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So fresh and so green, green

22 February 2008

Maybe it’s because the hot water was turned off in my building last night, but for whatever reason, I find myself considering the question of hot water today. Specifically, just how important is hot water heating when it comes to energy use? The U.S. Department of Energy tells me that water heating can account for14-25% of the energy consumed in the average American home.  A quarter of your energy use!  Which means, naturally, you can do a lot to save money and energy when it comes to hot water.

On the Minnesota Energy Challenge, we have several efficient actions that involve reducing the amount of hot water we consume. Actions like installing low-flow shower heads, limiting showers to five minutes or less and washing all clothing in cold water can have big impacts – in fact, these three measures combined will avoid at least 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution and save you at least $125 a year. That’s a 2% reduction of the average Minnesota household’s carbon footprint and all at the cost of one low-flow shower head – which can run you all of $20.

Here are a few tips on reminding yourself (and those you live with) to reduce their hot water consumption. Put a timer in the shower to get an idea of what a five minute shower is like (I recommend Ripple’s cute and fun timers). Put a sign up on your washing machine or taped to your detergent to remind yourself to use only COLD water for ALL your laundry. Make a list of all the fun things you could do with an extra $125 and look at it to remind yourself to conserve. Buy that low flow shower head and put it in right away. It’s easy, and you can make a real difference when you take action.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 25 February 2008 10:20 pm

    What if we have no water? On my post tonight, I wake up one morning with no power, water, food or transportation. What would you do? Vote in my poll at

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