More energy conservation tips

Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2008

• Lower the temperature of the hot-water tank. Turning it off when you're not using it also will save electricity, even though the water has to heat up again, because the average water temperature (and energy used getting it there) will be lower.

• For businesses, have one person walk through the office at the end of the day to make sure lights, coffee makers, electronics and other nonessential equipment is off.

• Don't bother raising the temperature of the refrigerator. In general, don't try to save electricity in ways that would compromise your health. Health care bills can blow past electricity bills quickly.

• Similarly, businesses shouldn't try to save on electricity that's critical to doing business well and efficiently.

• Unplug appliances when they're off. Lots of them draw electricity whether off or on. Some of the worst offenders are boom-box stereos and cable boxes.

• Power down computers at the end of the day. Apple computers tend to draw little electricity when they're sleeping, but PC-style computers aren't so reliable that way.

• Check around for phone, camera or other chargers that are plugged in but not being used.

• There may be one person in an office or home who always feels colder than everyone else. Set the temperature according to the majority's needs, and then give the coldest few an efficient local heater, such as a radiant heating pad.

Source: Alan Meier, professor at the University of California at Davis Energy Efficiency Center.

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