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What is Your New Years Energy Resolution?

4 January 2012

The New year iss a great time to set some new goals for reducing energy waste in your home. After all, your energy saving resolution doesn’t have to be difficult or take a lot of time to make a real difference! Here are a few ways you can achieve your energy-saving goals in 2012.

Goal: Reduce Phantom Load

This is an easy one folks – and it could reduce your energy consumption by 5 to 20 %!  Phantom load is the sneaky, constant drain of electricity by electronics left plugged in when you’re not using them.  If it has a digital clock, uses a remote or has a little light that tells you it’s ready to turn on, then it can have phantom load – which means you end up paying for electricity that you never get to use.

Luckily, it’s easy to stop phantom load with power strips!  Start with your entertainment system and home office. Place the strip where you can easily reach it, then turn off the strip when you are not using those electronics. There are pretty cool smart power strips now that can make fighting phantom load even easier!

Important note: If unplugging something, or plugging it into a power strip and turning it off means you’ll have to re-program it every single time (cable boxes, I’m looking at you), don’t worry about it!  Just focus on electronics that don’t need to be re-programmed, like TVs and computers.

Goal: Use more compact fluorescent light bulbs

A good starting goal is to install 5 more compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). First pick the lights in your home that are used the most such as your hall, kitchen or family room. This way you will get the largest benefit from the CFL. Then pick the right type of CFL bulb. A great way to help you with this process use the Light Bulb Finder app. It helps you find the best CFL replacement- and you can even buy the exact bulb online directly from the app. Any way you do it, make sure you get EnergyStar rated bulbs!

Goal: Get rid of the beer fridge

This is a great goal because you can save over $100 dollars a year!

If you are an Xcel customer they will even pay YOU $35 to have someone from Xcel remove the fridge for you. Can’t get much easier than that, eh? If you are unsure if you want to get rid of the fridge completely, unplug it while you do not need it. For instance, if for 90% of the year you have  5 beers in the basement fridge, move those beers upstairs and unplug the fridge. When it is needed, just plug it back in a couple days ahead. This way you will still save a significant amount of money and energy.

Goal: Use my car less

The best part of this is that you will feel better by being active AND have more money in your pocket! To do this you can start small. Choose one trip you usually take a week and plan to walk, bike or bus. If you already do this once a week, maybe increase it to twice a week –  it can really add up over the year. Here are some helpful websites:

::Metro Transit

::Bike Walk Twin Cities

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