A fantastic New Year's resolution it pays to keep
For most of us, keeping those New Year's resolutions is easier said than done. By making the pledge to conserve more energy in 2015, the benefits will be twofold. In addition to saving money, you'll be helping the environment — a resolution we think you'll want to keep! Don't worry about it being too difficult. These 10 simple tips will help you live more sustainably in 2015 and beyond.
- Start with an energy checkup. A home energy assessment by a qualified auditor is one of the best ways to find energy-saving opportunities and lower your utility costs. For a quick online answer to energy assessments, try PG&E's Home Energy Checkup.
- Switch to energy-efficient lighting. Conventional incandescent bulbs that fail to meet federal energy efficiency requirements are quickly disappearing from store shelves. Now is a great time to switch to high-performance compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) lights.
- Plug energy leaks. Install weatherstripping around doors and windows to ensure that they are properly sealed. Check for and seal air leaks in the attic, basement and around plumbing and wiring access points.
- Conserve hot water. Maintain the temperature of your water heater at 120°F or lower and take quick showers instead of baths. Low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets can increase savings.
- Adjust temperatures. Properly adjust the thermostat when no one is home to avoid heating or cooling an empty house. A programmable thermostat adds convenience and optimizes savings.
- Heat and cool naturally. Take advantage of natural sunlight and window shades to provide no-cost heating and cooling.
- Wait for a full load. Save energy by only running the dishwasher and clothes washer when they are fully loaded.
- Air dry laundry. Clothes dryers are big energy users. Air dry clothing whenever possible.
- Power down. Turn off or unplug computers, battery chargers or other electronic equipment when they are not in use.
- Focus on energy efficiency. Whenever possible, replace older appliances and equipment with high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® rated products.
For more help keeping your newest resolution, check out PG&E's tips.