It is the small changes that make a big difference in what it means to be green. It is the desirable outcomes of the changes that encourage us to find ways to make more. However, making small changes are often overshadowed by the visible and immediate payoffs of making major household upgrades.
Of course making any environmentally friendly decisions elicits a feeling of satisfaction. And making financially wise ones offers a similar sense of gratification. So, why not have both? When energy savings and cost savings coincide, it is to the benefit of both the planet and the consumer. So what changes can be made that are both ecological and economical?
The home has many opportunities to go green. Lighting is one of the easiest, most effective changes we can make for greater home energy savings. And since 20% of the electric bill can be attributed to lighting, a few simple upgrades can deliver substantial cost savings (EIA's Annual Energy Outlook, 2006).
Here are some simple considerations, in terms of energy and cost, to help you understand the value of retrofitting your home lighting:
Average cost per bulb: $5
Payback period: About 6 months
Cost savings: More than $40 (50%) in electricity costs over its lifetime.
Energy Savings: About 75% less energy used than standard incandescent bulbs
Lifetime: 10 times longer
Average cost per bulb: $10
Cost savings: 80% or more
Energy savings: At least 75% less energy used than incandescent bulbs.
Lifetime: 15 times longer
Average cost of residential dimmer: $16
Payback period: Less than 2 years (the higher the dimming, the shorter the payback period).
Cost savings: $30 annually over 10 or more years. $6.82/year average annual cost savings.
Energy savings: Reduces energy by 15% or more. 20% average energy savings.
Lifetime: 4 times
Cost savings: 10% annually
Energy savings: 10% annually
Cost savings: Almost 100%
Energy savings: Almost 100%
The next time a light bulb burns out, keep in mind that the average home has between 30 and 45 light bulbs, which makes replacing each one a big change after all.
Energy and cost savings information based on data provided by Energy Star.
Check out the new book Green Lighting for more tips and tricks on getting the most out of your lighting. And check out the upcoming book tour. Find out more about the appearance on ABC News Now here and listen to Brian and Seth Leitman talk green lighting on Blog Talk Radio:
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