As promised, here’s another seriously way you can live a little greener with just a little bit of effort. This time I want to focus on how easy it can be to conserve energy, but first here's a little bit of background info about a typical family's energy use.
The Scoop on Energy Use
According to the US Energy Information Administration, in 2009 US homes on average used 34.6% of their total electricity on appliances, electronics and lighting. That's a pretty big chunk...and one that is worth looking at a little closer.
Sometime this week, dig out or go online to get a copy of your most recent electricity bill. If you haven’t taken a close look (like I hadn’t!) read through it and make sure you have a basic understanding.
You should see total kilowatt hours used for the period, on and off peak usage and/or winter vs. summer rates. You will likely also see your usage for the previous 12 months.
It’s great to see the big picture for your home and your family. And, this baseline data is great to have handy to check back in on from time to time to see how your energy saving efforts are paying off!
In many cases, families don’t have a lot of choices about where their energy comes from. Where I live, unless I specifically choose renewable energy, my energy is 96% from non-renewable sources.
Just to be sure we are all on the same page a non-renewable resource (i.e. coal, gas, etc.) is a resource that is available in limited supply and is irreplaceable or that takes a long time for the Earth to replace. Using non-renewable resources over time puts a big strain on the planet. On the other hand a renewable resource (i.e. wind, solar, etc.) is a natural resource that can or will be replenished naturally in the course of time.
My point is that you can and should try to make a dent in the amount of energy your family uses. One easy way is to conserve energy by using less on lighting your home.
Switch to LED Light Bulbs
Using less energy on lighting is easy, right? Just turn off the light when it’s not needed and you’re done...but that’s only part of the equation. In addition to turning off the lights you can also upgrade your bulb to a more energy efficient LED bulb.
Here is a quick comparison between incandescent bulbs (the ones you are probably most familiar with) and LED bulbs:
|Light bulb projected lifespan||50,000 hours||1,200 hours|
|Watts per bulb (equiv. 60 watts)||10||60|
|Cost per bulb||$35.95||$1.25|
| KWh of electricity used over|
|Cost of electricity (@ 0.10per KWh)||$50||$300|
|Bulbs needed for 50k hours of use||1||42|
|Equivalent 50k hours bulb expense||$35.95||$52.50|
|Total cost for 50k hours||$85.75||$352.50|
Don’t be alarmed by the cost per LED bulb! Just keep reading until you get to the total cost for 50,000 hours. Wow! There is your rationale for spending the money on an LED bulb.
Check out the number of KWh of electricity used over 50,000 ours numbers. Incandescent bulbs use a whopping 3,000 KWh while LEDs use just 500. That’s a huge savings on electricity and valuable natural resources.
Swapping Bulbs Made Easy!
The task of swapping out every bulb in your home may seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. When you know what bulbs you need to replace you’ll be armed with the info you need to make the switch to LED easy.
I've created a simple, FREE tally sheet to help. All you do is tally up the number and type of bulbs all over your home so you know what you need to replace with LED bulbs. Just download the tally sheet and start counting!
When you're done you'll have a handy tally to use when you start shopping for LED bulbs! And, since you'll know exactly what you need you can shop for the best pricing and sales!