Office Of Conservation and Sustainable Development
149 North Stone, 2nd Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701
P.O. Box 27210
Tucson, AZ 85726
There are many different ways for you to reduce the amount of energy you are using. Some strategies may require an up-front investment, such as replacing older appliances, but will save you money in the long run. Other strategies don’t cost anything—all they require is a positive attitude and a commitment to make changes in the ways you use energy. Either way, you will be making a positive impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and saving money!
Personal Energy Saving Choices:
Conduct a Home Energy Audit. Identifying where you use the most energy is the first step to making your home more energy efficient. Once you know how you are using energy, you can make important decisions about making reductions and fixing problem areas that may be costing you money. Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website for a guide to conducting a home energy audit or to hire a professional auditor.
Heat and cool only as needed. Dial up your summer thermostat a few degrees; or install a programmable thermostat to save energy when you're not home. Each degree you dial up your thermostat above 72 degrees reduces your cooling bill by approximately 3%.
Turn lights and computers off when they are not in use. According to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, one workstation (computer and monitor) left on all night for a year is responsible for one ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Shutting down at night and setting it to sleep when idle during the day can reduce energy use by 80%.
Use hot water wisely. Roughly 90% of the energy used by your washing machine goes to heat the water. For most loads, a cold wash is just fine. (Exceptions: Some stains need hot water and bed linens need a hot wash to kill dust mites.) Use cold water whenever possible and the savings can be as much as $300 and 330 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every year. Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website for information about efficient hot water heaters.
Making an Investment in Energy Efficiency:
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs last up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs, use roughly 75% less energy, provide the same high-quality light and burn at much cooler temperatures than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Only 10% of the energy used by incandescent bulbs actually produces light; the remaining 90% is given off as heat. If every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with an Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulb, it would be the equivalent of removing one million cars from the road.
Use Energy Star appliances and electronics. If just 1 in 10 homes used Energy Star qualified appliances, the benefit would be the same as planting 1.7 million acres of trees. Consider eliminating some appliances altogether. With our sunshine, drying clothes on a clothesline is just as effective as using a dryer. Handheld can openers work just as well as electric openers.
Insulate and seal your home. Keeping your home properly insulated and sealed keeps air from leaking out of or into your home. This reduces the energy used and costs of heating and cooling your home. Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website for information about insulation and air sealing.
The U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program enables low-income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. Click here for information about how to apply for this program.
Use passive solar to cool your home. The orientation of your home, location of windows, and landscaping all affect the amount of sun (and heat) your home absorbs. The most efficient designs are in homes that face north and have limited windows on the east and especially the west sides of the home. Because most people live in homes with fixed structures, the best option is to landscape for energy efficiency by shading windows on the east, west, and south sides of the home.
Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energywebsite for information about landscaping.
If you are a Tucson Electric Power (TEP) customer, you may also purchase 2 trees for $6 through the Trees for Tucson program.
Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association
This site includes a member services directory for finding vendors in your area.
Arizona Solar Center
This is a source for solar energy information. Explore various technologies, including photovoltaics, solar cooking, solar water heating, solar architecture, wind power, and hands-on activities for the classroom.