Infographic: Know Your Home

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Source: Infographic: Know Your Home

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October is the time to discover where your Energy Vampires are hiding in your home!

You may be surprised to discover that many appliances use energy and cost you money — even after you have turned them off. An array of household appliances often referred to as energy vampires, which include everything from microwave ovens to phone chargers, can continue to leech power from your home even while they are in standby mode. The Energy Education Council shares information to help consumers identify and tame these vampires.

According to J.M. Burgett in the March 2015 issue of theJournal of Energy Research and Social Science, among some of the worst culprits are digital video recorders at 27 watts, cable boxes (with no built-in DVR) at 15 watts, and wireless routers at 6 watts. These numbers represent how much energy is expended in standby wattage per hour. It is easy to see how just a handful of appliances, even on standby mode, can end up costing upwards of around $100 annually.

Some other common household energy vampires include:

energy efficiency vampires

With the average American household owning 25 consumer electronic devices, you can begin to see how these phantom loads can translate into a significant chunk of your energy bill. You don’t have to succumb, though, as there are several simple and convenient strategies that will help you drive a stake through these energy vampires from Energy.gov:

  • Unplug devices you don’t use often. This probably won’t work for your cable box or clock radio, but if you have an extra TV, an old desktop computer or a stereo you only use from time to time, you should consider unplugging them completely until the next time you need to use them.
  • Use power strips. Power strips allow you to toggle the power flow on and off. This will allow you to control the power usage of clusters of devices so that they’re not consuming electricity when you’re not around. Using a light switch that turns power outlets on and off accomplishes the same end, if you have one in your home.
  • Curb idle time in devices such as computers and video game consoles. Simply setting your computer to sleep mode or saving a game and powering down instead of leaving it paused for a prolonged period can actually save more than $100 a year in many cases.
  • Make smart upgrades. When it comes time to send your old devices to the graveyard, you should also consider replacing them with ENERGY STAR devices. They have a lower standby consumption than your average device and generally use less energy in all their functions – a savings you should take into account when comparing similar products. Grand Haven Board of Light & Power customers earn incentives and save on your electric bill with these energy efficient upgrades! To find the rebate application go to mienergysmart.com Want to get rid of an old refrigerator or freezer for a $60 REBATE? Go to mienergysmart.com for the application form. Read Your step-by-step Guide to Energy Smart Savings from the BLP. None of these strategies will eliminate your electric bill entirely says energy.gov, but together these tricks can help you slay energy vampires while saving money, a treat you can appreciate long after Halloween has passed. Read the whole article @ Energy.gov article Are Energy Vampires Sucking You Dry?Source: Electrical Safety Foundation and Energy.gov for these energy savings tips.

Is renewable energy for you?

Do you know someone being green and saving money by using solar, geothermal, or wind power? Are you thinking you want to get in on the savings by installing renewable energy at your home or office? If so, make sure you look before you leap. A renewable energy system is an investment that should be carefully considered and thoroughly assessed.

To help do that homework about a renewable energy installation for homes and small businesses, the Energy Education Council has developed a list of questions to answer and resources for answering those questions that will help you evaluate if renewable energy sources can help meet your goals, which type of system would be the most cost-effective and efficient, and if a renewable system is even possible for your location.

If saving money is the goal, keep in mind that the cheapest, cleanest, and greenest energy is the energy that you do not use. So the first thing to do is make sure that your home or business is as energy-efficient as possible. Efficiency should always be the first step in quest for saving money on energy.

After making sure the home or business is as efficient as possible, head to the renewable energy installation questions at EnergyEdCouncil.org/checklist.pdf.

Just a few of these questions are: • What are my energy goals? • What is my current energy usage? • What percentage of my energy needs would I like to supply with renewable sources? • Would a geothermal, wind, solar photovoltaic or solar thermal system be possible/logical for my location and intended use? • Do I need to get a permit? • What are the maintenance costs? Can I do them myself, or do I have to hire someone? • How much energy will the system save me annually?

A homeowner or small business owner armed with the knowledge gained from answering the renewable energy installation questions will be vastly better informed and ready to tackle the project and attain his or her goals. Download the renewable energy installation questions at http://EnergyEdCouncil.org/checklist.pdf, and get more information on energy efficiency and renewable energy at EnergyEdCouncil.org.

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