Many of us want to do our part to save energy and help preserve the environment, but often don't know where to start. Home energy use can be responsible for more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the average car, since most electricity in our country is generated by burning fossil fuels, which releases greenhouse gases. What this means is that, by using energy more efficiently at home with ENERGY STAR®, consumers can lower their energy bills while also helping to reduce the risks of global climate change.
On October 4th, hundreds of leading manufacturers, utilities, retailers, non-profit organizations, state governments, schools and community groups joined together to celebrate ENERGY STAR Change a Light Day, the central rallying point for the ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World Campaign. This 2-month Campaign is a national call-to-action from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to encourage every individual to help change the world, one light — one energy-saving step — at a time.
Lighting, which accounts for 20 percent of the average home's electric bill, is one of the easiest and effective places to start saving money and energy. Just one compact fluorescent light bulb, or CFL, can save an average of $30 or more in electricity costs over its lifetime and prevent more than 450 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.
To take part in the seventh annual ENERGY STAR Change a Light campaign, take a simple online pledge to replace one incandescent bulb or fixture in your home with one that has earned the government's ENERGY STAR for energy efficiency. People who took the ENERGY STAR Change a Light pledge online last year will save more than $2 million worth of energy and prevent 33 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. The goal for this year is to inspire at least 500,000 individuals to take the pledge. Every light changed is a step in the right direction to preserve energy resources and our environment for this generation and the next.
The average family spends $1,900 a year on energy bills, much of which goes to heating and cooling. With winter on the way, Americans facing high energy costs are looking for ways to stay warm and comfortable in their homes and save money. Reducing the amount of energy consumers use at home lowers energy bills and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions generated by burning fossil fuels to make that electricity. That also reduces the risks of global warming and protects our environment for future generations.
Explore the ENERGY STAR @ home Interactive Tool and find energy-efficient home improvement ideas and advice to help you stay comfortable while heating your home smartly this winter! EPA has designed this tool to bring you the best information on how you can save energy and protect the environment. EPA offers advice on home sealing, what products to buy, and everyday energy-saving tips. You can turn to ENERGY STAR for the guidance you need to improve your home's efficiency and save money on your energy bills.
Use these tips and more:
Be comfortable. Keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Find and seal the leaks around your windows, doors, and ducts that cause drafts and make your heating system work overtime.
Lower Energy Costs. A programmable thermostat, set and used properly, can save as much as $150 in energy costs each year.
Proper Maintenance. Schedule a pre-season checkup with a licensed contractor to ensure your HVAC system is operating efficiently and safely.
Choose Smartly. If you've decided to upgrade your heating equipment, ask for ENERGY STAR qualified models to get the highest efficiency.
For more home improvement ideas, energy saving tips, and advice, please visit ENERGY STAR @ home.
In March 2005, EPA issued the ENERGY STAR Challenge to building owners and operators to reduce energy use in the nation's buildings by 10 percent or more by 2015.
EPA has now extended the Challenge to architecture and engineering firms to help their clients improve the energy performance of their new buildings. To participate in the Challenge, firms can set an energy use target for their projects by using Target Finder, EPA's online tool for estimating energy use of building designs.
Projects that demonstrate superior energy performance in building design will be designated as "Designed to the Earn ENERGY STAR." Designs that are submitted to EPA by March 2, 2007 will receive additional national and regional recognition as part of the ENERGY STAR Challenge.
For more information on the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Architects, please visit Architects Take the Challenge.
EPA now offers an ENERGY STAR Podcast which explores the growth of and trends associated with consumer electronics products and their environmental impact. Listeners will get information on how consumers can help save money and protect our environment by choosing ENERGY STAR qualified consumer electronics. Andrew Fanara of EPA hosts the Podcast and speaks with industry experts about how the energy used by these products affects our environment, as well as what solutions exist for consumers and businesses to help them save energy.
To listen to ENERGY STAR Podcasts, please visit ENERGY STAR Podcasts.