According to the Energy Information Agency, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer in 2105 was 10,812 kilowatt hours (kWh), an average of 901 kWh per month. The average U.S. household will spend about $1,368.36 on home energy this year. Although I’d like to believe the statistics, I know my electric averages quite a bit more than that, and I would be happy to utilize energy efficiency tips that can help me save money. Upon researching the topic, I came up with the top home energy tips that I found most useful.
- Wash clothes in cold water. The consensus taken from RealSimple.com is that cold water is more than up to the challenge of washing everyday laundry. “Technological advances, in both machines and detergents (not just the cold-specific kind), have made cold-water washing a highly effective option,” says Colorado-based clothing-care expert Steve Boorstein. Sometimes it’s safer than using hot water.
- Install a programmable thermostat to save up to 10% on cooling and heating costs. it makes sense that a programmable thermostat could reduce energy usage. You simply program the thermostat to warm (or cool) your home when you’re actually there; when you’re away (or asleep), the thermostat switches off. Ingenious idea.
- Use your window shades. Interior window shades can indeed keep summer heat out and winter heat in. They have been shown to boost thermal comfort (raise the mean radiant temperature) by as much as 5°F. In summary?. Close blinds on the sunny side in summer to keep out the hot sun, and open them in winter to bring in warm rays.
- Turn off all lights, appliances and electronics not in use. A power strip can help turn off multiple items at once. Sometimes the simplest things are really effective!
- Change to new and improved light bulbs. Reduce energy use from about a third to as much as 80% with today’s increasing number of energy-efficient halogen incandescents, CFLs and LEDs, an extremely beneficial and cost efficient change.
- Clean or change filters regularly. A dirty furnace or A/C filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool. A no brainer, but still an important reminder to do so.
- Reduce water heater temperature to 130° F to save energy and wrap the water storage tank in a specially-designed “blanket” to retain the heat.
- Seal air leaks and properly insulate to save up to 20% on heating and cooling bills, while also increasing home comfort.
- Install solar panels. Yes. It’s a big, expensive one, but with energy demands going up, we can eventually expect our current rates to double. People who have alternative forms like wind and solar will have the advantage when this time comes. With tax credits and rebates, the initial plunge is minimized some, but the ROI is great.
There are many companies that offer free home inspections regarding energy efficiency. Taking advantage of an estimate could save your household a good deal of money, as well as offer you advice and education on other available Solar Free Consultation.
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Have you ever stopped to wonder what goes on behind the scenes when you do something as simple as flip the light switch on? We are so accustomed to having what we need at our fingertips, that we take our utilities for granted. Many have the mentality “it’s always been there, and it always will be”. They assume they just pay the utility bills monthly, and viola, they have electricity and fresh water. Unfortunately, that is far
from true. The reality is, there are people fighting daily for us to have the luxury of fresh water available, and for a cleaner, more sustainable energy source for our future and that of upcoming generations. The fight isn’t an easy one. It’s against one of the greatest evils of all time, the massive “Energy Empire”. It’s a steep uphill battle, but progress is being made slowly, a little at a time by people who care enough to fight for basic human needs, progress and change.
Panagioti Tsolkas of Alachua County, known by many as a professional protester has dedicated his life to fighting for those basic amenities we take for granted, he coined the term “Energy Empire” in his interview with the Gainesville Sun when describing who our battle for clean water and sustainable energy is really with. The Energy Empire he refers to are the big oil companies and electric companies making money in an industry that is responsible for an outdated, and pollutant laden energy source.
The perfect example of the “Energy Empire” is Spectra Energy and its $3.2 billion Sabal Trail Transmission pipeline project. As stated on is website, Spectra Energy secured a bid to construct the “Sabal Trail, a 515 mile pipeline originating in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, extending through Georgia, and ending at the Central Florida Hub near Orlando. The natural gas supply will be accessed at Transco’s Station 85 in Choctaw County, Alabama” ….“The issues of concern included potential impacts on forested lands, water resources including groundwater and springs, karst terrain, environmental justice, and compressor station noise,” said Craig Cano, a FERC spokesman. “All of these issues were addressed during the staff’s environmental review and summarized in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).”
Why, you might ask, would a company invest billions of dollars in the construction of such a project when it has been associated with the aforementioned Environmental Impact Statement? Don’t they care about the safety of the humans in the generalized area, and the assessed risk factor it might have in the surrounding environment? The answer is simply, no, they don’t. The Energy Empire is driven by money and greed. They have no intention of caring for our Earth, only how deep they can fill their pockets. It is up to us to take matters into our own hands, and speak with our actions by making demands for clean water and sustainable energy, and to fight for those rights.
Panagioti Tsolkas is doing his part, and encouraging others to follow. While traveling from Gainesville to the construction sites of the Sabal Trail, he has actively demonstrating, protesting, and teaching others how far they to can legally use their First Amendment rights. Tsolkas has played an huge role in gathering hundreds of protesters to demonstrate and protest in front of roughly 70 police officers. The goal is to bring awareness to the construction of this hazardous project, and to eliminate the creation of it altogether. He, like many others, believes energy should come alternative sources such as solar and wind. They literally have zero residual by-products or toxins associated with them. They are both endless sources, with maximum results. Panagioti states in an interview with Andrew Caplan, “If you’re about (alternative sources of energy), you got to face off against the people who are trying to continue that old system.” The Energy Empire. Panagioti continues to state, “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission simply “rubber stamps” pipeline projects no matter the issues..… its studies fall short by not exploring alternative methods for energy”.
Panagioti Tsolkas makes fighting for clean water, air and energy a daily priority, and it must be that way for changes to be made. As we burn through our current energy sources of fossil fuels and natural gasses, leaving behind a trail of pollution, toxins and the demand for continual digging, drilling, and destroying of our resources, one must start to wonder, “how long can this go on?”
For ways to fight against the energy empire and use solar energy in your home or business, please click here or contact us +1 (813) 602-0991 at for more information and a free estimate. Put your rooftop to good use!
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