reducing energy useReducing energy use has become a favorite pass time for many people these days with the increasing cost of oil, gasoline, electricity and so on in the news almost all of the time. Every day the price of oil is quoted to give everyone some idea of where the price of gasoline is headed. When it goes up gasoline increases in price. In addition everything that is remotely related to gasoline goes up as well.

If oil is used as a byproduct to make something the price is impacted. Whether it is to run an engine in shipping or farming as an example it is going to cost more. The prices for goods are going up as well. At the time of writing, oil prices are at $108 and headed higher, which means the price of anything produced with oil is going to increase. Gasoline is over $4.00 a gallon in the US and over $1.30 a liter in Canada. In case you are wondering at $1.30 / liter is equivalent to $5.00 a gallon. They expect prices to go even higher which makes a lot more worth our while to reduce our energy use and save money on the bottom line.

How Can Consumers Reduce Energy Use?

Aside from just using less fuel and less electricity etc, consumers can use less packaging, less plastic bags and on and on to make a contribution to reducing energy. The first step of course is to apply reducing energy use in things you control and directly affect your wallet. This is gasoline you use in your car, electricity you use to do virtually everything in your home and office and fuel for heating your home or running small garden tools around your home. We have written several posts about reducing energy use in this manner on this blog. Consumers can literally save hundreds of dollars a month by cutting back just a bit in their energy use.

Other Ways of Reducing Energy Use

In some cases consumers must take a stand and not purchase products that are energy hogs which will send a message to manufacturers. If you must purchase something, then send a message by buying items that use far less energy in your everyday use. The best example is deciding to purchase a car that gets really great gas mileage vs. one that maybe looks better, has more power but uses a lot of gasoline per mile.

You may not want to pay a premium for a battery operated car or one that is battery assisted, but you can purchase a car that gets in excess of 30 miles to the gallon or higher to reduce your own personal energy use and decrease your overall cost to operate a car. Walking or biking to work is another approach that really has benefits. Not only do you save money, you get some exercise as well which will help in your overall life.

Energy Star Ratings

Most appliances are not manufactured with an energy star rating. Purchase those that have the best ratings overall. In fact every time you purchase an electrical device, check out how much energy it uses and if there is something more efficient available. Upgrade your furnace to high efficiency for example. You will save on fuel as well as electricity when you upgrade. Take advantage of incentive programs offered by your local government. Many offer to provide rebates when you upgrade a furnace or air conditioner to a more efficient model. These subsidies can amount to hundred of dollars.

If you have not converted all of your light bulbs from incandescent to either LED or fluorescent bulbs you should do it now. This is actually a quick win in terms of energy use reduction. Look for coupons and incentives to buy these newer bulbs at a discount. You can immediately begin saving money when you install these efficient light bulbs and the payback is relatively short.  You can easily calculate the savings by using some of the calculations on the packaging and applying your current energy rate for electricity that is provided in your state. If you plan to be in your home for a long time, investing in LED lights, which are expensive, can payback as well relatively quick.

Take a few minutes now to review some of our other posts about specific things you can do when reducing energy use in your home and office.