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Energy Tips for Environmental Education

About 80% of the energy used in Miami-Dade comes from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. The more energy we use, the more these fossil fuels are burned… the more greenhouse gases are released. So what can we do?

Energy management tips

Air conditioning makes up 30 to 40% of your electric bill. Did you know that for every 100 kilowatt-hours of energy you save, you are preventing the release of 130 pounds of global warming gases? We've seen how a business does it, but how about you and me? Lets find out in Down to Earth's Home Tips.

The great thing about an energy-efficient home is that it not only prevents pollution and global climate change, but it will save you money!

  • Set your A/C to a moderate 78F – cutting 5-8% off your bill for every degree increase.
  • Clean or change your air filter. Regular maintenance will increase efficiency by 5 to 10%.
  • Outside, plant native shade trees on the east and west sides of your house. Strategic landscaping for energy conservation can save up to 30% on your cooling costs.
  • Heating water is the number 2 use of energy in the home, so saving energy here can yield big results. The simplest thing to do is to adjust the thermostat on your water heater to between 120 and 130F. This will save energy and prevent scalding burns from excessively hot water. In fact, for every 10F you drop the water temperature, you can save 6% on your water heating cost.

Consumer choices

  • Replace your standard thermostat with one that has an automatic timer. This will keep your A/C off while you're at work and turn itself back on before you get home.
  • Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in frequently-used rooms. These lights use 1/4th of the energy, last 10 times longer and give off less heat which even saves money on air conditioning too!
  • You can even get a water heater timer to turn on the heater when you need it the most and turn it off when you don't. This could cut your hot water cost by 30%.
  • Another great thing you can do to save energy and money is to buy ENERGY STAR labeled products for your home.
  • Energy Star offers ways for people to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their daily lives. The Energy Star label is found on over 30 categories of products for the home as well as for the office including computers, lighting, washing machines and many, many others.
  • And then there is your car. Since cars are the primary source of global warming gases here, fuel savings here mean big savings for the environment.
  • And the ultimate in energy savings – buy a solar water heater! After all, energy from the sun is free! These units are more expensive than conventional electric water heaters, but the investment will pay for itself through significantly reduced electric bills.

Getting there without heating the planet

  • Cars are major contributors to global climate change. Simple maintenance ensures that your car is running at its best. Get tune-ups, change your air filter and check your tire pressure regularly.
  • If you are looking to buy a car, factor in fuel efficiency. Trading a car that gets 20 miles per gallon for one that gets 30 miles per gallon will reduce your personal contribution to global warming by about 2 TONS of carbon dioxide per year!
  • Carpooling is another great way to protect our climate. Figure that every person in your carpool is one less car on the road, making traffic lighter and preventing all that pollution. And if you take turns driving, it means less wear and tear on you car too.
Back to Top Page Last Edited: Wed Jun 5, 2013 4:32:02 PM
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