Fastlane

April 1, 2013

No Fooling: 10 Ways To Be Energy Efficient At Home

Energy efficiency is at the heart of our sustainable activity.

We’ve been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for our continued work in reducing the amount of energy our facilities use.

The more we can do to reduce energy usage, the better.

That’s why we think it’s important to share energy efficient tactics with our readers; give them some tips they can use at home to make their household more efficient.

Furthermore, GM partners with utilities in the communities where we have operations, to increase our efficiency. In Michigan, we partner regularly with DTE Energy, not only outside of our plants, but on the inside, as well.

One of their employees, Manny Pervolarakis, who works with our larger energy team, provided 10 tips for being energy efficient at home. And since they coincide nicely with our viewpoints on energy, we wanted to share.

Energy Tips

  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F. Water heating can account for 14 percent to 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home. For households with one or two members, set your water heater even lower to 115°F.
  • Set the refrigerator temperature between 36°F and 38°F and the freezer between 0°F and 5°F.
  • Check ductwork for air leaks, especially at joints. Seal off leaks with foil-faced tape rather than duct tape.
  • Use drapes, curtains or blinds to keep windows covered during the day to reduce heat from the sun.
  • Replace any light bulb that burns more than one hour per day with a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) equivalent.
  • When making purchases, buy energy-efficient equipment and appliances whenever possible. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure energy savings.
  • Keep your thermostat as low as comfortably possible. For each degree you set your thermostat below 72°F, you can reduce your heating costs by approximately 3 percent.
  • Keep your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. For every degree you set your thermostat above 72°F, you can reduce your cooling bill by 3 percent.
  • Cook outside on a grill as much as possible. Use your stove’s exhaust fan to blow hot air out of your kitchen when cooking indoors.
  • Let your dishes air-dry in your dishwasher rather than using the drying feature.

What do you do at home to be more energy efficient?

Image courtesy of EJP Photo.

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