Going Green refers to the process of making deliberate decisions to minimize your ecological footprint.
Choosing to use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent or deciding to purchase energy-efficient appliances are just two examples of ways to “Go Green”.
Going green begins with awareness. Once you better understand the ecological impact of potential purchases or activities, you will be able to make greener decisions.
When you’re aware, your behavior begins to change. You see the LED light bulb and you know it is 90% more efficient than the incandescent one. This bit of awareness plays a role in the decision you make (along with purchase price, wattage, lamp life, operating cost, and other factors).
Beyond the benefits of environmental stewardship, going green usually benefits you, too. Many times, a greener decision is a healthier one – such as natural foods and cleaning solvents. Greener decisions can also mean financial savings – such as fuel efficient cars and high-efficiency lighting.
There is a vast frontier to explore for living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, and numerous resources available to help you. It’s surprisingly easy to make a few small changes on a daily basis, which, if everyone did, would make a tremendous impact. When it comes to lighting and electrical awareness, we would like to be that resource.
Here, we provide a brief primer on ways to reduce your carbon footprint and your energy bill when it comes to electricity usage and lighting choices. We encourage you to contact us to learn what options are available to you.
If you have the financial wherewithal, you can invest in big-ticket items like solar panels and a tankless water heater. Technologies like these will become more and more commonplace, but currently require a large upfront investment.
Going green can be affordable, too. Here are a few simple, low cost activities that should reduce your energy bill immediately (and reduce carbon emissions too).
1. Weatherize your home: In Chicagoland, a drafty home means a big power bill, in the winter and in the summer. Make sure your doors and windows create a seal, and weatherstrip them if they don’t. Insulating your water heater and pipes make a difference. If you have some flexibility in your budget, window replacement and roof insulation can pay big dividends over a short time. Hiring a home weatherization professional is also a good idea – they have tools to determine where your problem spots are, and the expertise to address them.
2. Get programmable thermostats: If you spend $2,000 a year on electricity, you can expect to save $180 per year simply by programming your thermostat to adjust your temperature during the hours you’re away.
3. Powerstrip your home: “Phantom” power refers to the energy used by plugged-in items when they are not in use. Stereos, chargers, computers and other devices continue to suck power when they’re plugged directly into an outlet. Invest in powerstrips to plug your devices into, then switch off the powerstrip when they’re not in use.
4. Turn off the lights whenever possible: The average U.S. household could save 5 – 10% on its monthly energy bill by turning off unnecessary lights.
5. Use motion sensors, timers, and dimmers: Devices that turn off the lights for you such as motion sensors and timers, help minimize electricity usage. Dimmers allow you to regulate the brightness of your lights and control how much power they consume.
With all of your energy savings, you can use it to supporting renewable energy sources. Many power companies offer renewable energy source electricity options for a modestly higher price.
In the average U.S. home, lighting accounts for 20 % of the electric bill. When it comes to lighting, there are three things to consider for reducing energy usage:
1. Your bulb: Incandescent is the standard – it’s cheap, but it uses lots of energy and doesn’t last very long. Upgrading to a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb costs a little more up front, but lasts up to 10 times longer and uses 75% less energy. Better yet, the LED light bulbs cast great light, use 90% less energy than an incandescent, and can be retrofitted into existing recessed lighting cans.
2. Your control: Replacing a standard light switch with a dimmer gives you the ability to use only the amount of light you need and can save a significant amount of energy over time. Dimming your lights just 25% saves 20 % in energy and substantially extends the life of an incandescent light bulb.
3. Your fixture: If you are remodeling, building a new home, or just updating the look of a room, consider installing new ENERGY STAR qualified light fixtures. Energy Star qualified fixtures feature compact fluorescent (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Information on Energy Star qualified lighting products can be found at www.energystar.gov.
These are simple ways to Go Green with your existing lighting apparatus, but when you’re ready for that major upgrade we are here to help!
At Paramont EO and Crest Lighting our state-of-the-art line of energy-efficient products help you go green, save money and enjoy a beautiful, well-lit space!
Give us a call at 1.844.PARAMONT (1.844-727.2666) to get started today!