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12 Things LI Can Do to Conserve Energy

Healthy Environment, Strong Communities, Accountable Government

H O M E S:
1) Change a light bulb (or ten): Lighting is probably the easiest and most cost effective area to improve energy efficiency. Replacing ten 75 watt incandescent lights with compact fluorescent bulbs (which use 22 watts), will save $96 in energy costs in one year or $576 over the estimated 6 year life of the bulbs. They can cost a few dollars more (though there are sometimes great sales) but they last much longer and cost about 2/3 less to operate.)
1a) LED holiday lights a re 70% to 90% more efficient than a regular strand of tree lights. One typical C7 bulb (strawberry shaped) uses about 4-5 watts, which is what an entire strand of 100 similarly shaped LEDs use. They do cost a few dollars more but cost much less to operate so typically pay for themselves in a short time. Many sets come with a 20 year guarantee. LIPA typically offers a rebate during the holiday season.

2 ) Use, don’t waste: If you are not using lights, a TV, a computer, etc., turn them off — simple but important. Set computers can to shut down and start up at certain times of day, so you don’t have to leave them on to avoid start up waits. Make sure your computer’s power management features are turned on. Many appliances and electronic devices, such as VCRs, DVDs, televisions, stereos, computers, battery chargers, and kitchen appliances, use power even when they are turned off. Unplug them, or use a power strip with a switch to cut off these “energy vampires . ”

3) Be an Energy Star: When shopping for new appliances, always look for the Energy Star® label on air conditioners, refrigerator, dishwashers, and clothes-washers. If you need to replace your old refrigerator, yellow tags at retail stores tell you how many kWh/yr each fridge will use. Energy Star refrigerators use at least 15% less energy than re q u i red by current federal standards and 40% less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade; they usemuch less energy than desktop computers.

4) Follow the Sun: A big investment but with worthwhile long-term payback is solar panels.

• $3.75 per watt rebate from LIPA’s Solar Pioneer program (LIPA has a goal of installing 10,000 solar roofs on LI by 2010, and there are 800 so far. )
• You get a NY State income 25% tax credit, a federal tax credit, & both LI counties waive sales tax
• Net metering–sell extra energy back into the grid
5) Use hot water wisely: A c c o rding to the NY State Public Service Commission, a blanket of insulation around your water heater can save 14% of your energy bill. Solar panels can also be used to heat water. It takes a lot of energy to heat water so using warm rather than hot water to clean clothes and taking shorter showers also helps reduce energy use.Always make sure your dishwasher is full before running it.

6) Heating and cooling: If you have old w i n d o w s that it’s time to replace, do so with efficient double-paned glass. Leaky windows can account for 10-25% of your heating bills, according to the US Department of Energy. Seal anycracks around existing windows and weatherstrip doors. Make sure you have adequate insulation in attics and walls.
When using air conditioners, you can save 7% to 10% of your cooling costs for each degree you set them above 78º F. Moving air feels cooler, use fans to cut down on air conditioner use. Use timers on air conditioners and pro g r a m m able thermostats so you are not heating and cooling your house when you’re not home.

7) Landscape for shade: Plant deciduous trees, which drop leaves in winter, on the south and west sides of your house to provide shade in summer and let the winter sun in to warm your home. (But don’t shade your solar panels!) Awnings that shade south facing windows in the summer and let the lower winter sun in can have a similar effect .

8) Make Green Choices: In order to support clean energy generation, you can pay a few dollars more on your electric bill, and the money goes directly to one of 3 companies upstate who are generating power using wind, solar, hydro, and/or biomass. This allows more investment in new renewable energy generation. (The money does not go to LIPA!).

9) Drive efficiently: If you are in the market for a new vehicle, look for the most fuel-efficient model that suits your needs; consider a hybrid. Hybrids do not need to be plugged in — they convert the power from gasoline into electricity that is stored in a battery and used as needed. The federal government offers a tax credit for hybrids, and certain models are eligible to be “Clean Pass Vehicles” which can travel on the HOV lane with 1 passenger. If you drive a diesel vehicle, consider using biodiesel, made from vegetable oil, which is becoming more available.
• In any vehicle, keep up routine maintenance and regularly check and maintain correct tire pressure. Driving slower also saves gas!
10) Use public transportation whenever possible, such as when going into NY City or Kennedy Airport (AirTrain).

L I F E S T Y L E :
11) Eat healthier: Eating lower on the food chain (more vegetables and grains, less meat) and choosing fresh produce from local farms reduces the energy used in producing and transporting food. Rodale Institute also estimates that organic farming requires 63% less energy (fossil fuels) than “conventional” methods. The soils of organic crops sequester significantly more carbon than conventional methods. Rodale researchers have figured a 320-acre organic farm is equivalent to the reduction of 117 cars from the road .
12) Recycle and choose recycled: recycled products such as recycled paper products use less energy to make than non recycled .

LIPA offers inexpensive home audits so make use of them! A professional will visit your home and tell you specifically how you can save energy in your home. lipower.org.

Renewable Energy Long Island:
631-537-8282, renewableenergylongisland.org

Neighborhood Network
631-963-5454, neighborhood-network.org

5 Responses

  1. Hi,
    I’m looking for a way to contact the blogger of this blog. I have a few questions and was wondering what was the best way to reach you?


  2. You can always email Ian at wmblake7@yahoo.com

  3. Solar Battery Chargers come in hand when you are on the go. Who would’ve thought? Silicon Solar has different and lightweight Travel Solar Battery Chargers from Ipod Chargers to Laptop Chargers.

    For solar panels, lights, fountains and integrated solar hot water and pv systems, visit http://www.siliconsolar.com

  4. desktop computers these days gets obsolete the day that they are shipped considering how fast technology updates,*`

  5. F*ckin’ remarkable things here. I’m very satisfied to see your article. Thanks a lot and i’m taking a look forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

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