Did you know that energy conservation and energy efficiency are different things? When it comes to energy – and especially green energy – there is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion. Unless you’re an expert, it can be difficult to keep up with all the terms.
If you’re not sure what the difference is between energy efficiency and conservation, you’re not alone. Environmentally conscious and budget conscious consumers can use both, but they are actually different.
Find out more in this guide.
Energy conservation compared to energy efficiency
To understand the difference between conservation and energy efficiency, you must know what both terms mean.
Energy conservation is a commitment to use less energy. For example, if it’s a home, you might start turning off the lights when you leave a room, putting on one more sweater instead of turning on the heating, and unplugging appliances when not in use. Simple changes like this can make all the difference when it comes to energy consumption.
There are two reasons why people practice energy saving. The first is for your budget. If you reduce the electricity you consume, you can drastically reduce your bills. If you want to start spending less on energy costs and have more money to save each month, this is a great idea.
The second reason is for the environment. As everyone knows, the more energy used, the bigger the carbon footprint. To reduce your impact on the earth and help save our planet for future generations, the energy conversation is essential.
Energy efficiency has to do with the products that are used and not with the way of using them. To be more energy efficient, you should use products designed to use less energy, such as energy efficient light bulbs and smart home hubs. Actually, this has the same benefits as saving energy – it’s good for the planet and it saves energy – and both have become very popular in recent years.
Ideas to conserve energy in your home
If you want to save energy, reduce your bills and you carbon footprint, there are easy ways to start conserving energy in your home. These small changes add up quickly, helping you reduce your energy use all year long.
Increase the temperature of your refrigerator
Did you know that up to 13.7 % of your energy consumption can come from your fridge alone? For an appliance that is rarely thought of, that’s a huge amount! To keep bills down, keep the fridge around 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
Start air drying your clothes
Drying machines consume tons of energy and are usually not even needed. When you do laundry, dry it outside or on a clothesline in your home (keep a window open to prevent moisture from building up in your home!)
If you use a dishwasher, turn it off before you start drying the dishes and run it by hand in place, or let them air dry.
This is such a small change that you can make every day, but it will add up over the course of a year.
Take shorter showers
If everyone in the United States reduced their shower time by just 1 minute, we could save 165,000 million gallons of water per year. You could also save a lot of money on energy bills.
To help cut down on shower time, set a timer every time you get in and try to get out before it goes off. You can also play music and notice how many songs are played during your shower.
Use ceramic or glass pans
If you are going to cook something in the oven, put it in an ovenproof glass or ceramic dish. This will allow you to reduce the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees, saving you a lot of money in the long run.
Cook with the lid on
When cooking with pans on your stove, keep them covered with a lid. This will help increase the temperature inside the pans and cook food more quickly so you can turn off the stove a few minutes sooner. It may seem like a small change, but it can have big results.
Check for cracks & gaps in your home
If you’re heating your home, the last thing you want is for that hot air to go directly outside. Check for cracks and gaps around windows and in the walls. If you detect any, fill it in and keep your home warm and cozy in the coldest times. This will also help you keep your cool air and reduce the need for A/C during the hot summer times.
Wash at colder temperatures
It is not necessary to boil clothes to make them clean. In fact, if you have cleaning supplies that work at a cooler temperature, you can wash your stuff at 90 degrees Fahrenheit with no problem. For lightly soiled items, you can even put them in a cold wash to really reduce energy consumption.
Create new energy conservation habits
Energy conservation and efficiency is about making small changes that add up to make a big difference. It may seem strange at first, and your instinct will be to turn on the heating instead of grabbing a jumper or taking a long soak in the shower once all the bubbles have disappeared, but over time it will become habit. Remember that when it comes to helping stop climate change, it’s not about a few people being perfect, it’s about many imperfect people trying to make a difference.
And it is that, what is measured, is managed. To receive personalized advice and make smart energy decisions in your daily life, be sure to sign up for a free EnerWisely account to monitor your energy usage and see your bills drop. That will be the reward for all your effort.
Get help to reduce your energy use
Learning about conservation and energy efficiency is just the beginning of your journey. For your next step, EnerWisely is here to help.
With our FREE savings calculator you can get tips and tricks to lower your energy bills and help the planet based on your actual energy usage profile. It is a virtual energy efficiency audit, 100 % free for homes in Texas . Give it a try and see how much you could save.