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Our Only Home – saving it requires collective inclusive coordinated global action.

Links to information about saving energy:

At Home

Estimate energy usage and savings with upgrades

Energy saving tips:

An ‘Energy Saver Guide’ is available at under the ‘Services’ tab

Energy use of electronic devices when they are ‘off ’

Seattle, Washington’s first net-zero-energy home:

Energy saving Enertia homes: (use small solar panels to generate energy for some of your appliances)

In your vehicle

Increase fuel efficiency

Educational information about renewable energy

Some Ways To Save Energy:



Switch to LED or fluorescent light bulbs and reduce your lighting energy usage by up to 75%.1

Use natural light when you can.


Leave the air conditioner off when you are not at home. (Note: If you have pets, check with a veterinarian to see what temperatures are suitable for each animal.)

Have your air conditioner serviced once a year to extend its life and save money.1

Install new filters at least twice a year and for window units, hand-wash
and dry them monthly (save up to 20%).

Buy a new air conditioner if you are in a hot climate and your unit is more than 10 years old (save up to 30%). When buying the new unit use the rule of thumb – 20 BTUs per square foot.

Install ceiling fans, so you can turn down the AC by 2 degrees and save up to 30%.

Leave interior doors and vents open and unblocked so air can move freely and save up to 10%.2

Open windows at night for natural cooling instead of using the air conditioner1 but only if outside air humidity is below 60%2.

Close curtains, blinds, etc. on south and west facing windows during the day (save 3 – 5% on cooling costs). (Heat from the sun can also be blocked with shade cloth, tinted window film, solar window screens, or low-e glass).

Seal and insulate air ducts (save up to 20%).2

Install weather stripping around doors and windows in order to close air leak gaps.1


Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator.  Doing so can reduce energy consumption by 26%. Also, the frozen food can protect the other food in the refrigerator by keeping the temperature in the refrigerator from becoming too warm.

Let hot food cool down before placing it in the refrigerator.  Placing hot food in the refrigerator will cause the temperature inside to increase resulting in greater energy consumption.

Set the internal temperature at 7oC (44.6oF).Changing the setting from 5oC (41oF) to 7oC can reduce energy consumption by 26%. Conversely, lowering the internal temperature setting from 5oC to 1.5oC (34.7oF) caused an energy consumption increase of 32.6%.

Keep the refrigerator filled. The compressor has to work harder (on-off cycles are shorter and more frequent) when the refrigerator is empty (food helps stabilize the temperature in the refrigerator) and therefore uses more energy than when it is full.

Buy an appropriately sized refrigerator.  A volume increase of 1 liter raises energy consumption by 0.2 to 0.8 kilowatt-hours per year.

Keep the refrigerator in a cool but not cold place and not in direct sunlight.  Reducing the temperature in the room where the refrigerator is kept by 1oC can decrease energy consumption by 8%. Whereas increasing the room temperature from 25oC (77oF) to 32oC (89.6oF) can cause an energy consumption increase of 55%. Furthermore, if the room temperature is lower than what the refrigerator is rated for, the compressor might not come on possibly spoiling food. Some refrigerators have a ‘winter switch’ that heats the inside of the refrigerator triggering the compressor to work but use of the switch increases energy consumption by 70 kilowatt-hours per year for an 8 watt light bulb and by 131 kilowatt-hours for a 15 watt one.

Place the refrigerator away from heat-producing appliances. Placing an oven next to a refrigerator increases energy consumption by 1%.3


Turn off and unplug appliances and electronic devices when not in use. Some devices use energy even when they are turned off.

When taking a short break from using your computer set it to sleep or hibernate mode instead of using a screen saver.

Use cold instead of hot water when possible. It takes energy to heat the water.

Air dry clothes4

Set your water heater to 120o F instead of the manufacturer’s setting of 140o F and save 3 to 5% on energy costs for each 10o decrease5 and when you are away from home for more than a week set it to “pilot”.1

When it is cold, run your ceiling fans in reverse (clockwise) to move warm air near the ceiling down and cool air from lower in the room up.5

Keep the damper closed when the fireplace is not being used. If it is used infrequently, think about plugging the flue with a chimney balloon.


Clean out case around outdoor air-conditioning equipment and prune back plants that are close to it by at least one foot (save up to 10%).

Plant a 10-foot tree on the on south or west side of your home (save on heating costs also if the tree loses its leaves in winter – save up to 20%).2

When driving

Remove heavy items from your vehicle if you do not need them. The excess weight makes the engine work harder.

Make sure your tires are at the proper pressure.5

Get information about fuel efficient vehicles

Other sources of information

Your local water and power service provider should have suggestions for saving energy and they may offer the option to use energy from renewable sources. If you live in the U.S. you may be able to exchange the energy you use with wind or solar power - even if your utility company does not offer that option. For more information see

Living off the Grid by Dave Black (ISBN 978-1-60239-316-5) This guide provides information about sustainable shelter, energy, water, and waste management.


Links to other pages in this website:

Home    Sustainability    Climate Solutions    Climate Problems    Saving Resources    Saving Water    Community


Working together we can make a livable future.


Literature cited

Image of earth from, photographs and other images are from

1 Pasadena in focus May – June 2013  

2 Garskof, J. 2014. Cut your cooling costs. Money 43:21.

3 Geppert, J. & Stamminger R. 2010. Do consumers act in a sustainable way using their refrigerator? The influence of consumer real life behavior on the energy consumption of cooling appliances. International Journal of Consumer Studies 34:219 -227.

5 99 Great Ways to Save by Bob Vila in the July–August 2014