What does energy efficiency mean to you? If dollar signs don’t pop into your mind, think again. Energy efficiency means using less power in your day-to-day life. Less power equates to savings on your energy bills each month. Conservation is the how – making lifestyle changes to consume less energy. Together, energy efficiency and conservation reduce our impact on the environment and the resources we use.
The term energy efficiency means in the simplest terms, using energy without waste. The equipment and appliances we have in our homes and businesses most commonly use electricity or natural gas. Energy efficiency can be achieved by using equipment and appliances that operate and use energy at a performance level that has been certified to achieve energy savings specifications established by the Environmental Protection Agency. These products can be identified by their ENERGY STAR label.
Install High Efficiency Lighting
Everyone knows how to change a lightbulb and lighting can account for approximately 20% of your home’s energy bill. This one simple change can make a big impact on your energy bill over time.
Select ENERGY STAR® certified bulbs and switch to LED. The simple switch ensures you’re using only the energy needed. ENERGY STAR® light bulbs use about 70-90% energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, and therefore produce less heat. These are available for both residential and commercial spaces. Our guide walks you through the selection process.
Fun Fact: If every American home replaced their five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR® certification, it would save $9 billion each year in energy costs and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from 10 million cars!
Adopt Energy Efficient Habits
Conservation starts at home. Small, easy changes in your daily habits impact your monthly energy bill.
- In the winter, set your thermostat at 68° F or as low as possible while you’re awake and set it lower when you’re asleep or away. In the summer, it’s recommend to keep the temperature at 78° F – saving you about $180 annually in energy costs.
- Ensure your vents and registers are clear to ensure proper airflow through the home
- Unplug unused electrical cords or use a power strip
- Turn off lights when you leave a room
Want to track your progress? DTE offers a variety of energy efficiency programs, tips, and rebates to reduce your energy usage and save money. Start saving today with one of these programs!
Invest for Long-term Savings
Did you know that 29% of your home’s energy is used by entertainment technology? Heating and cooling your home are also big drains on your pocketbook. When making home improvements or purchasing new appliances, don’t just look at the initial cost. Consider the long-term savings of upgrading to energy efficient appliances and home products. Energy-saving technology goes well beyond lightbulbs, as entertainment (29%), cooling (22%) and heating (14%) all use the highest amounts of energy in the American home.
DTE offers energy efficiency programs, tips and rebates to create a comfortable home without waste:
- Insulation: Adding insulation to your home is a sure-fire way of lowering your heating and cooling costs. When your home is not properly insulated, heat escapes through small cracks and crevices and drives up energy use to maintain a specific temperature.
- Home heating/cooling: Smart thermostats and control systems like Nest are now in vogue. They assist owners in more closely monitoring and controlling temperatures even while you’re at work or on the go.
- Water heating: Heat pumps are 2-to-3 times more energy efficient than a storage water heater. Even better are solar water heaters, which are 50 percent more efficient than the gas and electric varieties.
- Electronics: Knowing how to optimize the energy usage of each electronic device you have in your home can help you save big, such as putting your computer in sleep mode or unplugging electronics and chargers when not in use. Purchasing Energy Star®-certified computers, televisions, and other audio/video equipment can help you become 25%-65% more energy efficient.