pay for themselves and then some, and the positive impact on the environment will be perpetual. If you can’t create your own energy, ask your local provider about purchasing electricity that uses renewable energy sources.
At our Baltimore headquarters, we embrace the benefits of sustainable power. Our office is located in a refurbished warehouse and our power is 100% wind generated.
If you’re looking for some quicker options that are simple to implement, Energy.gov provides a list of ideas you can easily apply to your home:
- use a programmable thermostat use your heating and air conditioning more efficiently
- lower your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- only wash laundry and dishes in full loads
- air dry clothing and dishes
- ensure windows and doors are always sealed when using heat or air conditioning
- upgrade your windows to energy efficient ones
- use Energy Star products like light bulbs, appliance, and electronics that meet strict guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy