Energy is something that we use 365 days (sometimes 366 days) out of the year. The start of a new year is the perfect time to evaluate your consumption and make an eco-friendly resolution to reduce energy use.
The best resolutions don’t have to be big, but they should be measurable and attainable. With that in mind, the Verde Energy team came up with their top five eco-friendly energy resolutions. There’s a resolution on the list for every energy user that wants to live cleaner and greener.
Energy Reduction Resolution #1 – Put an End to Standby Energy Wasters
Wasted energy needs to be eliminated. It needlessly adds to your energy bill and eco footprint without providing any benefit.
One of the biggest energy wasters is standby mode. Devices, appliances and electronics may look like they are turned off but in actuality they are only part off. In standby mode whatever is plugged in still draws a little bit of energy.
The most simple fix for eliminating standby power is to unplug everything that goes into standby mode. If you’d rather not plug and unplug devices all day there’s another option. Smart power strips can be used to completely shut down anything that’s plugged in. Some will even operate on a schedule or can be remotely controlled.
Also, don’t forget to check the settings. You may be able to turn off or limit standby mode.
Energy Reduction Resolution #2 – Go Solar With Outdoor Lights
You don’t have to invest in a solar panel system to save energy with sun power. There’s a great selection of products that are solar powered, including outdoor lights for all around the home. With outdoor solar lights you’ll save energy while improving safety and security.
Solar outdoor lighting options include:
Decorative light strands
Motion sensor lights
Creating a solar-powered outdoor lighting scheme is a good starter project if you are thinking about converting to renewable energy.
Energy Reduction Resolution #3 – Keep Your HVAC System Running Smoothly
The #1 energy consumer in homes today is the HVAC system. Keeping homes comfortable when it’s hot or cold outside accounts for roughly half of residential energy use.
Something you can do to optimize energy efficiency is schedule regular maintenance just like you do with a vehicle. Two of the most important energy efficiency maintenance measures are:
Cleaning the Coils
Dirty coils are the biggest reason an HVAC system becomes less energy efficient. There are two sets of coils – one set inside and another set outdoors at the condenser. The coils inside tend to attract a lot of dust. The outside coils can build up with dirt or other debris depending on where it’s located.
Changing the Air Filter
The air filter captures contaminants as they pass through the HVAC system. It purifies the air and prevents debris from getting into HVAC equipment. The one problem is the air filter eventually gets clogged up and that can make the HVAC equipment work harder. Changing or cleaning the air filter every 2-3 months will maximize efficiency instead of decreasing it.
If you decide that your old HVAC system is just too inefficient and unreliable, whatever you replace it with will have a huge impact on energy use. Choosing an ENERGY STAR certified HVAC system should lead to a 30% reduction in energy use compared to using the old system. ENERGY STAR cooling equipment has a higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). So keep an eye on the SEER to select a system with a higher rating than what you have now.
It may be slightly more expensive upfront, but with residential energy efficiency tax credits the ENERGY STAR HVAC system should be lower cost all around than a less efficient option.
Eco-Friendly Bonus: Maintaining your HVAC equipment helps extend its lifespan. The longer you can keep the HVAC running the longer you’ll keep it out of a landfill.
Energy Reduction Resolution #4 – Find an Energy Reduction Resolution Partner
Having an accountability partner increases your odds of hitting your goals. So it only makes sense that finding an accountability partner should be one of your energy reduction resolutions. There are a few good options for energy reduction resolution partners:
Someone who’s achieved your energy efficiency goals at their own home.
A friend or relative who also wants to reduce their energy use.
Someone else in your house who will benefit from the improvements.
Check in with your accountability partner on a regular basis to go over the progress that has been made. They can help you celebrate the wins and figure out a way past the roadblocks.
Energy Reduction Resolution #5 – Evaluate Your Current Energy Plan
If you live in a deregulated energy market there’s an extra energy reduction resolution you can make. Once a year go over your energy plan and compare it to the latest rate, offers, incentives, etc. You may find that the current rates are much higher than what you locked in a year ago. If that’s the case you can ask your provider if they will extend the plan at the existing rate.
The opposite could also be true. You may discover that the market is more favorable and switching suppliers is the way to go. This is especially true if you’re searching for green energy plans that are becoming more common.
Making the switch to Verde Energy is a resolution that’s easy to keep. Our green energy plans are 100% powered by renewable resources. If your goal is to become a more eco-conscious energy consumer we’re the supplier for you!
Check to see what Verde Energy plans are available in your area.