REDUCE YOUR ENERGY COSTS
It really pays to conserve, and Oklahoma's Guaranteed Watt Savers is a beaming example of this fact. Engineering Energy Star homes around the country, providing LEED certification as well as consulting on green building, GWSSI works to reduce energy costs by 30-40% for each project in which they are involved. This provides a two-fold advantage, saving the American homeowner money, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their carbon footprint. The winner of the Energy Star Partner of the Year award, three times no less, as well as Keep Oklahoma Beautiful's own 2009 Vanguard award winner, GWSSI continues to promote green building and maintaining through their pioneer energy audit program, ECOmpass. Through sustainable practices, in one year, GWSSI reduced nearly 35 million lb. of CO2, 15 million MTCO2, saving 4700 forested acres and removed the equivalent of almost 2900 cars from the road. When it comes to energy savings in the home and beyond, GWSSI offers a truly solid foundation on which to build. Find tips on how you can reduce energy costs, as more at http://gwssi.com/.
Easy ways to cut your energy bill
1: Take an energy audit
Your home isn't very energy efficient if you have less than six inches of insulation in your attic, if your furnace is 10 years or older, or you have lots of windows on the North side and you live in a cold climate, according to the Alliance to Save Energy.
But, there are some specific calculations you can make to determine just how energy efficient your home is. Take a free energy audit online at the Department of Energy's website. This tool can tell you where your home is leaking energy and what you can do about it.
2: Cut the drafts
The average house loses up to 20 percent of its heat or air-conditioning leakage from air ducts alone, according to Energy Star. Make sure you repair your leaky ducts and seal drafty doors, windows and baseboards.
An easy way to figure out where the leaks may be is to light a candle or some incense near your windows and doors and see where the flame flickers. Reducing drafts in a home could save you up to 30 percent on your utility bill annually.
3: Replace your appliances
Replacing your appliances with Energy Star appliances is another way to benefit your wallet.
Energy Star products are intended to exceed energy efficiency levels of other products by 20 to 75 percent. It is estimated that the average household could save $400 a year just by using Energy Star Products.
You'll also want to get in touch with your utility company to see what tax incentives and rebates are offered for replacing water-guzzling or power-hogging appliances with eco-friendly ones. To find out more about Energy Star products, go to energystar.gov.
NOTE: Save energy by dimming the brightness on your computer monitor.
4: Get unplugged
You might not know it, but all those little gadgets you keep plugged in are taking a toll on your electricity bill. You know, those things like your Ipod charger, your cell phone and Blackberry charger.
Even keeping the coffee pot plugged in is wasting energy and costing you money. In fact, all these devices make up about 5 percent of your bill! Here's a tip: turn off that computer and unplug these vampire appliances, and you'll be taming the wild energy hog.
5: Think flat screen
To cut your energy bill, you may also want to consider replacing that bulky computer monitor you have in the home office. A flat panel computer screen uses a third of the electricity of regular computer monitors. The difference is the same as if you left a 50-watt bulb on all year.
And if you're thinking about replacing that big screen TV, think about investing in an LCD - it uses half the energy of a plasma TV.
6: Create Your Own Wind or Solar Energy
There are kits out there that help you build your own wind and solar power. For kit options visit:
gogreensolar.com or windbluepower.com
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