Increase Your Efficiency

Prevent energy waste and save money with these tips.

Energy efficiency keeps bills lower for residential customers, helps businesses keep their expenses low, and creates thousands of good jobs in construction, manufacturing, research, and design. Here are a few ideas for ways to prevent energy waste and save money by using energy-efficient lighting, appliances, motors, and electronics.

In Your Home

  • Replace Older Light Bulbs. If every household in the U.S. replaced one outdated incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulb, it would eliminate the same amount of pollution as removing one million cars from the road. 

  • Use Energy Only When You Need It: Your toaster, mobile phone charger, and other electronics draw electricity and cost you money when they’re plugged in but not in use. Unplug electronics when not in use, buy Energy Star-rated products, and use smart power strips. 

  • Seal Your Home: Prevent energy--and money--from leaking out attics, ducts, windows, and doors by adding weather stripping and caulking. You’ll improve your home’s comfort and save money. 

  • Replace Inefficient Furnaces: Upgrading inefficient heating systems, especially when you improve how well your house is sealed and set them to slightly cooler temperatures, can save you up to 30 percent on your energy bill. If just one in ten households used current technology to upgrade their inefficient heating systems, we could keep 17 billion pounds of pollution out of the air--and out of our lungs. 

  • Ask An Expert For More Ideas: An energy auditor can do a detailed review of your home, suggest ways to reduce energy use, and check for any safety concerns. If you can’t afford to hire an auditor, check with your utility to see if they provide any free auditing services or self-assessment tools you can use.

  • Send Your Specific Questions to Mr. Green: Looking for even more ideas on how to make your home more efficient? Mr. Green is ready and waiting for your questions.

In Your Workplace

  • Ask for better bulbs. LED lighting is up to 85 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and up to 50 percent more efficient than fluorescents. LEDs produce high-quality light, have a long lifespan, and don’t contain dangerous chemicals like mercury.

  • Recommend energy-saving equipment. The energy to run office equipment like computers and copiers accounts for nearly $2 billion in electricity bills each year in the U.S. Installing energy-efficient office equipment and using software functionality that powers down that equipment when not in active use can make a big difference.

In Your Community

  • Ask for better streetlight bulbs. More efficient LED traffic and street lights can save cities and towns up to 50 percent in energy costs. In Chicago, an effort to replace the city’s streetlights with LEDs has already saved the city $1.8 million in energy costs, and the city is expected to reach $18 million dollars in energy rebates after having the program in place just two years.

  • Support updates to wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater treatment facilities can account for one-third of a city government’s utility bill. Most cities can reduce energy usage by 10 to 30 percent through updating aging wastewater treatment equipment with more efficient models, protecting taxpayers and our planet.

Check out our Green Tips for more energy-saving ideas that will help you reduce your carbon footprint.