Why Energy Conservation
Every time you plug an appliance in you consume an amount of energy, a well-known concept, but are you aware of exactly how much energy you use? Appliances are often left plugged in when not in use, affecting our air, water, soil, wildlife, and pocketbook. Generally, the home appliances that are used to create/remove heat use the most energy, e.g. refrigerators, stovetops, heating/cooling system, microwaves, dryers, etc. However, smaller appliances like coffee pots and toasters can add to your electric bill if frequently left plugged in. Even if you frequently turn off your lights, chances are, you have an array of items still plugged in, sucking energy even when turned off. These are known as Energy Vampires.
- Account for about 5% of an individual’s home energy use
- Costs consumers more than $5.8 billion annually
- Sends more than 87 billion pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year
Energy Efficiency vs. Energy Conservation
There are basic steps you can take to limit your energy use and save some extra money in the process. Energy efficiency refers to technology that produces the same end product while using less energy, such as an energy-efficient air conditioner that produces the same level of cooling capacity but uses less energy than a standard cooling system on the market. Switching out older, less energy-efficient models is important because older devices were not built keeping energy conservation in mind. Once owning these products, you should practice energy conservation by unplugging them while not in use. While both terms refer to an overall reduction in energy use, energy conservation involves cutting waste of energy, whereas energy-efficiency does not.