Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact
fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and save 75% of lighting costs.
Unplug electronics, battery chargers and other equipment when not
in use. Taken together, these small items can use as much power as your
Take steps to cut water use such as installing faucet aerators,
low-flow showerheads, and low-flush toilets. As much as 19% of
California electricity is used to pump, transport and treat water.
A 5° higher setting on your air conditioning thermostat will
save about 10% on cooling costs.
Always buy ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and equipment -
they're up to 40% more efficient.
Find rebates and incentives in your area using our rebate finder.
Turn your water heater down to 120° or the "Normal" setting
when home, and to the lowest setting when away.
Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy costs.
Reduce air conditioning costs by using fans, keeping windows and
doors shut and closing shades during the day.
Turn off unnecessary lighting and use task or desktop lamps with
CFLs instead of overhead lights.
Enable "power management" on all computers and make sure to turn
them off at night. A laptop computer uses up to 90% less energy than
bigger desktop models.
When possible, wash clothes in cold water. About 90% of the
energy use in a clothes washer goes to water heating.
Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when fully loaded.
Fewer loads reduce energy and water use.
Make sure your dryer's outside vent is clear and clean the lint
filter after every load.
When shopping for a new dryer look for one with a moisture sensor
that automatically shuts off when clothes are dry.
Test for air leaks by holding a lit incense stick next to
windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical
outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches and other locations where
there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream
travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need
caulking, sealing or weather stripping.
Install an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat away from natural
cool and hot spots. An ENERGY STAR thermostat can save as much as $115
per year, provide more flexibility than standard models.
Seal your home's envelope – walls, floor, ceiling and roof – to
save up to 10% on your annual energy bill:
Add weather stripping around windows and doors to reduce
Use caulking to seal around ducts, plumbing and any other
openings in walls, floors and ceilings to reduce air leakage. Begin in
the attic, a common place for warm air to escape.
Seal larger gaps that cannot be covered with caulk with
After air sealing, determine the current level of insulation. In
attic, measure the depth of existing insulation using a ruler. If there
is less than R-22 (7 inches of fiber glass or rock wool or 6 inches of
cellulose) you could probably benefit by adding more. Most U.S. homes
should have between R-22 and R-49 insulation in the attic. Insulating
ceilings, walls, attics, floors, crawl spaces and basements to
recommended standards can reduce heating and cooling costs by 5% to 25%.
Install fireplace inserts or wood stoves into an existing
fireplace. The inserts are equipped with glass or metal doors, outside
combustion air vents and heat circulation blowers.
Fireplace inserts dramatically improve fireplace efficiency by
blowing heat from the fire into the room and limiting the amount of
heat and conditioned air lost up the chimney.
Fireplace inserts are recommended for fireplaces that are
regularly used. Before installing a fireplace insert, be sure to check
the manufacturer's safety specifications and make sure the fireplace
insert is compatible with the existing chimney or vent flue.
Replace heating equipment more than 15 years old with new ENERGY
STAR qualified models. Equipment must be sized and installed properly.
Old furnaces cost more to operate per year than new, ENERGY
STAR qualified models that are 15% more efficient than standard models.
An ENERGY STAR qualified geothermal heat pump is 30% more
efficient than comparable new equipment and can save you as much as
$200 annually. A qualified electric heat pump is 20% more efficient and
can save you about $130 annually.
An ENERGY STAR qualified boiler uses features like electric
ignition and new combustion technologies that extract more heat from
the same amount of fuel, to be 10% more efficient than a new, standard
Install high efficiency windows, which are 40% more efficient
standard windows. Consider replacing single-pane windows with
double-pane windows that are gas-filled with high performance glass
(e.g., low emissivity or "low-e" glass). ENERGY STAR windows may help
reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 15%. The windows must be
sized and installed properly. Note: Some measures may not be relevant
depending on climate, the age of your home and appliances and past
improvements made to your home.