Home energy use

Knowing where your home energy is being used is the first step to learning how to be more efficient.

This breakout of how each component of your home consumes energy can be used to prioritize your energy improvements.


Here are some energy saving tips:

  • Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortable when you are there and energy-saving when you are not.
  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Turn off your computer, and other electronics when not in use.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°F (especially if you have young children).
  • Wash full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Cut your energy use in half by washing with warm or cold water instead of hot.
  • Consider replacing older toilets with newer models that use less water. (A state-of-the-art low-flow toilet typically consumes less than two gallons of water per flush compared to five or more gallons with older models. These newer toilets can cut expenditures for flushing in half, or more.)
  • If you’re replacing your roof, boost energy savings by adding attic insulation. Consider adding solar panels at the same time.
  • Seal ductwork to save energy and improve comfort and air quality. Leaking ducts can waste as much as 30 percent of the heat your furnace produces.
  • Install compact fluorescent light (cfls) bulbs to cut lighting energy use by up to 75%. You’ll save in the long run because cfls can last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.   (lower case or caps for CFLs?)
  • Your computer uses the same amount of power whether it’s in screen saver mode or in use. Switch your PC off if you’re going to be away for a while.

For more energy saving ideas visit:

US Department of Energy

Seattle City Light Stretch Your Dollar

Green Seattle Guide: In Your Home

Puget Sound Energy Home & Business Solutions

Resources for more information

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency

Washington State University Energy Extension Program

King County Eco-Cool Remodel Tool

Compare Heating Fuel Costs

City of Seattle Green Home Remodel Guide series

City of Seattle Do It Yourself Energy Audit Guide

Energy Calculators

Use these, to estimate your energy and cost savings by using energy-efficient products.

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Track Your Project

Make a green home improvement to-do list and track your progress.

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Idea Gallery

Browse and submit photos organized by rooms.

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Weekly Survey

What percentage of central heating thermostats are programmable?

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