Getting a home energy audit
Local utility companies will often provide an inspection or guidelines to do it yourself.
Using less electricity
Every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated produces about 0.8 kilograms (1.7 pounds) of CO2.
Installing a "smart meter"
A pilot project in Brighton, England, showed that people watch their energy habits more closely when they can see how much they use.
Switching your light bulbs
Switching from a 60-watt incandescent bulb to a 13-watt compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) can save 360 kilograms (800 pounds) of CO2 emissions over the life of the CFL.
Unplugging idle electronics
In standby mode, a digital cable TV box uses 26 watts and a home desktop computer 4 watts.
Using energy-efficient appliances
Energy Star labels say how much energy an item uses—and saves.
Running dishwashers and washing machines only for full loads
Line-drying your clothes
Turning to renewable energy
Wind, solar, and hydroelectric power provide energy without emitting CO2
Asking the power company about energy options
Some local governments provide economic incentives to switch to clean energy.
Installing solar panels
Every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by sunlight reduces what's drawn from the power company. Financial incentives may be available.
Sealing air leaks in walls and attics
Replacing drafty windows with double-glazed ones
Insulating hot water heater and pipes
Keeping an eye on the thermostat
Heating and cooling uses more than half of the energy in an average home.
Installing a programmable thermostat
Lowering the temperature from 21 to 18°C (70 to 65°F) can save up to 10 percent on heating costs.
Replacing an old furnace or air conditioner
Installing a ceiling fan or opening a window instead of using air conditioning
Setting your air conditioner temperature at 23°C (75°F) or higher
Using less hot water
It takes energy to heat water.
Setting the water heater at 50°C (122°F) or lower
Washing dishes and clothes in cold water
Installing low-flow faucets and showers
A flow rate of 5.7 to 9.5 liters (1.5 to 2.5 gallons) a minute can save up to 60 percent on hot water use.