This year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrates the 40th anniversary of its inception and the global recognition of Earth Day.
EPA, through its ENERGY STAR program, encourages Americans to celebrate by becoming energy efficient. Greater energy efficiency can help families lower their energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing function, style, or comfort.
Here are some tips to help you save green by going green!
Lighten Up. Change out your home's five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs in them to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR, and save $70 per year in energy costs.
Get Unplugged. Remember to unplug electronics such as cell phones and MP3 players once they are charged. Don't leave the adapters plugged into outlets either. Those "vampires" are still sucking energy even though they are not charging anything.
Sleep Is Good. Enable the power management settings on your computer and monitor so they go to sleep (switch to low power mode) when you are not working, and wake up with just a key stroke. Enabling a desktop computer and monitor's power management features can save up to $85 per year.
Don't Let the Air Out. Use caulk, spray foam, and weather stripping to seal cracks around windows, doors, pipes, electrical sockets, and other places where conditioned air can leak out. Proper levels of insulation, especially in your attic, can also improve energy efficiency and comfort. And, don't forget to check your duct system for leaks and disconnections. Learn more in ENERGY STAR's Do-it-Yourself Guide to Sealing and Insulating (2MB).
Cash In on Appliances. This year, appliances that earn the ENERGY STAR can save you up to $700 in energy costs over the lifetime of your refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer, and room air-conditioner. Now with the added benefit of state rebates through the cash for appliances program, you can save even more. Visit www.energysavers.gov/rebates to see what rebates are available in your area.
Get Programmed for Savings. A programmable thermostat, when used properly, can save up to $180 a year in energy costs. You can save with a manual thermostat too, by adjusting the temperatures daily before leaving home and when going to bed at night. Learn more in ENERGY STAR's Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling (708KB).
Bring Your Green to Work. The energy used by a building to support just one office worker for a day causes more than twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as that worker's drive to and from work. ENERGY STAR's Bring Your Green to Work tool has tips to help you fight climate change at work.
By taking simple actions at home, at work, and in your community, Americans can save energy, save money, and help fight climate change.
In honor of Earth Day, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson hosted Earth Day Live with ENERGY STAR, a Webcast and town-hall style event for kids at the Sarah Heinz House Boys & Girls Club in Pittsburgh, PA. The event was broadcasted live on www.epa.gov/live at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 21, 2010. Administrator Jackson answered questions about the environment from a live audience of approximately 200 Boys & Girls Clubs of America members and video questions submitted by youth across the U.S.
Did you miss the live broadcast? Watch the recorded Webcast.
EPA would like to thank all the pledge drivers who worked to make the 2009-2010 Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR campaign a success. By encouraging people across the country to take the ENERGY STAR Pledge, these pledge drivers helped millions of Americans incorporate energy efficiency into their everyday routines. Just as each pledge is an important step in the fight against climate change, so are the efforts of our campaign partners as they spread the word to their employees, customers, constituents, and communities nationwide.
In particular, EPA wants to recognize the organizations with the greatest achievements in raising awareness and driving action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Here are the top pledge drivers, overall and by sector, for 2009–2010.
Top Overall: Georgia Power Company, ComEd, Department of Defense, Jones Lang LaSalle, New Jersey's Clean Energy Program
Top Business: Jones Lang LaSalle, CB Richard Ellis, Best Buy, Nissan North America, Green Market Fundraising
Top Education: Kentucky NEED Project, St. Isidore NEED Group, Ft. Knox, Highlands High School, Lights for Learning Connecticut
Top Energy Efficiency Program: Georgia Power Company, ComEd, New Jersey's Clean Energy Program, Puget Sound Energy, Ameren Illinois Utilities
Top Government: Department of Defense; Picerne Military Housing Fort Bragg; AETC Lackland AFB; Picerne Military Housing Fort Polk; Sarasota County, FL
Top Non-Profit: Project Porchlight, National Association of Counties (NACo), SoCal Pledge Partnership, National Energy Education Development Project (NEED), Climate Savers Computing Initiative
Visit the Pledge Driver Hall of Fame to see the complete list of top pledge drivers for 2009–2010.
EPA recently announced more rigorous guidelines for new homes that earn the ENERGY STAR label. These guidelines, which were designed to ensure that ENERGY STAR continues to deliver comfort and energy efficiency, go into effect in January 2011.
These updated requirements will make certified homes at least 20 percent more energy efficient than the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The result–utility bills for certified new homes will be, on average, 15 percent lower than bills for homes built to the 2009 IECC.
The new guidelines also require:
Visit ENERGY STAR New Homes for more information about ENERGY STAR certified homes.