Energy Consumption & Cost: How to Reduce Both While Going Green

Many people associate green living with drastic lifestyle changes or giving up modern conveniences. However, there are a number of simple ways to reduce energy costs and consumption without sacrificing comforts.

Of course, it is important to understand many of the common sources of energy loss to know where to start. This guide will show simple ways to gauge your energy consumption and ways to go green without stressing your lifestyle or budget.

Analyzing Energy Costs

When it comes to reducing energy bills, knowing the appliances and devices that consume the most power helps. Though your personal situation might vary, due to model differences and other factors, common energy hogs in the home include:

  1. Air Conditioners and Dehumidifiers
  2. Water Heaters
  3. Heating Units

  4. Refrigerators and Freezers

  5. Computers and other Electronics

  6. Lighting

Savvy Marketers Make it Easier for People to Get “Green” Cleaning Products

Just a few years ago, natural household cleaning products were almost solely restricted to the shelves of health food stores. Now, a quick browse of product offerings from mass-market retailers like Target and Walmart shows how environmentally sustainable products are becoming more like the norm, rather than hard to find.

Product Sales on the Rise

A company called Packaged Facts found that in 2011, sales of green cleaning products topped out at $640 million, a significant increase from 2007 totals of $303 million. One of the big reasons sales more than doubled in four years is likely that marketing departments realized the need for such products existed. The key was to make it easier for customers to find them without going to great lengths.

 Clorox’s Existing Product Line

 The Clorox Company is just one example of a well-known company that branched out and appealed to eco-friendly consumers. Their Green Works line features a full assortment of household cleaning products made from mostly natural ingredients. Whether consumers are looking for toilet bowl cleaner or all-purpose wipes, the collection has products to suit those needs, and they’re readily available in grocery stores.

Most Energy Efficient House In The World

After a long winter of freezing temperatures and rising energy bills the average homeowner will now be pleased they can finally turn down the dial and cut their energy consumption.

However, there is still likely to be the odd cooler day, and are we really prepared to go through the same thing when winter rolls around again sometime in mid-September?

In order to combat the rising energy prices some homeowners have been doing everything they can to make their property more efficient and cut down on excess consumption.

As well as leaving them with some extra pounds in their pocket this will also help them do their bit for the environment and the summer seems the perfect time to compound those efforts and for others to follow in the same vein.

The Winds Of Change

In the wake of new environmental initiatives that have been brought by the government there are now much more stringent rules and regulations involved in the construction and development of properties.

Not only do all new dwellings and those proposed to be expanded need to have an SAP calculation carried out in order to determine the property’s energy performance certificate (EPC), but there are also regulations to meet regarding air tightness and air leakage.

A Guide to Roof Gardens

As more and more people reside in tighter living spaces, and available land to build on becomes scarcer, increasing numbers of people choose to create a roof garden to provide them with some garden space. If the idea of having a roof garden appeals, then read on to find out all you need to know.

Why have a roof garden?

Even if you don’t have the space to own a conventional garden, a roof garden has tons of appeal in itself. In many cities, where living space is tight, roof gardens are highly sought-after and can add value to the price of your property.

High up from the ground and away from the noise of traffic, a roof garden can be an idyllic oasis, providing stretching vistas and intriguing skylines.

As well as being good for the environment, this garden in the sky has other benefits too. It has been suggested that a roof garden acts as natural insulation, which can reduce your heating and cooling costs.

If there is a storm, a roof garden can decrease water runoff as much of the water is captured by the plants. Some experts believe that a roof garden can increase the life expectancy of your roof, as the garden protects it from fluctuations in weather and temperatures. It may even lower the risk of fire.

How to create a roof garden

Do Energy Saving Devices Really work?

Saving energy is something that is on almost every home-owners mind these days. Whether you are looking for ways to cut your ever-increasing energy bills, or simply want to reduce your carbon footprint, there are lots of devices on the market that promise they can help you.

The question is, do these energy saving devices really work, or are they simply fancy looking white boxes that nothing other than cost you even more money?

The answer is, it depends. Some energy saving devices work by directly reducing the amount of power your appliances or heating systems consume, others rely on power factor correction. Those devices do offer substantial potential savings.

There are, however, some devices that simply highlight the amount of energy you are using. These devices do not offer a direct energy saving, however they may help you to identify power hungry devices.

How Energy Saving Devices Work

Power factor correction devices work by reducing inefficiencies in the electrical supply. Some kinds of appliances (primarily ones which have electric motors) have “inductive reactive currents” which place an additional burden on the electrical supply.

Power factor correction devices use capacitors to counteract the inductive elements of the power load, improving the efficiency of the power supply. If you have appliances with inefficient motors, then using a power factor correction device will make these more efficient.

How Can You Pick The Right Eco-Friendly Vehicle

When you are looking for an eco-friendly car you can choose between a hybrid and a PZEV (partial-zero emissions vehicle).

  • Hybrid cars can function both on gas and electricity, and as conventional vehicles usually get 30 miles per gallon, most hybrid cars normally run an average of 50 miles per gallon. By 2017, conventional vehicles are expected to get an average of 35 mpg, and in 2025 up to 55 miles per gallon. Hybrid cars are more expensive than conventional cars ($5,000 more and up), but this will be compensated by the savings in fuel.
  •  Another development are PZEVs, partial-zero emissions vehicles. This type of vehicles take regular gas, but thanks to modern new catalytic converter technology, the vapor emission of these cars is 85 percent cleaner and less polluting than conventional cars The majority of the main car manufacturers have PZEV varieties available, Ford features the Focus PZEV model that uses the same quantity of fuel than the standard version and is only around $200  more expensive.

 Should you care about emissions and mileage?

The correct answer is that all car buyers really have to keep mileage and emissions in mind. We  know that carbon dioxide is a key pollutant and reduction of carbon dioxide is very important if we want to fight climate change. Just take a look at this chart by the Department of Energy that speaks for itself.

Save On Gas And Electricity With An Energy Monitor

Energy Monitors

One thing that’s for certain is that home energy prices and costs are not going down. In fact, in the UK the cost of electricity and gas are one of the largest aspects fuelling inflation.

Home energy monitors can provide you with a better understanding of the amount of energy use there is, how much is being used and also the areas that you can make cuts. These devices show all sorts of other details too, including how much CO2 is being emitted from your home, when your highest usage times are and a range of other information.

These monitors are simple to install and require just some simple tools. A transmitter is then clipped to a cable on your gas or electric meter. This will then send information to the monitor itself.

The whole system is very easy to set up and usually involves just entering details regarding unit rates of power or heat.

Cash

One thing to note is that these energy monitors don’t save cash per se, but they do show you where you are wasting energy and where you can change habits.