What You Can Do & Other Resources
Here are a few energy saving tips for your home or rented space:
- On-Site Renewable Energy - If you produce renewable energy on-site through tools such as solar panels, you can produce a large percentage of the electricity you use inside your home! You can also reduce the amount of energy you draw from the grid almost every day of the year, which means lower energy bills and independence from the utility company. An added benefit is that the solar energy you use creates zero emissions, which improves air quality and is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Water-Wise Fixtures - Wasting water is also wasting energy—not to mention money! Make sure that you don’t waste water by leaving the faucet on while you’re brushing your teeth. Leaky toilets and fixtures also waste a lot of water if not fixed promptly! Another idea: You can save water as you wait for it to heat up by collecting the cooler water in a watering can for plants.
- All-Electric & Energy Star Appliances - When it’s time to purchase a new appliance, look for the “Energy Star” logo. These appliances have been rated to be the most energy efficient, saving you money. All-electric appliances are much healthier for people with breathing difficulties and children. Homes with natural gas boilers and ovens and stoves have shown to increase asthma rates by up to 35 %.
- LEDs for Lighting - One of the easiest and cheapest ways to reduce your electricity use and bills is to swap to LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs last up to 10 years and use three-quarters less energy than an old-fashioned filament bulb does. You’ll notice a lower bill right away if you replace your most-used lighting sources!
- Improve Indoor Air Quality - While some drivers of indoor air quality are difficult to influence (outdoor air quality greatly influences indoor air quality), there are lots of ways to protect indoor air. Always have mats inside your door to wipe and remove shoes. Use ventilation when cooking, and consider replacing gas appliances with electric. Avoid heavily scented materials, soaps, and detergents.
- Water-wise landscaping - The biggest waste of water in Summit County is on grass for lawns. Native water-wise landscaping uses water more efficiently and adds to the biodiversity of our community. There are incentives available to replace grass and turf. Individual homeowners, businesses, as well as Home Owners Associations may apply. Questions? Reach out to your water provider.
- Recycling and composting - For info on what you can/cannot recycle at Recycle Utah, visit: recycleutah.org, and for Summit County curbside bins, visit summitcounty.info/curbsiderecycling. Consider signing up for an opt-in program like Spoil to Soil to compost your food scraps or recycle your glass instead of sending them to the landfill. Learn more about these services at: summitcounty.info/optin
- Heat tape sensors & controls - Many people turn on their heat tape in November and leave it on until the spring. This uses a huge amount of energy needlessly. Nowadays, there are sensors for heat tape that make sure that it turns off when the roof is dry, or it’s warm enough that extra heat isn’t needed. Improve heating controls. Install a programmable thermostat. You can have the heat come on automatically in the morning and cool down at night to save energy and… you guessed it, also save MONEY! Recommended temperatures are 69 degrees during the daytime if people are home, you can put it down to 55 if you aren’t home or to 60 at night.
- Improved Insulation - Heat escapes through poorly insulated walls, ceilings, and floors. If you own your home, installing extra insulation is a cost-effective way to save energy and improve the comfort of your home. Air sealing & weather-stripping. Did you know that the average home has so many air leaks that it equates to leaving a window open all winter long? Small cracks around doors, windows and even light switches adds up. Seal them with weather-stripping, caulk, and even foam inserts that go into light switches and wall outlets.
- I want something cheap and easy to do this weekend.
- I don’t know where to begin, but want to get started with professional help.
- What are more of the big upgrades I should go after?
- Improve your insulation.
- What rebates can I get?
- I know which upgrades I want to do, would like to find out more about financing options.
- I’m interested in saving water this summer. What rebates can I get?
- Can I get help paying my utility bills?