Energy Conservation and Efficiency
The Best Watt is a Watt Not Used!
- Take advantage of a Mass Save no-cost home energy assessment. Call 781-305-3319 or go online to schedule an appointment for your no-cost, detailed home energy assessment with Green Needham’s MassSave Home Performance Contractor partner, HomeWorks Energy. The energy advisor will provide information on weatherization, equipment replacement, insulation, and tell you about generous rebates, plus install low energy light bulbs if you wish. Watch Green Needham’s Jim Glickman discuss the benefits of getting a no-cost home Assessments on The Needham Channel. Click in the box to the below to watch now. Or visit Green Needham’s Home Energy Assessment page for more information.
Join the Green Energy Consumers Alliance (formerly Mass Energy) “Shave the Peak” initiative. From their website: “Shave the Peak” empowers those who believe that the transition to a safe climate begins with more people united for a low-carbon future. Each member of this growing community is committed to reducing electricity usage at home on days when skyrocketing overall demand is met by the dirtiest and most expensive fossil fuels, or “peak days.” Their actions advocate forward-thinking policies that can transform our electric grid.
Sign up to receive conservation alerts on peak days, learn more about the electric grid, and support advocacy efforts to clean up the New England power system.
- Dispose of a little-used second refrigerator or freezer. According to Mass Save, “your old fridge or freezer could be costing you $150 a year in energy cost.” Mass Save often offers programs to pick up and recycle a working second refrigerator and pay you $50! (If a second fridge is a must, consider downsizing to a small Energy Star compact fridge.)
- Buy Energy Star certified appliances and electronics to make sure you are getting the most efficient products. Check the Mass Save website for rebates and information on many products, including kitchen appliances, dehumidifiers, washers and dryers and more. To get a rebate of up to $200 on the replacement of an old, inefficient refrigerator with an EnergyStay model, a special home visit is required. Call 781-305-3319 or visit HomeWorks Energy, Green Needham’s MassSave partner to schedule a no-cost home energy assessment.
- Mass Save suggests turning off an air conditioner when you’re not at home and suggests a temperature of 78ºF. See all their heating and cooling tips.
- Replace your most-used incandescent light bulbs with LEDs or compact fluorescents, which use up to 75% less energy. CFL or LED? Although the initial cost is somewhat more, LED’s last much longer than CFL’s, are even more energy efficient; they light up immediately and have no mercury that requires special handling when disposed of. Their cost has come down significantly in the last few years. See a detailed comparison here. (When you do have to dispose of compact fluorescents, remember to take them to the Universal Waste Shed at the Needham Transfer Station since they contain a small amount of mercury.)
- Turn off lights and electronics when no one is in the room, plug electronics into power strips with a switch that can be turned off when devices are not in use. Electronics such as TV’s, stereos, computers, printers, and DVD players use power even when off. Turning off the power strip switch cuts off this wasted power.
- Video game consoles such as XBox use a lot of energy when in standby mode. “The best thing to do is simply turn off your video game console whenever possible at the power strip. Another good option is to use the power management features already built into your device. These features are often disabled initially, so you have to activate them yourself, but they can save tons of energy without negatively affecting your gaming experience. Video game consoles also use much more power when used for nongaming purposes—like watching movies—than a stand-alone device such as a DVD player. So if you’re craving a movie, make sure to use a separate DVD player rather than your game console.” City of Palo Alto Energy Tips October, 2013.
- Don’t leave computers on. The U.S. Dept. of Energy recommends setting up the standby (sleep) power-down feature on your computer. They recommend turning off the monitor if you won’t use it for at least 20 minutes, and turning the computer off if you won’t use it for at least 2 hours. The DOE points out that it is a myth that you shouldn’t turn off computers. Also, screen savers are not energy savers, and the power-down feature may not work if you have a screen saver activated. Keep in mind that ENERGY STAR-labeled computers are more and more efficient. The Dept. of Energy estimates that if all US computers were Energy Star rated, there would be a savings of “more than $600 million in electricity costs and prevent 8 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every year.”
- Choose Energy Efficient Technologies for heating and cooling. Check out Green Needham’s page on heating and cooling systems when you are looking to upgrade.
Want to get more involved promoting energy conservation and efficiency in Needham? Then consider joining Green Needham’s Home Energy Savings Team – any and all help is appreciated! If you want more information, contact Jim Glickman or Maureen Commane.