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Forget to get mom a Mother’s Day gift? It’s not too late. Surprise her by actually following the house rules!
We polled 20 moms across the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and asked for tips they’re using at home to help raise the next generation of clean energy advocates (i.e. you). It’s stuff you’ve probably heard 20 times over, but if you listen to your mother these tips could save her money, energy and help preserve the planet. After all, actions speak louder than words, right?
- Turn The Lights Off
It’s the most popular rule at home–shutting off the lights when leaving the room. Nearly 10% of energy in homes goes to lighting costs. If you switch out your five most frequently used lights with energy-efficient ENERGY STAR bulbs, you could save mom $75 per year in energy costs.
- Conserve Water
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons per minute. By simply turning the tap off when brushing your teeth, you can save more than 200 gallons per month. Also limit yourself to a five minute shower. Standard showerheads use more than 2 gallons per minute and also require energy to heat the water. Finally, the toilet is not a toy, kids. Standard toilets use more than 1.5 gallons per flush, while older models can use as much as 7 gallons.
- Unplug Electronics
Keeping electronics and equipment, most notably cell phone chargers, constantly plugged in when not in use wastes energy. Consider using an electric power strip for your devices to help reduce phantom loads and save up to $100 per year by turning it off when not in use. This calculator helps estimate how much energy it takes to power your electronics throughout the year.
- Layer Up
Wearing layers in the summer and winter can help keep costs down by maintaining a constant temperature in the house. Heating and cooling your home accounts for nearly 40% of your energy bill. Bumping down the thermostat by 10-15 degrees for eight hours can save up to 15% per year on your heating bill.
- Avoid Excessive Idling
Picking up a date? Shut the car off when waiting for a minute or more. Depending on the engine size and air conditioner use, idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour. Assuming 10 starts per day aren’t exceeded, any shutdown longer than one minute will save up to 2 cents per minute.