Switch from your typical, conventional light bulb to Energy Star-rated compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Although a bit more expensive, these bulbs use 75% LESS energy and last up to 10x longer, thus saving you money in the long run. According to Phoenix Home and Garden, if every household were to replace one traditional bulb with a CFL, the US would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes per year! One thing to note, however, is that these bulbs do contain a bit of mercury, so proper disposal needs to be in order.
Light-emitting diodes (LED’s) are another alternative to traditional bulbs. Although a bit pricier than both CFL’s and other, traditional bulbs, they are mercury-free and are ideal for under-cabinet and task lighting, as well as outdoor step and path lighting. These bright bulbs, although not lasting as long as CFL’s, are known for their directional illumination.
By using the “air-dry” setting on your dishwasher, meaning it will not require heat, you will use 20% less energy. Putting your laundry on lines instead of the dryer will also save energy and soak up the beautiful smell of the outdoors.
Look for the Energy Star sticker on items that you buy, such as appliances, lighting, and electronics. This indicates that an item meets certification for curbing energy consumption. These appliances use 10-50% less energy and water than standard models.
By raising your thermostat 7 degrees during the summer (I.E. from 69 to 76), you will decrease cooling costs by up to 18%. You can also install a programmable thermostat to save even more.