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WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
YOUR ENERGY CONSERVATION CHECKLIST
_____ Buy and/or replace appliances and technological equipment with Energy Star products. These items use less energy while performing the same functions. The upfront costs may be slightly higher, but the amount you save over time on energy bills will more than compensate.
_____ Request an energy audit from NYSERDA. An audit will help you identify where you are wasting energy and how to save money by using energy more efficiently. nyserda.org/programs/energyaudit.asp
_____ Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. The bulbs may cost a bit more, but they last up to five years and reduce your energy bill significantly.
_____ Switch from a conventional electrical supplier to a renewable energy supplier. Contact your electric company or visit Riverkeeper’s website to identify a supplier.
_____ Spring clean year round. Keeping the vents on your appliances free of dust and debris enables them to run more efficiently, requiring less energy.
_____ Install a low-flow faucet on your showerhead. You won’t feel the difference in the shower, but your water heater won’t have to work as hard to keep large volumes of water hot.
_____ Insulate your hot water heater to prevent heat loss.
_____ Plant shade trees near your south-facing windows. They will block the sun’s rays from warming your home during summer months, reducing your need to turn on the air conditioner.
_____ Turn up your thermostat. By setting your air conditioner or central air two degrees higher than your current setting, you greatly reduce your energy use without sweating during those hot summer days.
_____ Keep doors and windows closed when using air conditioning. Businesses, in particular, often prop doors open to lure customers in during hot days. If you see a business cooling the outdoors, ask to see the manager and explain the importance of Smart Energy use.
_____ Think before you open your refrigerator. Every time you open the fridge, you are letting out cold air. The longer the door remains open, the warmer the fridge becomes, prompting the motor to kick in.
_____ Unplug energy vampires, when not needed. The conveniences of modern day life have brought with them a mountain of tiny gadgets that need to be charged. The charger continues to draw energy, even if the device is not plugged in. This also applies to television sets, cable boxes, computers, and other common equipment found in the modern home.
_____ Install a smart-metering device to monitor your energy use. Smart-meters show the consumer when energy demand is high and low. Keeping track of fluctuations not only tells you when it’s best to run energy-intensive appliances but also reduces strains on the grid.