Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kansas City: Take the Zero-Volt Challenge

I always have to take a step back when I pay my electricity bill, especially in the summer months when the thermostat creeps higher and higher.  So I spent some time today checking out some new tools and calculators to see how I can continue to improve my carbon footprint and maybe save a little money in the process.

First, I visited Home Energy Saver, a website put out by the US Department of Energy.  With a little bit of information that you provide about your home, it will calculate an estimate of your residential energy use.  You can then see your potential yearly savings if you decide to make some adjustments like buying Energy Star appliances, using a programmable thermostat, insulating your attic, etc.

Then, I stumbled upon the Global Stewards and their Zero-Volt Challenge!  

Simply stated, unplug every appliance and turn off every light inside and out until your electric meter stops running.  Then, re-plug only those appliances that need to be on 24/7 (your refrigerator, for example).  Keep others unplugged until you need to use them or invest in a smart strip.  

I think I'm up for the challenge...are you?

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