Individuals are finding ways to save money and energy by making by making small changes to their home and work routines. Turning off computers and lights when not in use are common, but some go a step further by switching to compact flourescent lighting and by switching off their power strips completely when not using their electronics. Installing solar panels is a fantastic way to conserve energy, but the up-front costs are still out of many people’s range (although solar panels are expected to pay for themselves within ten years). Allowing more natural light to enter one’s home or office reduces the need for electric lighting during the day, allowing washed clothes to dry naturally, and upgrading to Energy Star appliances are yet even more ways to conserve energy.
As for monitoring, gas and electric companies often provide individual reports of usage (on- and off-peak) with monthly statements. Some of these companies may also offer monetary incentives to install smart devices that will help reduce the amount of energy you use, especially during peak hours. I live in Sacramento, where for $6 per month extra, my apartment runs off of renewable energy instead of traditionally-generated electricity.
Check out the EPA’s website for lots of ways to conserve, monitor and save.
Good question, ArthurStevens. There are a lot of ways people are monitoring energy usage and making changes. For one, there are government organizations that grade buildings on how green they are, such as the National Home Energy Rating (NHER), or the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). These help keep people aware of the impact that their building has on the environment. Aside from government run programs, there are many things that people do around the house to help save energy such as installing new windows, setting the heat or a/c at a moderate level, keeping lights off when they are not necessary, leaving the sink off when you are brushing your teeth, and much more. The amount of energy that is saved can be kept track of when you get your next electricity and water bill.
Hope this helps!
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