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Save Money Room-by-Room
Your survival guide to keeping a green home by spending less.
By Karen Siegel-Maier
October 27, 2008

There’s little doubt we’re living in tough times. The effects of global financial woes can be seen every day at on the news, the supermarket shelves, and in your utility bills. The good news is that you can save money by actually making your home green.  Here are quick and easy suggestions to reduce costs in each room of your home.

The Living Room
How many energy units does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Virtually none, but it saves about 18-25 watts each when you switch from standard bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, replacing a single incandescent light bulb with a CFL in every home in America prevents carbon emissions equal to 800,000 cars from being released into the atmosphere and would add up to a national savings of more than $6 million dollars each year. Scale that down to meet the needs of your humble abode and you could lower your cost of lighting by a blazing 50-75 percent.

CFLs are available in various sizes for nearly any type of fixture these days, indoors or out. While CFLs cost a bit more than incandescent light bulbs, the savings is quickly realized when you consider that they last 4-10 times longer. They also give off 75 percent less heat, an added bonus when it comes to saving money on home cooling costs. For more information, see ecomii Tips .

Money Saving Actions: Replace regular bulbs with a CFL for every light run 15 minutes or more daily. You’ll save about $30 in electric costs over the lifetime of each bulb.

Average Savings:  $75 per year

The Kitchen
It may be true that too many cooks can spoil the broth, but too many kitchen appliance abuses can really wreak havoc on your wallet. For instance, a dishwasher with an Energy Star rating may save overall water and electric use compared to hand washing, but only if its owner uses it efficiently. However, when run at full capacity, an Energy Star compliant dishwasher uses 41 percent less energy than a standard model. These dishwashers also use less water, which helps to preserve national water supplies.

How you create those dirty dishes also matters. When preparing meals, use the appliance that will do the job most efficiently. For example, a slow cooker only uses 75-100 watts during a 7-hour period. However, cranking up an electric oven to make a similar meal burns about 2000 watts an hour. . For more information, see ecomii’s Sustainable Approach to Kitchen Appliances

Money Saving Actions: Run the dishwasher when it’s full and skip the dry heat cycle. In addition, using an energy efficient appliance like a slow cooker more often not only saves energy and money, it’s a healthier way to tighten your belt. Slow cookers break down fats better and, since they don’t brown foods, they don’t produce as many harmful advanced glycation end products.
Average Savings:  $62 per year

The Home Office & Media Room
Some appliances in your home may be drawing energy even when not in use, costing U.S. consumers an average of $100 per year per household. more


1.U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Agency, Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs:

2.U.S. Department of Energy

3.American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy:

4.Bounds, Gwendolyn. "Saving Energy on the Cheap." WallStreet Journal Available from: [2 October 2008]

5.Alliance to Save Energy. "U.S. Energy Costs to Jump This Winter: Energy and Money Saving Tips for Consumers." Available from:

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