16 Ways to Save Energy for Free

In 2002, the Rocky Mountain Institute put out a little publication called “Cool Citizens: Everyday Solutions to Climate Change,” (PDF) which gave the conscious energy user a guide to decreasing their consumption. In a to-do list of 39 household measures, the author, Richard Heede, identified eight that come for free. Here they are:

  1. Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Increase your air conditioner thermostat by 3 degrees Fahrenheit in summer
  3. Lower your thermostat by 2 degrees Fahrenheit in winter
  4. Wash your clothes in cold water
  5. Air dry your clothes during summer (and in winter in a sunlit room)
  6. Turn off unneeded lights
  7. Unplug the extra fridge in the garage
  8. Insulate your hot water heater
Here are a few more, gleaned from other sources:

  1. Wash dishes by hand rather than in the dishwasher (although some new dishwashers are more efficient)
  2. Turn off and unplug unused appliances that have a stand-by function
  3. Take shorter showers
  4. Turn your thermostat down when you go out in winter
  5. Turn your air conditioning thermostat up when you go out in summer
  6. Turn your winter thermostat down when you go to bed (and use your winter-weight bedding)
  7. Close your blinds/curtains to provide extra insulation
  8. Turn the TV off when you’re not watching it
Happy saving (your cash and the planet)!

For more tips, see Fifty Things You Can Do

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John Smith (anonymous)

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Written in February 2009

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