Energy efficiency is the first-choice option for Valley 25x’25. In general, energy efficiency and conservation efforts yield the highest per-cost benefits, sometimes paying for themselves in a matter of months. Technically, energy efficiency is doing more with the same amount of energy (or doing the same with less energy), whereas energy conservation is simply using less energy. Valley 25x’25 suggests addressing easy-to-do efficiency issues before making major investments in renewable energy technologies (though we will need you to do both in the longer term). There are a wide variety of options for improving energy efficiency, including:
- Adding extra insulation in your attic
- Switching to more energy-efficient appliances (e.g. Energy Star) and lighting (CFLs and LEDs)
- Using a more fuel efficient car
- Keeping the tires on your vehicle properly inflated
- Reducing vampire power consumption by electronics in standby mode
For more, see 10 Quick and Easy Ways to Save Energy (and Money!) and check out the other tabs in this section.
- Energy efficiency ideas from the U.S. Department of Energy
- 2011 federal tax credits for energy efficiency
- Home energy scoring
- Cool Roofing Material Database
- DIY home energy audit
- White Roofs Catch On as Energy Cost Cutters
- Do I really have to unplug my appliances?
- McKinsey – Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy.pdf
- McKinsey – Unlocking Energy Efficiency – Executive Summary.pdf