Energy Saving Tips

Use Power Strips to Eliminate Phantom Loads
Plug home electronics, such as cell phone chargers, TVs and DVD players, into power strips and turn off the strip when not in use. Many household appliances continue to suck electricity even when switched off. Nationally, these phantom loads create annual emissions equivalent to 17 power plants! Eliminate phantom loads by unplugging idle electronics and switching off power strips. Potential Annual Savings: $200 and 480 pounds of emissions.

Based on 67 Watts per household, Humboldt County’s approximately 50,000 households have a total phantom load on the order of 3.4 megawatts (MW), or nearly 1 1/2 times the total output capacity of Matthews Dam hydroelectric plant at Ruth Lake (Humboldt Energy Task Force).

Upgrade Your Home Appliances
If all California residents replaced their old, inefficient gas furnaces with energy efficient furnaces, it would be the equivalent of taking approximately 120,000 cars off the road. On average, refrigerators use more electricity than any other appliance in a home. Older fridges are the worst offenders, so give top priority to replacing a fridge manufactured before 1993. Potential Annual Savings of Investment: $70 and 1,720 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

Reduce Your Driving

Every gallon of gasoline you save avoids 20 pounds of CO2 emissions. If your car gets 25 miles per gallon, for example, and you reduce your annual driving from 12,000 to 10,000 miles, you'll save 1600 pounds of CO2.

Save Money With an Energy Assessment
An energy assessment (aka audit) allows you to investigate the energy use of your home or business in order to identify ways to increase the building's efficiency and comfort. In addition, the recommendations based on the assessment will help you to also lower your utility bill (energy and water) and to reduce the carbon footprint of your home or business. For more information please contact Redwood Coast Energy Authority or 707-269-1700.

Use Rechargeable Batteries
Studies have shown that using rechargeable batteries for products like cordless phones and PDAs is more cost effective than throwaway batteries. If you must use disposal batteries, check with your local waste management company about safe disposal options.

Turn Off Monitors, Computers & Electronics When Not In Use
There is a common misconception that screen savers reduce energy use in monitors, but this is not true. Setting your computer to sleep mode or manually turning monitors off will save more energy. Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use; Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use.

Air Dry Your Dishes
The heated drying cycle of your dishwasher uses a tremendous amount of power. Air drying your dishes is more efficient. Don't give up the dishwasher altogether. Studies have shown that washing dishes in the sink requires more energy (from heating the water) than using an energy-efficient dishwasher.

Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat will keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Try to turn the thermostat down at least 2 degrees in the winter than the standard temperature. If you feel cold, dress warmer while indoors. Do the opposite in the summer with the AC.

Check Your Lights
Turn your lights off when you leave a room and switch from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LEDs for more energy efficient lighting.

Insulate Your Home
Adequate insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawlspaces, as recommended for your geographical area, can save you up to 30% on home energy bills!

Wash Your Laundry Wisely
About 90% of the energy used for a load of laundry goes to heating the water. Some stains demand hot water, as do bed linens (to kill dust mites). Wash all other loads in cold. Always clean your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This saves energy and may prevent a fire. And air dry clothes on a sunny day. Potential Annual Savings: $300 and 330 pounds of emissions.