Eco-Friendly Tips to Lower Energy Bills

During the intense summer heat, the wonderful coolness of our air-conditioned homes is comforting until the whopping energy bill arrives. The American Lighting Association (ALA) offers the following easy ways to use less energy and save money.

Replace bulbs with CFLs

Switch out incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent versions. According to Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for the ALA and an associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s School of Interior Design,  a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) can provide the same amount of light as an incandescent by using only one-quarter of the electricity.

One of the great myths regarding lighting today is that the federal government is ‘banning’ incandescent lighting. But Rey-Barreau explains why this is false. Incandescent lighting is not being banned. The new legislation is only affecting the standard 100-watt incandescent bulb, which will no longer be sold beginning in 2012. However, an incandescent bulb that uses only 72 watts will replace it. This new bulb uses halogen incandescent technology to produce a more efficient incandescent bulb.

Install ceiling fans

Install a ceiling fan in frequently occupied rooms. Ceiling fans use a fraction of the electricity of an AC unit. Therefore, the thermostat can be raised six degrees – say, to 78 degrees – and make a room feel as comfortable as if the ambient temperature were really 72 degrees.

Utilize lighting controls

Lighting controls are an excellent option for saving energy. It is not necessary to invest in a comprehensive control system where the entire house is rewired. There are simple and less-expensive methods for controlling light to save energy, such as motion sensors, photocells that operate according to light levels, timers and dimmers.

Thanks to breaking technology, lighting has become more efficient than ever. To find an ALA-member lighting showroom to receive professional tips on energy-saving, go to www.americanlightingassoc.com.

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