Energy Saving Tips
Lower your hot water heater to 120 degrees and drain any sediment.
While you're at it, add insulation to your hot water heater. While
normally only residents in freezing temperature climates (snow) insulate their
water pipes under their houses to prevent them from freezing, even in southern
California you'll realize an energy savings if you insulate your hot water
pipes if they are exposed under your house and get cold during the night or
during the winter months. Look for the long, grey, foam pipe insulators
that have a slit down the side, and just slip them over your hot water pipes
that are exposed to cold weather. You won't have to waste the cold water
running through your plumbing before the hot water comes through, since if the
insulation works you'll get started with warm water instead of cold water
before the hot water comes through.
- Plug home computers and peripherals into a control
strip and shut everything off from the strip when you are done working. You'll
avoid using unnecessary "standby" current.
- Put in garden plants to shade your air conditioning compressor (without
restricting air flow). It can save up to 10% of your cooling cost.
- Replace some incandescent bulbs in household lamps with compact
flourescent bulbs. They can save 75% of energy cost compared with a 100-watt
incandescent bulb, and last longer.
- Ambitious energy savers can consider installing photovoltaic panels on
home rooftops. A typical 2-kilowatt home setup produces 3,600 kilowatts per
year. By comparison, a coal-fired powerplant needs 3.7 tons of coal per year
to generate an equivalent amount of electricity.
- Consider buying EnergyStar-marked appliances to replace your old ones. On
room air conditioners and fridges, the U.S. government-sponsored symbol means
a 10% power saving below federal standards. For dishwashers it's 25% and for
clothes washers, 50%. Many utility companies such as DWP will give you
sizable rebates for replacing old appliances with new ones which will help pay
for the new appliance.
- Replace outdoor lighting with a motion-detector equipped bulb or fixture,
and/or use solar outdoor lighting such as solar garden lights to light a
walkway, garden, or driveway.
Install a low-flow shower head.
Check for and seal any cracks or gaps in your home, doorways, and windows
especially. Use weather strips from your local hardware store especially
for gaps above or below your doors.
http://www.sierraclub.org/energy/conservation/index.asp for links to more
energy saving tips.