Energy Upgrade California has invited me to help spread the word on energy efficiency through their statewide ‘Do Your Thing™’ educational outreach initiative. As California heats up, we use more energy that ever which results in higher CO2 emissions and pricey utility bills! However, there are tons of easy tips and quick home fixes that can reduce energy usage, collectively work towards our climate change goals and save us all money at the same time!
Here’s just a sampling of how I am ‘Doing MY Thing‘ to help reduce my energy consumption at home.
LED & Solar Everywhere
LED has come a long way! Now LED lighting comes in a variety of warm light colors and the options for bulbs are endless! I am very fond of ‘old timey’ traditional looks, so how stoked was I when I found an LED Edision Bulb for my front porch. I also found tiny round LED lights that we added to our deck stairs for nighttime safety.
Upgrading to LED light bulbs will use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer. If all Californians upgraded to LED light bulbs, we’d reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to those produced by a coal-fired power plant in one year. (average household savings: $70 annually)
I’ve also found a great variety of Solar lights for my yard, and they work just great! I especially love my solar security lights. Not only do they light up my path if I have to do a late-night trash run, but they can be installed just about anywhere. I have lights that go on in my alley, garage, walkways, etc.
Smart & Timed Lighting
I give my husband credit for all the timed lighting/energy use devices in our house. There are now ‘smart’ plugs available (lots on Amazon) that can work with your cell phone, or even a Smart Home device like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, etc.
Through a timer setting, my Smart Home devices can turn on lights inside and outside, heating, pool equipment and more. We also have the power to alter these timed settings via our phones, so we can change pre-set events when needed. This can cut down on a lot of unnecessary energy usage – and honestly it’s pretty fun to walk into a dark house and yell upon entry, “Alexa! Turn on my lights!” Bing! Wa la.
I had it in my head that everything in my laundry needed to be washed in warm or hot water. It’s really not the case, especially for dark colored clothing. Clothing with color actually fares MUCH better in cooler water temps and still gets squeaky clean. Switching to cold water washes saves a ton of energy!
On days that are warmer(any day over 75 degrees), I now wash my DOG with cold water, outside, with a hose. Yes, little princess looks a little put off, but cold water has an additional benefit. As the temps rise, so do pet allergies and fleas. Cool water baths help soothe the skin, so my pup is less itchy as well! The air is also so warm that she feels relief as she dries in the sun.
Our appliances and office equipment SUCK! Suck power! Little devices that seem innocuous enough such as the Coffee Maker, Printer and DVR actually keep sucking power all day, even when not in use. The rule at home is if it’s not in use, unplug it!
If we are leaving town, we take further steps to make sure EVERYTHING is unplugged from TVs, Wifi-Routers to Computers, even if the devices are already turned off.
Low-Peak Energy Use
We Cali Kids are getting pretty good at timing our energy and water usage. I personally do my laundry late at night, and run my pool pump in the morning. My pool pump does make noise, so I’m sensitive to my neighbors. As they are a busy family with kids as well, anything after 7:30 AM during the work week is fair game. On weekends we take an energy break on the pool so everyone can sleep in.
Using high-energy devices (dishwashers, air conditioners, pool equipment, washing machines) at low-cost times to save money and cut the user’s carbon footprint. In addition to reviewing your pool maintenance plan, it’s also important to maintain your pool equipment.
As demand for electricity increases during peak hours, energy costs are at their highest. On this plan, electricity costs before 11 a.m. and after 4 p.m. in the summer and before 4 p.m. and after 9 p.m. in the winter are less expensive, which encourages you to spread you energy use across the day.
I love my state, and I’m always trying to find new ways to save energy and save my planet!
Share your tips below! #DoYourThing #LetsGetCharged