Monday, June 30, 2008
If you live in a typical U.S. home, your appliances and home electronics are responsible for about 20% of your energy bills. More than 75% of that power is consumed while the appliances and electronics are in standby mode.
Many devices, such as televisions, DVD players, stereos and computers spend much of their lives in standby mode, collectively consuming a huge amount of energy. Efforts are being made around the world to reduce this unnecessary power consumption. To reduce the amount of phantom load in your home, plug your computer and entertainment equipment into a power strip and turn the strip off.
Also, remember to unplug the cell phone charger when it is not charging the phone.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Here’s one example (keep in mind, these are just estimates):
If you leave your desktop PC, monitor and printer on 24 hours per day, you’ll use 108kWh- encountering a monthly cost of almost $10.00.
If you use that same computer 3 hours a day and it stays on sleep mode the rest of the day, you’ll only use a mere 18kWh- encountering a cost of $1.64.
Guides on how to enable energy saving features for your computer can be found on the Energy Star website.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
More than one and a half million energy-saving CFL light bulbs are now lighting up homes and businesses throughout Virginia! June 2008 marked the sale of the one and a half millionth energy-saving light bulb through our CFL discount program.
That’s good for Dominion, our customers—and their wallets—because each CFL bulb consumes about 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. And they can last up to 10 times longer. It’s also helping improve air quality and preserve our environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. 1,502,667 CFL bulbs equates to:
- 90,494 cars off the road for one year
- 518,983 tons of CO2 not emitted
- $86,315,896 saved (over life of CFLs)
Monday, June 16, 2008
Another way to save energy while you are away from home is to set your water heater to the ‘vacation’ mode. If you don’t have this setting, turn the temperature setting as low as possible, but don’t turn it completely off.
Before you head out the door, check the refrigerator to see that there is no food that will spoil and raise the temperature to 38 degrees.
Also, unplug equipment that doesn’t need to stay on, such as computers and TVs.
When you return, remember to increase the temperature slowly to avoid spiking usage.
Monday, June 9, 2008
- use about 75% less energy
- last about 10 times longer,
- give off bright, pleasant light,
- come in lots of shapes and sizes, and
- save about $54 in total costs over the lifetime of each CFL*.
*From the EPA CFL calculator comparing a 60 watt bulb (using today's average 8.52 cents per kWh rate for a Dominion Virginia Power residential customer). Remember to change the rate when using this calculator.
Friday, June 6, 2008
We receive this question a lot. Many of our customers are concerned about the future environmental impact of CFLs due to the mercury contained within the bulb. The cool burning illumination of a CFL is made possible by a trace amount (5 milligrams) of mercury, an amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. The mercury is contained within the ballast of the bulb, so it is enclosed and not emitted by using the bulb.
To increase the environmental benefit of CFLs, you should properly dispose and recycle the bulbs. We offer CFL recycling information as does any Home Depot store participating in our CFL Discount Program.
For more information on this topic, read Energy Star's fact sheet of frequently asked questions on CFLs and mercury as well as clean-up guidelines for broken CFLs.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
- Raise your thermostat to 78º. This is the number one way to conserve energy.
- When you are away from home for more than eight hours, raise the thermostat setting and you can expect to see a 1% savings for each degree of setback. This will reduce the amount of energy used to cool your home while you're away.
- Keep shades closed when the air conditioner is on. Sunny windows account for 40 percent of unwanted heat and can make your air conditioner work two to three times harder.
For more ways to beat the heat, see our top ten summer tips.
I joined the Energy Conservation Team at Dominion as an Energy Conservation Specialist in 2007. I support the marketing and communication efforts surrounding Dominion’s Energy Conservation Plan. I enjoy providing customers with energy conservation and efficiency information. I find my career engaging because I get to learn about new technologies that impact and affect our industry and communicate the benefits to our customers.
Accordingly, I do practice what I live and breath everyday. I've switched out my home's light bulbs to CFLs, adjust the thermostat for comfort and energy savings and I also take my own bags to the grocery store. I'm greatly enjoying my role as Energy Conservation Specialist at Dominion since graduating from Mary Baldwin College, of which I am a very proud alumnae.
Our team of energy experts, Bob, Alison and Tom, will write weekly posts about the latest energy conservation news, tips and innovations. They'll answer your questions and share ways they’ve found to lower electricity use and their bills. We look forward to exploring this topic and hearing your viewpoints.
We make environmental concerns an integral part of our planning and decision making process. We're excited to see our customers exhibiting greater interest in environmental issues every day. Lately we've received lots of inquiries about how consumers can save energy.
We're excited to debut this blog and explore new ways to conserve. When it comes to our environment, we believe every little bit helps.