The hubbub of Earth Day and Spring Cleaning at this time of year may have got you thinking of ways to make your home more efficient, reducing your footprint on the environment. There are many ways (small and large) for homeowners to reduce the environmental impact of their energy consumption. Many of them will even save you money— instantly or in the long run!
Whether you are looking to get your feet wet or if you are looking for a total energy revamp, this list ought to get your wheels spinning.
- Hang your clothes to dry on a drying rack or a clothesline and see your energy consumption reduce dramatically.
- Wait to do laundry or run your dishwasher until you have a full load.
- Reduce your hot water heater to 120 degrees (most are automatically set to 130 or 140F)
- Donate food waste (in Summit County) to the local community gardens for compost.
- Recycle! Click here to for a guide to Summit County recycling.
- Reuse your jars, buckets, and crates for storage.
- Install a programmable thermostat so the temperature will automatically lower when you are not home.
- Use LED lightbulbs – a small everyday purchase that go a long way (not only is the lifespan on these bulbs incredible, but it also helps save a lot of electricity.)
Small changes that have a BIG impact!
- Install high-efficient shower heads and faucet fixtures.*60 billion gallons of water would be saved annually if every household in the USA switched to water-efficient faucets.
- Upgrade refrigerators and washer/dryers to an energy saving machine. Washing machines also have load-sensing options. Paying a slightly higher price now will save you money on electricity in the long run.
An even bigger difference:
- Install high-efficiency toilets. *A leaky toilet can waste up to 250 gallons per day, twice the volume used by a family of four
- Install skylights – Natural light is so much more inviting and large windows can also serve the same purpose, plus with a lowered energy consumption your electric bill is bound to go down substantially.
The Winner Winner Chicken Dinner:
- Fork up the money now and save later with solar panels. This option gives you an entirely reliable source of energy. It will pay for itself in a short number of years. It gives you energy independence. Plus, it makes a dramatic difference to the health of the environment and the slowing of global warming. With 300+ days of sunshine in Colorado, what’s stopping you?
- Consuming natural energy without installing solar panels is also possible. Community solar gardens are available in many communities and credits from wind energy companies are now available for purchase in several areas.
As though the long-term savings and environmental benefits weren’t incentive enough to make changes to your energy consumption, Colorado also rewards energy-efficient homeowners with financial rebates. Homes are assessed for energy efficiency and then given a score rating. Like in golf, a lower score is better and anything below 50 will qualify homeowners for rebates.
The High Country Conservation Center is a great Summit County resource for anyone looking for greater detail regarding energy efficient options for your home. Within the county, experts from their team are available to visit your home and make customized recommendations to benefit you most. Wherever you are, we encourage you to take advantage of the spring season to plant new energy consumption habits in your home.