This Earth day, why not play your part by making some small changes around the home to cut back on your electricity consumption? For every kilowatt hour your can knock off your meter, you're saving coal or natural gas that gets burned to generate electricity. 

Saving Energy Starts with You

Small changes might not seem like much, but if everybody pitches in, the nation can make a big dent in its fossil fuel usage. That means less carbon released into the atmosphere, less contribution to climate change and a healthier planet. Celebrate Earth Day this year by following these tips and do your part in helping the environment:

  • Spruce up Your Lighting: If you haven't already done so, it's time to get rid of your old incandescent bulbs and replace them with efficient modern lighting technology. Compact florescent bulbs and LEDs are better choices for your indoor and outdoor illumination, reducing your electricity use and lasting 10 to 25 times as long.
  • Go Shopping for New Appliances: If you've been thinking about replacing an old refrigerator, dishwasher or dryer, now's the time to take action. Swapping out old technology for new, Energy Star-certified appliances can cut down on your electricity consumption dramatically, saving as much as hundreds of dollars per year on your bill.
  • Slay Your Energy Vampires: When you aren't using an appliance, turn it off and unplug it, or else you're wasting power. Even minor things like cell phone chargers draw small amounts of extra electricity, also known as phantom loads. Larger devices like computers and cable boxes can actually burn up quite a bit of power in standby mode, so do yourself and the planet a favor and pull the plug.
  • Clean up Your Current Appliances: If you aren't ready to spring for new kitchen and laundry equipment, make sure you perform regular cleaning on your existing units. Clear out any dust and lint from your refrigerator coils and your dryer vents so they don't have to expend extra effort just to do their job.
  • Maintain Your Air Conditioner: If you really want to save electricity, it's best to minimize your use of the air conditioner, but no one's perfect. To reduce your guilt about enjoying that sweet cold air come summer time, have a technician check out your AC unit and make sure it's running smoothly and not expending excess energy.
  • Bring Your Children On Board: You need your whole family to buy in to the effort to save energy. Make sure you explain to your children why it's important to conserve electricity, and enlist their help with little things like turning out the lights and television when they leave the room.

The U.S. Department of Energy is hosting a Google Hangout at 3 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday to answer your questions and help with more innovative conservation strategies. For even more tips, have a home services professional pay a visit to perform an energy audit so you know that you're doing your best to preserve Mother Earth. After all, it's the only planet we've got.

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