Life can be overwhelming with all the “shoulds” -- things we’re supposed to do like eating the right foods, flossing, creating a balanced “work-school-home-play” life, and doing something about major issues facing the world and our community. Sometimes it seems like too much. So why bother with one more thing? Because one thing -- energy efficiency -- creates three positive benefits at once for you and the planet: cuts your home utility bills so you have extra money to spend on other things, increases your comfort, reduces pollution.
And, it’s easy. When you choose energy-efficient technologies and products for your home, you can relax while they continue producing these benefits for you day after day, year after year.
Energy used to heat your home and power your TV is not too different from the energy your body gets when you eat a bean burrito. Your body is like a powerhouse, turning food (fuel) into usable energy -- the ability to do work -- and eliminating waste byproducts.
A power plant does the same thing: Coal, oil, or natural gas (nonrenewable fossil fuels) goes in and gets burned up to power a big generator that sends energy to your house, with carbon dioxide, some noxious gases, and/or sludge as byproducts.
The problem: Fossil fuels (from fossils, or remains, of dead animals and plants) take millions of years to make. The volume of byproducts created when we burn fossil fuels are not easily reprocessed in our environment and cause pollution and related health problems.
Energy production and use account for nearly 80 percent of air pollution, more than 88 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and more environmental damage than any other human activity.
Energy Efficiency vs. Energy Conservation
Energy efficiency is a far cry from old energy conservation images. It’s not turning down the thermostat and sacrificing comfort. Energy efficiency means getting the most from every energy unit by using state-of-the-art technologies to provide daily needs -- comfortable homes, profitable businesses, convenient transportation. It is the single most immediate, cost-effective way to reduce energy use and pollution.
If your house were energy efficient, you could lower your thermostat and be comfortable day and night, without drafts, cold spots, or guilt while doing your share for your family, your finances, and your environment.
If you replaced just four 100-watt incandescent bulbs that burn four or more hours a day in your home with four 23-watt fluorescent bulbs, you’d get as much light and save at least 452 kilowatt-hours of electricity and $82 over three years. If all our nation’s households did the same, we’d save as much energy as is consumed by some seven million cars in one year.
Join our “treasure hunt” to discover ways to save home energy and money. Gain Power$marts -- the knowledge and power to make energy-efficient choices. The brochure’s Power$marts Tips highlight efficient technologies and approaches, while its Energy Consciousness Tips provide the best energy-saving conservation behaviors. Together, they produce maximum results.
IT STARTS AT HOME
Surprising fact: The average home produces twice as much greenhouse gas pollution as the average car! Due to emissions produced by power plants that generate the electricity used to run modern homes -- plus home emissions from such things as oil or gas-fired furnaces -- an average house releases 22,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually compared to a typical car’s 10,000 pounds of CO2, estimates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The United States currently emits 45,000 pounds of CO2 annually per person. Most scientists believe CO2 is contributing to global climate change. In 1995, households used one-fifth of the energy consumed in the United States. About three-fifths of the energy Americans use at home is from electricity. The remainder comes from natural gas and oil.
Unfortunately, we don’t even benefit from a lot of the energy we use. Energy dollars pour out of homes through drafty doors and windows and uninsulated attics, walls, floors, and basements. Even some idle (turned off) appliances use energy 24 hours a day!
CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE --> Written by: Alliance To Save Energy
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