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Solar panels are gaining popularity as a leading option to integrate renewable energy at home.

Energy Efficiency: The Critical First Step To Integrate Renewable Energy At Home

When you buy products through links in this post to integrate renewable energy at home, we may earn an affiliate commission. These commissions do not affect our product recommendations. Click here to learn more.

It feels like our world is constantly a-buzz with words like energy efficiency, renewable energy, environmentally friendly, and clean energy revolution. We’ll be the first to say that when it comes to bettering our world by choosing to integrate renewable energy at home and other aspects of your life, we’re very much on board!

At WattDoesItUse, one of our goals is to cut through the chaos and confusion surrounding those important words so you understand what they mean, the value behind them, and how to implement clean energy in your daily life by integrating all of them.

So today, we’re addressing the first step in a super important (and sometimes intimidating sounding) area—renewable energy.

It’s not uncommon for most people to think that renewable energy is a concept best left to the experts. But we’re here to tell you exactly the opposite—you can be an integral part of America’s clean energy future by choosing to integrate renewable energy at home.

So in this post, we provide a complete breakdown of everything you need to know about home renewable energy.

What Is Renewable Energy & Why Should I Use It?

First things first, let’s answer the questions that are likely of every reader’s mind—what exactly is renewable energy and how do I implement that in my own home? Let’s take this one step at a time.

What Is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy, also known as clean energy, comes from natural resources or processes that are constantly being replenished. These sources either do not deplete or can be replenished within a human’s lifetime. When we talk about clean energy or renewable energy, we typically refer to methods like wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower.

At its very core, the goal of renewable energy is to replace “dirty” energy methods (i.e., fossil fuels) and reduce lower greenhouse gases while offering the same reliability.

Though renewable energy seems like a new concept, it’s actually been around for a very long time. The idea of harnessing the power of nature for heating, lighting, transporting, and more have been around since about 200 BC. It’s only in the past 500 years that humans have turned toward those dirty energy sources.

But as the need for finding renewable energy sources increases, we’ve turned back to nature in search of cleaner energy. In fact, renewable energy currently accounts for about 1/8 of U.S. power generation. Further, renewable energy expansion is happening in more than just power generation plants. Homes across the United States are investing in home renewable energy processes in order to produce the clean energy they need.

Why Is Home Renewable Energy Important?

So, we understand what renewable energy is and why it’s valuable on a large scale, but what about home renewable energy? Why does a small change in someone’s daily life and home energy process—a solar panel on their roof, a functional windmill in their yard, etc.—make a difference?

Home renewable energy is important for a ton of reasons.

  • It might sound obvious, but we’re taking from energy resources that can’t run out—if we’re already adapting to using our unlimited resources, we can leave the finite resources be. Clean energy is the most sustainable option for energy production.
  • Renewable energy is clean energy. It produces little to no waste products like carbon dioxide or other chemical pollutants, meaning it has minimal impact on the environment. That means your home-base, your personal environment, will be cleaner and healthier.
  • It might seem like altering your own home to run off clean energy is such a small change it won’t make a difference, but it does. Even if you can’t totally power your home via renewable energy, the smallest change makes a difference—and tiny changes can add up over time.

The First Step to Integrate Renewable Energy At Home: Reduce Then Renew

Feeling pretty sold on integrating renewable energy in your home? We don’t blame you—we’re pretty wild about the idea, too. Our best advice to you is this: focus on energy efficiency first, then apply renewable energy.

Now, you might be wondering why we’ve been talking up renewable energy if we were just going to divert you away to a different strategy.

But these strategies go hand in hand. If you simply slap on solar panels before maximizing energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption first, you might not reap the full benefits that renewable energy can provide.

How To Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

First things first, gain a firm grasp on your energy & electricity bills to learn where your main costs are coming from and embark on a home energy audit. This way, you can get a better idea of what type of energy consumption you’re dealing with. You can analyze where you’re wasting key energy and what appliances are the key drivers behind energy consumption in your home. Then deduce how you can improve your energy efficiency.

These changes can be easy:

Once you’ve tackled the basics of energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption, you’ll be in a great position to take full advantage of any renewable energy options in which you invest.

Options for Home Renewable Energy

We won’t dive into every single option out there for home renewable energy (we doubt you actually want to read 20 pages on the subject, and we could seriously talk about renewable energy all day long). But there are straightforward and cost-effective ways to integrate renewable energy at home. Here is the “Cliff Notes” version of the five most viable ways to really invest in home renewable energy:

Rooftop Solar Panels

This is one of the most popular—and potentially cost-effective—ways to integrate renewable energy at home. Solar panels, or photovoltaic panels, are typically placed on the roof in a yard and capture the sun’s energy and convert it to energy. There are a growing number of resources to help you determine the right panel capacity for your home based on location and intended use. Many utilities also provide information and support to integrate this electricity into your service and sometimes even to help finance your investment. As an example, take a look at PSE&G’s Solar & Renewable Energy website.

Solar panels are one of the most approachable options to integrate renewable energy at home. Source: Science in HD
Solar panels are one of the most approachable options to integrate renewable energy at home. Source: Science in HD
Solar Ovens

Though solar ovens might not be the ultimate renewable energy solution, they definitely make a difference! Solar ovens trap sunlight to heat food and passively cook food, too! They cook food for free, can be used anywhere, and can work even when there’s a power outage. All they require is a little sunshine.

Wind Turbines

Wind turbines require significant plots of land in more rural areas and are a bigger upfront financial investment than solar panels. However, if you have enough land, a wind turbine can be a great way to power your home! Wind power is more stable than solar (typically) and it only takes sustained winds of 10 mph to produce a significant amount of power! If you want to invest in this technology to support its growth but don’t have capacity for it at home, consider investing in wind energy companies!

Wind energy might not be appropriate for most, but it is an option to integrate renewable energy at home. Source: RawFilm
Wind energy might not be appropriate for most, but it is an option to integrate renewable energy at home. Source: RawFilm
Solar AC

Sounds weird, right? You use the hot sun to power a cold AC unit? It might seem strange, but it’s a real thing! Solar air conditioning employs the same principles of a solar water heater and it can cut costs, save a substantial amount of money, and even be configured to produce heat, too.

Geothermal Heat Pump

The geothermal heat pump, also known as a ground source heat pump, provides space heating and cooling as well as water heating. Because the ground remains at relatively constant temperatures throughout the year, a geothermal heat pump transfers that heat into your home during the winter and transfers it back into the ground in the summer.

Over the coming months, we will publish posts that dive into each of these five primary avenues to integrate renewable energy at home. Each post will include a dive into the technology, how to get started with it, financing options available, and an overall business case so that you can see how each stands to help you save money while also helping to save the planet!

If you’re not quite ready for this kind of commitment, there are an increasing number of solar-powered devices—from device chargers and computer keyboards, to lamps and flashlights—that can help you make smaller dents in your utility bill before taking the leap.

Save Money & Help Save The Planet: Choose to Integrate Renewable Energy At Home

Renewable energy doesn’t seem like such a massive undertaking now, does it?

We won’t lie—it isn’t always easy to integrate renewable energy at home, but in the long run, it will save you money, help you conserve energy, and make the world a better (cleaner!) place. As a first step, prioritize energy efficiency to minimize your home’s demand for power and stay tuned for more in-depth pieces on each of the renewable options to choose from.

If you’re after more information on energy conservation, alternative energy sources, or even 101 guides on electricity, subscribe to keep up with our regularly updated WattDoesItUse blog! Stay in the loop on energy trends, the latest must-have energy-efficient devices, and insight on living a cleaner, more energy-efficient lifestyle!  

Put a smile on everyone's face with must-have energy-efficient devices this holiday season!

The Must-Have Energy-Efficient Devices of 2019

When you buy 2019’s must-have energy-efficient devices through links in this post, we may earn an affiliate commission.  These commissions do not affect our product recommendations. Click here to learn more.

Most everyone anxiously anticipates the holiday season. It is a time of joy, giving and gathering with those we care about. And as the end of year approaches, if you’re like us, you also adamantly search for the best gifts to share with the loved ones on our lists. This holiday season, why not give a gift that is energy efficient so the rewards of saving money throughout the year can be enjoyed.

Whether you are searching for the perfect gift for the hobby chef, data junkie, survivalist, or the ultimate tightwad, these must-have energy-efficient devices will put a smile on everyone’s faces all year long.

The Benefits of Saving Energy

When we choose to save energy, not only are we reducing expenses, but we’re supporting the pressing fight against global warming. By choosing energy efficient items such as ENERGY STAR certified products, you can lower your cost of living while still having full access to aspects of our life we’ve become accustomed to, from high-performing TVs, to smart household appliances and thermostats, to sleek computers and beautiful lighting. 

Based on reports from the EPA, the standard American household spends approximately $2,000 in utility bills annually. Not only does this hurt the wallet, it effects greenhouse gas emissions. Making the switch can help reduce energy bills by as much as $575 per year. Although these upgrades may be more expensive upfront, the cost-savings are worth it in the long run.

Why Prioritize Energy-Efficient Gifts?

With all the convenient gadgets available nowadays, most everyone relies on technology in one form or another in day-to-day life. But that convenience does not come without a price, which is why the go-green campaign is so prevalent. Fortunately, energy savings and protecting the environment go hand in hand. So, when choosing gifts for the people on your list, why not opt for such items?

Regardless of your budget or the financial position of the person whom you’re buying for, everyone likes to save money. There is a wide selection of spectacular items that will bring joy with electricity bill savings and environmental benefits for the months and years to come.

Must-Have Energy-Efficient Devices of 2019

All that said, without further ado, we present to you our 2019 holiday shopping list of must-have energy-efficient devices:

#1 For the Techie

Charging stations and power strips can help save money and energy for that electronic fanatic on your shopping list. The traditional phone charging stations and electrical power strips are more likely to continuously use electricity, even when not being used. However, replacing the older items with newer, more advanced “smart” plugs and power strips can offer energy savings of up to 10%. 

#2 The One of a Kind Gift

LED light bulbs may not seem very exciting, but they are truly the dark horse of must-have energy-efficient devices. The electricity savings and longevity of these under-appreciated items are sure to bring joy. Especially if you splurge on a smart bulb that people can control from their smart phones!

#3 For the Minimalist

Solar technology is not new at this point, but this technology is now showing up in more mobile and affordable packages, which has us pretty excited! Portable solar panels can make the perfect gift for the camper or minimalist in your life, as well as someone who travels and prefers to pack light. In addition to portable solar panels, there are solar powered devices to suit practically any lifestyle or need, like solar-powered cell phone chargers

#4 For the Cleaning Diva

Clothes dryers are among the highest energy-consuming appliances in the home. If your gift list includes someone who does a lot of laundry, consider giving the eco-friendly gift of a collapsible laundry drying rack. Not only does it save on electricity, but air-drying clothes helps protect fabrics so they last longer!

#5 For the Gadget Guru

Hand crank and solar-powered flashlights and radios can be a fun gift for kids as well as the environmentally-conscious person in your life. How often have you grabbed a flashlight only to discover the batteries are dead? Hand crank devices can be entertaining, convenient, and serve as a handy tool for cars, camping gear, and more! Your loved one will never be left in the dark again.

#6 For the Person who has Everything

We all have someone in our life who is just plain hard to shop for. For these people, we say: check out smart thermostats. Homeowners can control their smart thermostats via virtual personal assistants and easy-to-use phone apps. Designed with a built-in GPS and sensors, the smart thermostats can even learn your habits and adjust your home’s temperature based accordingly. Energy savings without any extra thought?! Yes, please! Check out our previous post with the 7 best smart thermostats of 2019 for specific recommendations.

#7 For the Spa-Lover

There is nothing more rejuvenating than a hot, refreshing shower. However, without an energy-efficient shower head, a single session can waste gallons of water. For the individual on your list that enjoys self-care or spa treatments, consider giving them a shower head such as the LightInTheBox Rainfall Shower Head or 3 Way Shower Head by AquaDance. There are several varieties that have features to adjust water pressure, jet stream, angle adjustment and lighting while reducing both water and power usage.

What Are You Waiting For?!

During this holiday season, choose energy-saving gifts that will provide joy year-round! Click right from this post to snag last-minute deals on these must-have energy-efficient devices. Didn’t find quite what you were looking for? We also provide a whole post with the perfect picks for your favorite techie and other useful energy-efficient gadgets.

Getting excited about this concept and want to learn more energy saving strategies for the rest of the year? Subscribe to the WattDoesItUse Blog for weekly updates on the latest and greatest. Even better, share the love and let your friends and family know! Knowledge is power!

A few strategic changes can help save energy in your household chores and reduce the monthly electricity bill. Source: Chloe Skinner

Pro Tips To Save Energy In Your Household Chores

Household chores are a part of our daily lives. They may not be the highlight of our weeks, but they contribute to creating a safe, clean, healthy, and desirable living environment. And let’s be real. Who doesn’t love that fresh, lemon-y post cleaning aroma? Or those crisp, freshly washed sheets?

Today there are more electronic devices and appliances available than ever to help us check off that household chore to-do list. However, the new ease of completing chores can come at the cost of higher power consumption. And as a result, a higher electricity bill.

It can. But it doesn’t have to. By engraining good habits and making informed energy-efficient device purchases, you can achieve the same spotless home while minimizing the financial and environmental cost.

In this post, we provide tried-and-true strategies to save energy in your household chores.

Using Less Energy with Household Tasks

From the physical energy required for vacuuming, scrubbing, and mopping, to electrical energy necessary when using the various the appliances that make life easier,

Oftentimes, we are so accustomed to our routines that we fail to consider if we are doing things in the most efficient way. This can be true physically—you know the muscle power necessary to scrub and mop every surface of a home! It can also be true in the context of energy consumption—from vacuuming, to dishwashing, to laundry!

In our fast-paced worlds, it is all too easy to hit the “start” switch without considering how it might be affecting our utility bills. Yet, simple adjustments to this habit can be a game changer to save energy in your household chores. The most effective examples of this are:

Meal Preparation

In the U.S., people typically prepare meals on a daily basis. But this comes at a cost when it comes to cranking up the oven every night. You can reduce energy use and save money by cooking multiple batches of food at once, making the most of those oven temperatures. Plus, this allows you to spend more time with the family over the dinner hour over the rest of the week! If you and your family prefer variety every day, consider dishes where you can prepare a base (like rice or potations) and then use it in different, creative ways to build up a unique meal each night.

Floor Cleaning

Vacuum cleaners are a necessity for keeping carpets clean. But vacuuming also requires quite a bit of electricity. To ensure your vacuum cleaner is working as efficiently as possible, keep its filters and brushes clean. Otherwise, the vacuum doesn’t will have to work overtime to pick up dirt and debris. If you don’t have a lot of carpet, consider a manual carpet sweeper can get rid of pet hair and small messes. For hard floor surfaces, consider using a traditional broom for the pre-mopping step rather than a vacuum.

Clothes Ironing

No one wants to walk around in wrinkled clothes. But the clothes iron is an energy hog in your home, and believe it or not, there are other eco-friendly options available to you! For example, keep track of the clock and remove clothes from the dryer as soon as the cycle is complete. If you hang or fold them immediately, you’ll be surprised at how crisp they are. If you are using a dryer, consider using the “steam” cycle for the appropriate items. If you would be using the dryer anyway, might as will kill two birds with one stone! For air-dried items, giving a good shake and even smoothing them with your hands or a cold iron before hanging them up to dry will remove those unwanted wrinkles. Lastly, you can also hang slightly wrinkled clothes in the bathroom when you take a hot shower. The steam will further release any lingering wrinkles before you put them on for the day.

How to Save Energy & Money in the Laundry Room

Doing laundry is probably not a favored chore on anyone’s list. Yet it is one of the most frequently completed task. Washers and dryers are among the most used household appliances. And believe it or not, they are among the most costly appliances to operate.

According to ENERGY STAR, the average household in America washes approximately 300 loads annually. For Americans using washers that are ten or more years old, the average annual associated electricity cost is $185. Americans using newer high-efficiency models use 25 percent less electricity and 33 percent less water.

Since we realize you might not be in a position to go out and buy a new washing machine today, here are seven tips to also help you save energy in your household chores in the laundry room:

Use Colder Water Temperatures

Washing laundry in hot water requires a lot more energy than using warm or cold temperature settings. With the exception of cleaning items that are heavily soiled or require sanitization, the milder temperatures typically get the job done. Fabrics will also last longer when you avoid washing in hot water. This one change can significantly reduce your energy costs per laundry load. If you are still concerned about getting your clothes clean, you can use one of the many detergents specially formulated for cold water!

Use the High Spin Cycle

Opting for the high spin cycle helps extract as much water as possible from clothing, thus requiring less time in the dryer. When items are extremely wrinkled afterwards, simply shake them out and your dryer will take care of the rest.

Separate Loads

Most everyone separates laundry loads by color, but it can also be wise to separate by fabric weight as well. This is especially true when using the dryer. For example, heavier fabrics like towels and jeans take significantly longer to dry than thinner shirts, lightweight linens, or underwear. Likewise, you’ll also avoid over-drying thinner fabrics that not only wastes energy, it can also lead to shrinkage and fabric damage. Note: this might not be energy-saving for everyone. If most of your clothes are a similar weight or fabric and you only have a couple items that are different (aka not a full load). Best to keep everything together!

Do Full Loads of Laundry

Wait until you have a full load of laundry to run a load. This will save money and energy by taking advantage of the set resources required per cycle. For additional savings, try to run several loads back-to-back. Particularly when it comes to drying, this will enable you to take advantage of the dryer’s internal temperature being already raised.

Skip the Dryer

Whenever possible, take advantage of line-drying clothes. This will not only help elongate your fabrics’ lives but also save electricity on clothes drying..

Use Dryer Balls

Dryer balls help reduce drying time by separating the clothes and thus improving air circulation. Available in rubber and wool, the wool dryer balls also help reduce static electricity so you can even reduce your waste by doing away with the dryer sheets. 

Keep the Dryer Filter Clean

We’ve all been there. We loose track of time and all of a sudden the lint filter is overflowing with pillow-y fluff! Avoid this situation by removing lint from the dryer filter after each load. On top of that, clean the filter monthly with warm water and a gentle scrub using a toothbrush. This will improve the dryer’s air flow and remove waxy buildup that dryer sheets can leave behind (if you use them).

How to Save Energy & Money Dishwashing

A dishwasher simplifies kitchen chores immensely and most of us couldn’t imagine living without one. Are you cringing thinking we’re about to discuss how much energy it uses? Well, today’s you’re lucky day!

In addition to making our lives easier, dishwashers are in fact more energy-efficient and use fewer gallons of water than dishwashing. This is especially true if your dishwasher is less than ten years old.

As with washers and dryers, you might not be in the market for a new dishwasher. Again, totally understandable! Although, even if your dishwasher is working, if it is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it for significant operational savings. For even more savings over time, all with a swipe of your smartphone, opt for a smart dishwasher when it comes time for a replacement.

Take advantage of your dishwasher to save energy in your household chores.
Take advantage of your dishwasher to save energy in your household chores.
Source: Catt Liu

In the meantime, integrate the pointers below to save energy in your household chores in the kitchen:

Wash Full Loads

Dishwashers generally require the same amount of detergent, water, and electricity regardless if you’re washing a full or partial load. So doing full loads will enable you to get the best bank for your buck.

Use the Energy Saving Cycle

The energy-saving, also known as “eco-friendly,” cycle uses a lower temperature and lower volume of water but still cleans a normal load of dishes well. Make sure you have this setting turned on for energy savings that will add up over time.

Allow Dishes to Air Dry

Consider skipping the heat-dry setting and allow dishes to air dry. Simply prop the dishwasher door open after the cleaning cycle and the residual heat along with air circulation will amply dry the dishes, not to mention prevent damage to dishes from excessive heat temperatures. Some new dishwasher models even pop open the door for you so you can enjoy these energy savings without having to keep track of the cycle.

Avoid Peak Hours

Utility companies routinely charge higher rates during peak usage hours. Take advantage of the “delay cycle” feature so your dishwasher runs when rates are low: late at night or in the early morning hours.

Skip the Pre-Rinse

Many of us are tempting to pre-rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. However, this can quickly consume several gallons of water and take time. Yes, you want to make sure that large food particles are off the plate. But new dishwashers are strong enough that scraping residual food particles into the garbage and putting the dishes directly into the dishwasher will achieve the sparkling clean results you want. All without the unnecessary water and energy consumption.

Final Words

By using these simple, straightforward tips, you’ll save time and save energy in your household chores. And, over the course of a year, the reduced cost in your utility bills will be undeniable. We bet those crisp sheets will feel even crisper, that fresh lemon-y smell even fresher! Any other tips that you use to save energy in your household chores? Let us know in the comments!

For additional energy saving strategies and essential electricity intel, subscribe for weekly updates from the WattDoesItUse Blog!

The home energy audit is an essential first step to making energy efficiency investments that will yield maximum return. Source: Outside Co.

The Home Energy Audit: What It Is & How To Ace It

We’ll be the first to admit that a home energy audit doesn’t sound super exciting. We’re not trying to steer you away from this article (or from the actual audits, trust us!). Home energy audits are actually incredibly useful exercises that we believe everyone should do in his/her home. But when it comes to the actual phraseology of it, it sort of sounds like a test you’re just waiting to fail, right?

We totally see where you’re coming from. But a home energy audit isn’t as scary as it sounds—there’s no letter grade (not really, anyway), no pop quiz to fail, no pressure to pass. The only thing a home energy audit should do for you is to help you identify the best opportunities to conserve energy, save money, and live a more environmentally friendly life.

Read on to find out what exactly a home energy audit is, how to do one, and why it matters so much for your home (and, honestly, the planet!).

First Thing’s First—What Exactly is a Home Energy Audit?

Ever wonder what a home energy audit is? Felt lost on how you can conserve energy and lower your utility bill? Wished you could have a step-by-step, explain-like-I’m-five rundown of home energy audits? Then this article is definitely for you!

We can’t truly understand the benefits of a home energy audit if we haven’t first covered the basics. So, before we dive into the “so what,” we’ll provide the “what.”

A Home Energy Audit Provides Powerful Information

Simply put, a home energy audit is a professional energy inspection of your home that analyzes your energy usage. It identifies how much energy your house requires (including a breakdown by major categories) and where it loses the most energy the most. It should end with suggestions and recommendations for the most effective ways to improve your home’s energy-efficiency.

Again, a home energy audit isn’t necessarily just a look at the way that you use energy. So, for example, it’s not necessarily looking at how you run the thermostat or how often you leave the lights on (though, that might be a factor if you’re dealing with larger than normal electricity bills). Instead, it takes a look at the bones of your home, including its HVAC system, and provides insight on what is driving that energy use.

Primary Focus of a Home Energy Audit

The primary areas that a home energy audit looks at include:

  • Lighting
  • Furnace functionality
  • Airflow
  • Insulation
  • Air leaks

The list can go on, but you get the idea. In most cases, an audit will analyze all of these aspects in the context of the number of people in your home.

The main point is to really examine your home and your lifestyle to see where energy is wasted and what can be done to fix it. An honest look in the mirror.  

Why You Should Audit Your Home

There are so many benefits to energy auditing your home. In this section, we highlight a few of the main reasons.

We Can’t Improve What We Don’t Know

For us, the biggest pro in our positive category for home energy audits is that you’ll give yourself the gift of knowledge. You can take the results—that knowledge—and make a difference in your home’s energy consumption. The data from an audit can empower you to make educated, effective changes to not only your lifestyle, but also to the design of your home.

You might think that your home is already pretty energy-conservation friendly. And for all we know, it might be. But we will say this—you never truly know where energy is escaping or how you could do better until you schedule a home energy audit. Without an analysis and an inspection, all you have to go on is conjecture. While that might be OK, you’ll likely always be stuck wondering how you could have improved your energy conservation or whether your money was spent effectively replacing those windows last year.

Identify Problems And Their Sources

Just as when you’re sore in one place of the body but it’s because another part is not functioning properly, wasted energy in one area of the home can stem from other issues that you didn’t know existed.

For instance, if your HVAC system is working overtime, it could be for several reasons. Perhaps it’s compensating for escaping through worn-out window weather-stripping. Maybe your air ducts are clogged. Or maybe you have air leaking around your doors. If you don’t know where the problems exist, you’ll never be able to take the steps to remedy the problem.

When you have a professional home auditor inspect your home, he or she will not only identify unnecessary energy consumption. The auditor will also trace that issue to identify its source(s). This will save you money and headache by showing knowing where specifically to make home energy efficiency improvements.

Improve Health & Safety In Your Home

Oftentimes, auditors can diagnose health issues in the home (i.e., air leakages that let in excess moisture). This can oftentimes solve smaller health concerns like asthma and allergies.

Boost Your Home’s Resale Value

It’s true! People looking to buy houses these days care about energy efficiency. If you’ve had an energy audit and made improvements to your home accordingly, then you’re miles ahead of other homes that are still needlessly wasting energy and causing the owners unnecessary cost. 

Getting a home energy audit and making the recommended energy efficiency investments is a great way to boost your home's resale value.
Get a home energy audit and make the recommended energy efficiency investments to boost your home’s value.

At the end of the day, the benefits far outweigh the cost of conducting a professional home energy audit!

Home Energy Audit FAQs

Home energy audits are fairly common practices, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not still often shrouded in mystery. As home energy audit advocates, we would be remiss to wrap up this post without debunking the home energy audit myths that float around.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about home energy audits:

What Exactly Happens in a Home Energy Audit?

Each audit will look slightly different (at least, it should), because it will depend on several key factors. Are you running a standard audit? What size home do you have—1-bedroom or 6-bedroom? Are you noticing problems with your electricity bill? Your HVAC? Or don’t have particular concerns but want to make sure you’ve covered your bases?

Every single audit will be unique, but when boiled down, should generally consist of a professional taking a comprehensive inspection of your home, analysis of your behavior, examination of your past energy bills, and research into your personal energy uses. It’s likely they’ll use several special tests to gauge energy loss, too. You can also conduct your own audit, but make sure to read our advice on that below.

Aren’t Home Energy Audits Expensive?

As with so many things in life, the answer to this question is: it depends. A home energy audit can be pricey, running anywhere from $100-$400 depending on the size of your home. But at the end of the day, you’re investing in a service that’s ultimately going to yield returns via future cost savings. You can estimate how much a home energy audit service will cost here.

Can I Do a Home Energy Audit Myself?

Yes, if you’d prefer to take matters into your hands, you certainly can. We definitely recommend working with a professional if you can afford it, since they’re trained to give you a proper diagnosis. However, there are plenty of resources that can help you run an effective home energy audit. Definitely do your due diligence before taking on this project. We suggest doing your research, finding a valuable resource, and putting all your effort into running a serious audit for an honest inspection.

How Can I Find a Professional I Trust to Do a Home Energy Audit?

If you prefer to have a professional handle the job (and we’ll be honest, we do recommend it!), check out the Residential Energy Service Network to locate a reliable professional home energy auditor.

Get Your Data On!

When it comes down to it, a home energy audit can be a huge lifesaver in your home. The real power of an audit is understanding energy-saving opportunities. By equipping you with the information to make smart energy efficiency and energy conservation investments, it will also help you cut serious energy costs.

Have you ever been a part of a home energy audit? Tell us all about it! We’d love to hear your home energy audit stories in the comment section so you can help other followers see just how useful it was and avoid any unnecessary mistakes along the way! If you’re looking for even more tips and tricks on how to conserve energy at home, better understand our electricity grid, or are even looking for fun energy-saving gifts this holiday season, subscribe to our regularly updated blog for weekly updates to stay in the loop!

Contrary to EV myths, EVs can save money and help the earth with reduced GHG emissions. Source: Andreas Dress

The 5 Most Common EV Myths, Debunked

Ah, the holiday season! Sleigh bells are ringing, carolers are singing, and road trips to family gatherings abound. Like many, you might be looking at your driveway thinking, “It’s time for a new car.” This time of year is certainly a great one to consider biting the bullet. As new models come to market, the previous year’s models go on sale. There are great deals to be had! But which car to choose? It might not surprise you to hear that we are bullish on electric vehicles (EVs). With an EV, you can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—thus helping the planet—and save money at the same time!

2019 survey from Consumer Reports and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) found that 63 percent of prospective car buyers in the U.S. are interested in EVs. However, even with interest levels rising, another recent study by AAA finds that most Americans still aren’t ready to buy. Not yet.

Why is this? EVs present several new, sometimes intimidating, considerations for drivers. Along these lines, there are a number of EV myths that cause people to hesitate. These concerns may have been true at one point but no longer need to be.

We want to help you sort through the facts. So in this post, we present and de-bunk the five most common EV myths.

Myth #1: EVs Are Low-Performance Vehicles

One of the most common EV myths is that they are as slow as golf carts. In fact, they are generally quicker than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

Electric motors generate 100 percent of their available torque instantly. This means that when an EV presses the accelerator pedal, the transition from stationary to speed is almost instantaneous. The top version of the Tesla Model S is one of the quickest cars in the world, with a 0-60 mph time of only 2.1 seconds. Of those who have test-driven the Tesla and decided to buy, many note that they made their purchase because “it was fast, and it was fun to drive.”

The Leaf SL Plus is a bit slower to accelerate, at 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds. However that is still extremely competitive as compared to conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

Takeaway

EV technology has advanced to the point where it can compete with that of comparable ICE models. You can absolutely save money and reduce environmental impact while maintaining all of your performance expectations for your ride.

Myth #2: EVs are more expensive than conventional vehicles

Also among the most common EV myths is the concern that EVs are more expensive than their conventional counterparts.

It is true that the upfront price of an EV is still higher on average than that of a comparable conventional vehicle. However, the upfront costs of EVs are continuing to decrease over time.

And on top of that, the true price of a vehicle includes the lifetime costs of owning and operating it. EVs become very competitive when you incorporate subsidies and the ongoing savings that drivers enjoy over the life of their EVs. A study by the Electric Power Research Institute, which examined lifetime costs of the electric Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt, showed that EVs consistently performed better than conventional vehicles due to lower fueling and maintenance costs.

On top of that, many EVs qualify for the U.S. Federal government tax credit of up to $7,500. We should note that the exceptions here are Tesla models. Credits phase out during the calendar year after an automaker sells 200,000 full electric and/or plug-in hybrid models. Tesla hit this milestone in 2018. Credits on Tesla vehicles are now $1,875. They will likely be eliminated on December 31, 2019 (so act fast if you’ve been eying one!). General Motors is likewise hitting the 200,000-unit mark and will see its subsidies shrink moving forward.

Several states offer their own subsidies to EV buyers in addition to the Federal tax credit. In Colorado, EV purchases are eligible for a $5,000 state income tax credit. And California residents can receive a cash rebate of $2,500-$4,500 from the state, depending on their income. You can find a full list of Federal, state, and private EV incentives that apply to you on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) EV Laws and Incentives website.

Takeaway

This is one of the EV myths that is partially true. However, though most EVs are currently priced at a premium compared to similar conventional vehicles, their upfront price tags continue to drop. EVs become even more competitive when you incorporate fuel and maintenance cost savings over the lifetime of the vehicle as compared to conventional models. To calculate your specific savings, use the U.S. DOE AFDC Vehicle Cost Calculator.

If you want to drive an EV but are currently on a tight budget, consider a used model. You can acquire a pre-owned EV quite cheaply. This is because the federal tax credit applies to a used EV’s resale value. Also, pre-owned EVs have fewer miles on them than conventional vehicles. This means they’ve typically endured less wear and tear than that of a used ICE vehicle.

Myth #3: There Are Not Enough Public Charging Stations

The third in our list of the most common EV myths is a lack of public charging station accessibility. In the aforementioned AAA survey, 63 percent of respondents cited “not enough places to charge” as a reason they were unsure or unwilling to choose an EV as their next car. 

As you can see from the U.S. DOE AFDC Charging Station Locator, there are a growing number of public charging stations available throughout the US. But in cities where EV penetration is increasing quickly, there is still a relative shortage of public chargers. State governments and private charging station manufacturers alike are working to address this issue. In fact, California, New Jersey, and New York have announced combined investments of $1.3 billion to build even more public charging infrastructure.

The private sector is also making it easier for EV drivers to access existing charging stations. For example, EVmatch is leveraging the sharing economy to increase access to reliable EV charging options in a similar way to Airbnb. Using the EVmatch app, EV drivers can find and reserve charging stations rented out by homeowners and businesses. This increases publicly available charging options by taking advantage of existing resources versus requiring new designated “public” charging stations.

On top of this, public charging is typically less of an important factor for EV owners than they expect. For people who live in apartment complexes and don’t have access to home charging, public stations are important. However, for the most part, EV owners tend to cover most of their charging needs with at-home and at-work charging.

Takeaway

There is still a shortage of public EV charging stations as compared to the gas stations based on the ratios of pumps/plugs to vehicles. So this is one of the EV myths that is also partially true. However, the number of public charging stations of all levels is increasing. And so are resources that empower EV owners to access existing (previously private) charging infrastructure at homes and offices.

EV owners may have to do initial research to understand public charging options for longer trips. But the infrastructure is robust enough that access is no longer a significant barrier.

Myth #4: EVs Will Run Out Of Charge While I’m Driving

According to the same AAA survey, 58 percent of consumers said they wouldn’t commit to EVs because of “range anxiety,” the fear that they will run out of charge while driving.

EVs have an average range of 194 miles for every charge, which is just under half the range of traditional vehicles (418 miles). They require 8-12 hours to recharge completely, compared to the few minutes it takes to refuel with gas. However, with increasing investments into and improvements to technologies, the driving range of EVs is continuing to increase. And as the range increases, the likelihood of running out of charge is diminishing. On top of that, more DC fast charging stations are becoming available for quick charging stops along major highways and in shopping centers around the U.S. 

On top of this, EV proponents counter that people drive less than 40 miles a day, on average. While this statistic is true, it can be a somewhat misleading statistic. People don’t necessarily drive a consistent, predictable number of miles each day. In fact, most people drive relatively few miles on a typical day. But they also take trips over that are more than 40 (or even 100) miles of driving. For these trips, EV drivers will still need to plan ahead. They can’t yet assume that they’ll have access to public charging access over their route, as they can with gas stations.

Takeaway

EV battery capacity has advanced enough that “range anxiety” is not longer a day-to-day concern for EV drivers, as it used to be. EV range can more than cover people’s typical daily driving needs and even the mileage of regional road trips. However, EV owners still have to conduct initial research to map out public charging options for longer trips.

Myth #5: They Aren’t Actually Greener

As with the first of our EV myths, the argument that EVs don’t offer environmental benefits couldn’t be further from the truth. Electric motors convert 75 percent of the chemical energy from their batteries to power the vehicle. By comparison, ICE vehicles convert only 20 percent of the energy stored in gasoline. What’s more, EVs emit no direct tailpipe pollutants. However, some argue that EVs aren’t actually greener than ICE vehicles because of the emissions associated with battery production and the indirect tailpipe pollutants that power plants produce when generating the electricity that fuels EVs.

EVs tend to fare best in emission comparisons when charged in parts of California, New York, and the Pacific Northwest. This is because renewable energy resources are more prevalent in these regions. Their impact is less in central U.S. states like Colorado, Kansas and Missouri. This is because the areas have greater dependence on fossil fuels to produce electricity. However, the UCS has found that EVs are still responsible for less pollution than conventional vehicles, regardless of region of the U.S. To understand the emissions related to your electricity source, see the U.S. DOE AFDC Emissions from Hybrid and Plug-In Electric Vehicles website.

Some also worry about the environmental impact of battery materials. But according to a report by the California Air Resources Board, technology improvements have led to an EV development process that results in less than 25 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions than traditional ICE vehicles. On top of that, EV batteries have many reuse and recycling options. EV batteries can have second and third lives beyond their automotive use. For example, some new businesses apply used EV batteries as backup power in buildings. Some carmakers are even going into that business themselves to integrate reuse and recycle options.

Takeaway

The incremental environmental benefits of EVs vary as compared to ICE vehicles. This difference is predominantly driven by the fuel mix for electricity production in the region where an EV is charged. Regardless, the direct and well-to-wheel emissions of EVs are still less than those of ICE vehicles.

There are important concerns regarding the labor that is used to extract lithium. But fortunately, many automakers are committing to ethical lithium sourcing

Time To Hit The Road In An EV

There’s no question that EVs are gaining momentum. For the past several years, sales have consistently climbed year over year. And most recently, the first half of 2019 saw U.S. EV sales increase by 22% as compared to sales over the same period in 2018.

Many still hesitate to purchase an EV because of a few pervasive EV myths. As we have shown, while these myths have been true at one point, they are no longer the concerns they’ve been made out to be. Equipped with this piece’s information, give EVs a more serious look for your next vehicle! Whether you’re looking at new or used options, we’re pretty sure that an EV won’t disappoint.

For additional information about electricity consumption at home and how to save money on your utility bill, subscribe here for weekly updates from WDIU!

Select the most energy-efficient range to save energy in the kitchen. Source: Gaelle Marcel

6 Of The Best Energy-Efficient Ranges, Stoves & Cooktops for Holiday Entertaining

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We all want to be that house when the sleigh bells start jingling and everyone’s lighting the menorah or singing about Christmas trees. You know the house we’re talking about—it has the best parties, the best holiday food, and killer holiday décor. Sure, all of those things are important components of holiday cheer (and they all play into that best holiday home title, too). But have you ever stopped to think about the energy (and financial) costs of being that home?

Historically, being an entertainment hub and holiday décor superstar home necessitated an exorbitant utility bill. Luckily, that is no longer the case! However, being the star of the neighborhood’s holiday festivities and avoiding a concurrent energy spike requires mindfulness. If you’re looking for help to become a more energy-efficient home this holiday season, you’re in the right place. We’ve got the tips and tricks you need to make it happen.

There are plenty of ways to achieve power consumption (and cost) savings in your home. We will cover those opportunities in posts to come, so stay tuned! But ’tis the season for holiday baking and entertaining, so where better to start than at the heart of the home: the kitchen. More specifically, the best energy-efficient ranges, stoves, and cooktops for you.

Why Energy Efficiency Matters (Even Beyond the Holidays)

Monitoring energy, mindfully conserving energy, and being energy-efficient in the kitchen matters because, well, energy consumption matters!

We don’t mean that as a cop-out answer—you probably already know that energy efficiency is a big deal. If you’re new to this, let us explain briefly. By embracing energy efficiency, you will use less power to complete the same tasks required for top-notch holiday entertaining, and everyday tasks, too! Being conscious of your power consumption helps on multiple levels. The less power you use, the less energy your electric company needs to generate at power plants. That, in turn, reduces greenhouse gas emissions. And that improves the quality of the air that you and your family breath. By monitoring your kitchen’s power consumption, you’re also cutting costs. Who doesn’t love extra money for family gifts?

Why start in the kitchen?

Monitoring energy use in the kitchen is an effective place to start monitoring energy efficiency. Stop and consider for a moment the sheer amount of time you spend in your well-lit kitchen preparing meals, baking, and washing dishes. Sure, you’re expending your own personal energy making delicious meals for yourself and your loved ones. But your kitchen appliances are expending energy, too. And the use of these energy-intensive appliances add up.

Enjoy family time in the kitchen even more knowing you aren't wasting energy.
Baking is a time-honored holiday tradition. Enjoy family time even more knowing you aren’t wasting energy. Source: Brandless

Stoves, Ranges, and Cooktops—Oh My!

Before we dive into the reason you’re here—to identify the best energy-efficient ranges for your holiday entertaining—we need to tackle a couple important questions.

What’s the difference? Stoves, Ranges, and Cooktops Explained

A common question among homeowners is: what’s the difference between a range, stove, and cooktop? Let’s make sure we’re on the same page.

People often use the words “range” and “stove” interchangeably. They are one-piece units that include a cooktop and an oven. Alternatively, cooktops are separate from ovens and installed directly into a countertop. Kitchens with cooktops will have separate ovens, often built into the wall.

Which type of stove is the most energy efficient?

Well, as with many things in life, the short answer to this question is: it depends.

When it comes to stoves and cooktops, we’re typically dealing with three types of technology: induction, electric, and gas.

Induction stovetops and cooktops are widely considered to be the most energy-efficient cooking appliance out there. An induction stove isn’t all that complicated—and the science behind it is actually pretty cool. An induction cooktop harnesses the power of magnetic energy. It’ll heat things up in a flash. Induction heating also makes it very easy to make precise, micro-temperature adjustments.

In other words, induction cooktops will heat your pots, pans, and what-have-you’s through direct contact. That way, you’re effectively keeping heat where it belongs without losing it to the air around your cooktop. In fact, according to Green Building Advisor, induction cooktops feature about an 84 percent efficiency compared to electric cooktops, which land in the mid-70s, and gas burners, which land in last place at 50-55 percent efficiency.

So, technically, an induction cooktop is the most energy efficient, then electric, and then gas. That being said, we always have to mention the caveat that sometimes, it is less what you use and more how you use it. The best energy-efficient range is the one used the most mindfully. Someone who purchases an induction stove will not necessarily save more energy than a person using an electric stove if they’re not being energy conscious.

Energy saving strategies in the kitchen

Check out a few of our pro tips to conserve energy—and save money—when using your stove and range, no matter what technology you’re using!

  • Keep your metal burners and pans clean. Shiny, clean surfaces reflect heat where it’s supposed to go (toward the pot or the pan). A messy crust will simply absorb the heat, making the stove work longer to heat the pan. Clean pots, pans, and burners, and you won’t be diverting all the heat toward caked-on messes.
  • Turn off your electric burners just before you’re finished cooking. No, we don’t mean leave your raw chicken on a powered-off burner. If you have 2-3 minutes of cooking time left, feel free to shut the burner off. Your food will keep cooking, you’ll avoid over-cooking and drying out your food, and you’ll save a little bit of energy!
  • Make sure you’re matching your pots and burners. Ensuring you are using the correct burner for the current pan in use will result in sending that valuable heat into the kitchen (without surface area to absorb it). As an example, if you’re cooking a small saucepan, choose one of the smaller burners/coils available.
  • For dishes that get better over time, use a slow cooker. Slow cookers are extremely efficient. They can provide hours of heat to create a luscious meal with minimal energy. We love slow cookers so much, we’ll be writing a post just on them soon, so keep your eyes out for it.
  • How long have you had your current pans and pots? If they are irreparably caked, scalded, and scratched, consider replacing them. They’re not doing you any favors.
  • Did we mention keep everything clean? We’ll say it one more time: keep everything clean. It’s going to help your kitchen appliances—ranges, stoves, and cooktops included—function much more efficiently. Your food will turn out better too!
Select the best energy-efficient range for your kitchen's set up to save energy and money
Select the best energy-efficient range for your kitchen’s set up to save energy and money. Source: Dane Deaner

The Best Energy-Efficient Ranges, Stoves, and Cooktops

Now you have all the background. So without further delay, friends, we present to you the much-sought-after selection of the best energy-efficient ranges, stoves and cooktops!

As a quick note, we’re providing you with more than just induction options. We’re including ranges, stoves, and cooktops that are lauded for their energy efficiency—which means they’ll give you that extra energy consciousness within their own unique categories, this holiday season and beyond.

  • Most Efficient Cooktop: Diva DDP Induction Cooktop Series
    • As we discussed in this post, induction is technically the most energy efficient technology for cooktop meal preparation. We are big fans of the “runner up,” as well: Duxtop 8100MC 1800W. But the Diva DDP series ultimately gets our vote, because it provides options to handle a larger volume of cooking expected in a home’s kitchen.
  • Best Compact Cooktop: The Fagor Countertop Induction Cooktop
    • This induction is great for students, or someone in search of an affordable, efficient, portable burner.
  • Best Electric Cooktop: Summit SINC424220 Induction Cooktop
    • This cooktop is a bit smaller. However, it performs well, and we love that it provides many of the same features as larger counterparts.
  • Best Gas Range: Samsung 30” Convection Gas Range
    • We love that this range’s gas cooktop features 5 specialized burners so you can match flame size to the pan in use. The fact that its oven uses efficient convection technology is an added plus!
  • Best Electric Range: Whirlpool 6.4 cu Ft. Electric Range
    • Whirlpool is a brand that has become synonymous with reliability over the years. This range provides the efficiency of electric cooking technology with the size required to handle stress-free entertaining.
  • Best High-End Electric Range: The GE Double Oven Smart Electric Range
    • This range boasts impressive versatility and an ability to handle multiple dishes at once without spiking your utility bill. Perfect for big holiday gatherings!

As we mentioned before, you don’t need the holiday season to get your kitchen into energy-efficiency mode. But it doesn’t hurt to have a catalyst to kick you into gear. The way to people’s hearts is through their stomachs, so start by identifying the best energy-efficient range, stove, or cooktop for your kitchen and then work from there.

We’ll be here to help you every step along the way. Want to learn more about electricity and how to conserve energy? Follow The WattDoesItUse Blog to stay in-the-know! 

Watt Does It Use Redesign

I’ve been running WattDoesItUse since 2015 and it has been awesome to see the growth of the site. I’m routinely contacted by users of the site where they talk about how much it has helped them find power consumption for their devices. I’m working to take WattDoesItUse to the next level by redesigning it and adding new functionality with my team. Through this redesign, there will be some lost features. They won’t be gone forever, but I want to hear from users that they are valuable and worth being added back in.

Here are the updates that you’ll see on the new site:

  • Improved and simplified search experience – This will make it easier to find products on the site
  • Consolidated categories – I flattened some of the navigation to make it easier to navigate
  • Administrative updates – I’ve added new functionality to make it easier for me to add more products and to reply to your requests
  • Updated UI – Clean implementation which should make it even easier to look at on different devices
  • New blog – I’m now running the blog on wordpress.com to simplify management of it. It will also make it easier for me to add more posts in the future.
  • Removal of User Accounts – I wanted to call this out specifically as I know a lot of your have user accounts. I’m going to be working on an app for iPhone and maybe Android, that will give you access to the calculator that is currently in the user account. I also plan to add more functionality that will make it easier to find and request power consumption for products.

I plan to shutdown the old site on June 15, 2018. All of the products will be migrated over and I plan to add more products on the new site, so no information will be lost. Stay tuned for the new and improved update by the end of 2019. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks,

Corey

How Do You Celebrate Earth Day?

Well, the day is finally here. Earth Day has kicked off and we hope you taking steps to participate! If you’re a bit lost and don’t know exactly what you can do you can check out our Maximize Your Earth Day article. It’ll get you started and motivate you to implement some of these things into your day so you can get the most out of April 22!

As mentioned in Maximize your Earth Day, this could also be your chance to start implementing these steps into your everyday life. Only you can make the decision to start making a change that’ll beautifully impact your life and the future generation’s experience on our planet. Tell someone! Spread the word! Earth Day has expanded a lot over the last 50 years but everyone needs to participate to fully optimize this idea and strengthen the movement.

What are you doing to maximize your day today? Jump down to the comments and let us know what you’ve came up with to get the most out of today!

How You Can Maximize Earth Day

It has been almost 50 years now since John McConnell spoke at the UNESCO Conference in San Francisco and first proposed the idea of Earth Day. It’s been through many stages since then and has immensely expanded. But now we are in a present where the Earth is arguably at it’s most vulnerable. Here we are going to go over numerous ways to contribute to saving the Earth that will ultimately maximize your Earth Day. First let’s go over a bit of the importance and history of Earth Day.

History

In 1969, John McConnell, a luminary with a passion for peace, religion, and science, spoke at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco and proposed a day to honor the Earth. The first day was to be on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, where many predictions about the future were made by various speakers to try to expand awareness. It also took place in 2,000 colleges and universities all over the United States. The date was changed and founded a month later by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson to April 22 and was held that year.

While the April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 140+ nations, inflating the expansion of the awareness across our globe. Senator Nelson chose the date of April 22 to maximize the participation of younger people, because of the date not occurring simultaneously with spring break or exams, it doesn’t fall on religious holidays and for the overall enjoyable weather of that time of year.

Today more than 190 countries celebrate Earth Day. In 2017 The March for Science will even be held on the same day, hopefully expanding the mission evermore to the entire world. While we are aware of it however, we must participate in some way and do our part to help your home (the Earth) survive and sustain. So lets get started!

Maximize Your Earth Day!

  • Plant a garden outside. What better way to celebrate than to work with the Earth to provide you food for the future.
  • Buy a reusable water bottle. This is a great way to tone down on the plastic consumption that ends up on the ground in one way or another.
  •  Collect rain in rain barrels to water your garden or even to purify and drink! (Check the legality in your state/country)
  • Wash your laundry in cold water instead of hot.
  • Make your own household cleaners. There are many simple recipes available at your fingertips.
  • Use a clothes line outside to dry your laundry.
  • Substitute all paper products like napkins and plates for better solutions, such as a cloth napkin and a washable glass plate.
  • Support your local restaraunts and stores in your community, especially if they get their product from less than 100 miles away from their location.
  • Pay any bills you have online, it’s actually greener!
  • Turn your computer completely off when you aren’t using it.
  • Replace all (or what you can) of your light bulbs in your home to CFLs or LEDs.

These are all perfect ways to enhance your experience on Earth day and at the same time create opportunities for a for a healthier life in the long run. Maybe think of Earth Day as your starting point, a starting point to actually make a change. If you think you have any great ideas to compliment out list,  get in the comments and tell us about it!

WattDoesItUse.com Partners with EPEAT to Reduce Energy Consumption and Carbon Output

WattDoesItUse.com has joined the EPEAT Champions program to increase awareness of green electronics. WattDoesItUse.com allows you to find the power consumption and carbon output of your electronic devices and appliances. EPEAT complements this by highlighting electronics that also meet strict environmental criteria, which factor in design, product longevity, packaging, and manufacturing materials, along with energy efficiency.

“We are thrilled to become an EPEAT Champion,” said Corey Ganser, Founder of WattDoesItUse.com. “EPEAT has a significant impact on the environment by qualifying products that meet strict environmental requirements. This partnership will make it easier for consumers and institutions to make the right decision when purchasing electronics.”

WattDoesItUse will include EPEAT electronics alongside over 50,000 other electronics and appliances.

About WattDoesItUse.com

WattDoesItUse.com was created to make it easier to find and compare the power consumption of electronic devices that someone already owns or is interested in buying. On WattDoesItUse.com, you can find numerous categories with over 50,000 electronics and appliances, along with their power consumption and carbon output.

About EPEAT

EPEAT is the definitive global environmental rating system for electronics. The EPEAT Registry includes the most products from the broadest range of manufacturers and spans the widest array of countries.  EPEAT combines strict, comprehensive criteria for design, production, energy use and recycling with ongoing independent verification of manufacturer claims. More than 757 million EPEAT-registered products have been sold worldwide since 2006, resulting in significant environmental benefits. EPEAT was developed through a stakeholder consensus process and is managed by the Green Electronics Council, a non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon. Learn more at epeat.net.

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