Americans spend billions of dollars each year on the cost of electricity. The cost of air conditioning, according to the U. S, Department of Energy, accounts for at least 15 percent of the energy use in many of our homes and may even reach as high as 70 percent in hot climates. If homeowners want to lower their electricity bills in the summer, ways to achieve energy efficiency throughout the home, especially with air conditioning, must be sought.
Central air conditioning, according to a report in the New York Times, costs homeowners around $130 monthly. Window air conditioners cost around $50 monthly. These are not the only methods available for cooling in the home. Ceiling fans are popular in tropical and temperate climates. In fact, they often are all that are needed to cool homes for the entire summer in such areas. One ceiling fan costs only $1.20 monthly. The A/C money saving available through the use of ceiling fans is enormous.
Many of us live in areas too hot to have our homes cooled comfortably enough by ceiling fans alone. Ceiling fans used in partnership with air conditioning can still provide significant savings on Home Energy Costs just the same. Most people can be quite comfortable with the thermostat set on 78°F to 80°F, and you achieve more energy savings for every degree above 78°F. If that feels too warm, do not change it yet. Turn on your ceiling fans. The drafts they create work to cool your skin through evaporation on its surface and cool you by three to five degrees. Now you feel as cool as you would if the thermostat was set on 73°F.
The cost of operating a ceiling fan for one hour is one penny. With the reduction in energy use from your A/C unit and the tiny cost of the fan, you will save a great deal on your electric bill for the summer. This makes a great start to any energy efficiency plan. Installing high efficiency air conditioning if you have an older, less effective system is another. To complete compiling a Summer Energy Savings Plan, there are hundreds of tips available on the Internet for ways to save energy around the home.
Reading between the lines of a recent National Governors Association paper, if you want citizens and industries to reduce their carbon footprints, give them financial incentives. Although there are multiple advantages to a greener outlook, including less pollution, many of the points made in this paper suggest that money is what drives some people towards necessary change above all other considerations.
To promote and advance energy efficiency in homes and commercial buildings, governors are going right to utilities companies. They offer incentives to these companies to find ways to reduce the cost of providing energy to customers within the states they serve. Along with any incentives specific governments provide for their citizens, this is an additional way to help consumers lower their energy costs. If they can save a bit of money every month, this could help prevent financial trouble but also free up money for energy efficiency structural changes.
Regulations for Users
At the same time, there can and should be pitfalls for business owners who defy expectations to increase energy efficiency wherever possible in their fields of industry. Regulations are drawn up by governors to limit the actions of business owners who would overstep these expectations and produce more carbon emissions than are necessary or permitted.
There can be no doubt of the rights and wrongs of energy use when it is all written down. Governors are “improving energy efficiency rules and standards for buildings and appliances” (http://nga.org/). They have also created an Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors which lays out all of these points and more.
Thinking of the Future
Neil Abercrombie, Governor of Hawaii, stresses that “the opportunity exists for even greater energy savings” (http://nga.org/). Governors are concerned about what can be done today to reduce the environmental impact of using gas, electricity, and water, but they also have their eye on the next group of innovators. To promote their work, governments are working with academic institutions to run or create programs where technology is used to prevent over-consumption in the United States, but to go even further.
Private individuals with innovative ideas can also look to state programs for help with their financial situations. Some monetary support could come from changes to financing arrangements if projects and inventions appear to have the potential to make positive change. Essentially, loans would be cheaper to pay off. Governors regularly revisit green ideas put forward, exploring which are likely to work, what works now, and to plan for the future.