Renters, you can save too
Don’t think because you’re renting you can’t reduce your energy costs. There are LOTS of things you (and your landlord) can do to save energy and money.
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
Qualified CFL ENERGY STAR lights use 75% less energy and last 6–10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs. And, remember to turn them off! Turning off one 60-watt bulb that would otherwise burn eight hours a day can save about $15 per year.
Install a programmable thermostat
Used properly, a programmable thermostat with its four temperature settings can save up to $150 a year in energy costs. You should also set the "hold" button at a constant energy-saving temperature when you're away or on vacation.
Use a power strip
Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity. For home office equipment, this stand-by or “phantom” power load can range from a few watts to as much as 20 or even 40 watts for each piece of equipment. Using a power strip for your computer and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.
Get a new showerhead
A new showerhead also will save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity — beating out both the bath and an old-fashioned showerhead. A ten-minute shower can use less water than a full bath.
Make an effort to control temperature
During cold weather, take advantage of the sun's warmth by keeping drapes open during daylight hours. To keep out the heat of the summer sun, close window shades and drapes in warm weather.
Wash full loads of laundry with cold water
When you wash your clothes, 90 percent of the energy goes to heat the water, while only 10 percent goes to electricity used by the washer motor. Switching to cold water can save the average household more than $30 -$40 annually. Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of water each year.