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Whatever You Do Matters!

10 September 2009

I was giving a presentation last night when I startled some people by telling them that energy efficiency isn’t about suffering. I think a lot of people have gotten the idea that saving energy means giving up on comfort or the things you enjoy, like a nice long hot shower or living in a warm house.  But really, energy efficiency done correctly allows you to enjoy your comforts while helping you save money and energy in your home.

For example, phantom load is the constant leak of electricity from most appliances and electronics left plugged in.  The best way to stop phantom load – which costs our country over $4 billion a year in wasted energy – is to unplug electronics or plug them into power strips and turn off the power strip.  But what about cable boxes?  Or Tivos and DVRs? If you unplugged these things, they would save money and energy, but it would also be a huge pain. We’re not going to tell you to do anything that is going to drive you crazy, having to re-program things over and over again.  Don’t worry!

Just take the actions that you can do right now. Even little stuff saves money – energy efficient light bulbs are the best place to start, but things like putting window film on in the winters and turning down your thermostat two degrees can save the average household up to $100 during our long heating season.  Do what works!  Every little bit matters – and will help you save.

You can learn more convenient, easy ways to save energy at the Minnesota Energy Challenge!

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