When we turn on the lights, use our computers, or leave a cell phone charger plugged in, we use electricity, which emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). At the County of Ventura, we have taken a system-wide approach to reducing our GHG emissions in order to reach our goal of cutting our carbon footprint by 15 percent by 2020. From installing solar photovoltaic systems to implementing lighting upgrades, we've launched a series of energy-saving projects. But we also need your help. Offices and homes can save anywhere from 5 to 20 percent on utility bills by making a few small changes. Below are some ideas for getting started.
To power your business, harness the most abundant natural resource—the sun. An investment in renewable energy, solar panels contribute to a healthy environment and save you money down the line. Check out CaliforniaFIRST, a new program that can provide easy financing for solar energy projects.
Buy ENERGY STAR and EPEAT
When it comes time to buy new appliances or computers for the office, buy a device with the ENERGY STAR® or EPEAT® label. ENERGY STAR is a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products. Appliances, computers, and lighting with the ENERGY STAR label generally use 20 to 30 percent less energy than required by federal standards. EPEAT is a comprehensive environmental rating that helps identify greener computers and other electronic equipment. Buying these green labels is an easy way to reduce energy use.
Want to save up to 5 to 10 percent on your energy bill? Just by turning off small devices and appliances, you can save money and electricity. When left
plugged in, our electronic gadgets and basic appliances still use what's called phantom or vampire energy, even when they are turned off or in sleep mode.
A plugged-in cell phone charger sucks energy even when it's not charging your phone.
Before you leave for the day, turn off your computer monitor, unplug your cell phone chargers, and switch off the computer. Train your employees to do the same. It's just good business.
Use an LED Task Light
Want to save even more on your energy bill? Switch your conventional task lighting with high- performance LED lights. They use less electricity, produce less greenhouse gas, and keep your power bill low. LED technology produces light in a whole new way and is surpassing the quality and efficiency of existing lighting technologies, such as fluorescent and incandescent.