Top 10 Rules for Saving Energy
To get started saving energy around your home, just follow these easy rules:
1. Shut off the lights when you're done using them, and turn off the TV, computer, video games and other electrical stuff when you leave the room.
2. Adjust the thermostat during the winter. Ask a grown-up to adjust the thermostat by 10 degrees cooler in the winter and 10 degrees warmer in the summer for eight hours a day.
3. Don’t leave the refrigerator door open. Every time you open the door, up to one-third of the cold air can escape.
4. Replace a burnt-out light bulb with a new compact fluorescent bulb. Fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy, and they last 10 times longer.
5. Remind grown-ups to use cold water in the washing machine. Hot water won't get the clothes any cleaner, and it wastes a lot of energy.
6. Fix dripping faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons of hot water a month - that's more than one person uses in two weeks!
7. Take a short shower instead of a long bath. It might take 25 gallons of hot water to fill the bathtub, compared to only seven gallons for a quick shower.
8. Close the curtains during hot summer days to block the sun. During the winter, keep the curtains open.
9. Help a grown-up put plastic sheeting on windows. Blocking cold drafts is called "weatherizing" and it can save a lot of energy.
10. Help your mom or dad plant a tree to help shade your house on hot summer days.
Test your energy smarts!
Now that you're done reading the rules, test yourself by going through our energy smart house.
How You Can Save Energy
It's hard to imagine life without electricity. In our homes, we rely on it to power our lights, appliances and electronics. Many of us also use electricity to provide our homes with hot water, heat and air conditioning. There are many ways you can use less electricity right now!
What you can do
- Set your home’s thermostat a few degrees lower on cold days (or higher on hot days). For each one-degree change, your family can save up to 5 percent on your home’s heating and cooling costs!
- Turn off lights and all electronics (like computers, televisions, stereos and video-games) when you leave a room.
- Use the microwave instead of the oven for cooking your meals.
- Use machines like washers, dryers and dishwashers after 8 p.m.
- Open your blinds or curtains on sunny winter days to let the sun shine into your home.
- Save hot water by taking short showers instead of baths.
- Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
- Occasionally hold a ribbon up to the edges of your home’s windows. If air is leaking into—or out of—the house, the ribbon will move. If you find a leak, let someone in your family know so they can fix it.
What your family can do
TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions® program helps you find ways to make your home or business more energy-efficient and lower your power bills. Complete a free online home energy audit and you’ll receive a detailed report on energy-efficiency improvements you can make. Click here to get started.
Buying new appliances? Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when replacing large or small appliances. Click here to learn more.
You can set up a rain barrel to collect the water that runs off your roof and use it water the lawn or wash the car. Find out why rain barrels are such a good idea.
What your community can do
U.S. Green Building Council
The Green Building Council helps builders and governments learn about how to make buildings that use less energy and are friendly to the environment.
The Cool Cities campaign helps city residents and leaders learn how their city can save energy, reduce air pollution, and fight global warming.
Many towns and cities are saving money on their power bills by changing from incandescent light bulbs to light-emitting diode (LED) lights. These lights can be used in traffic signals, crosswalk signs and even holiday displays.
LED lights have an extremely long life span and use much less energy than incandescent bulbs. Switching to LED lighting can save 40 to 70 percent of the electricity a city uses for certain lights in parking garages, parking lots, outdoor parks and on streets.
The cities of Raleigh, North Carolina and Ann Arbor, Michigan, are taking part in LED City, a program designed to help cities use LED lighting to save energy, protect the environment and lower costs. Find out how your city can become an LED City.
When the ball that drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve in New York City was changed over to LED lighting, 9,576 LED lights replaced the 600 incandescent bulbs used in the previous ball. The new ball is more than twice as bright as the old one, but it uses only as much energy as a regular-size stove or oven.