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Reaching Maryland's EmPOWER Goal of a 15% Reduction in Energy Usage is Easy

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MORE INFORMATION

Residential electricity usage represents 42% of total electricity consumption in Maryland.  While every home is different, the chart below provides a list of energy savings measures that residents can use to calculate and achieve significant energy savings.  If fully implemented, these measures can help Marylanders significantly reduce their electricity consumption. 

To reach the EmPOWER Maryland goal of 15% reduction, MEA encourages residents to adopt the combination of energy savings tips that will work best for their home.  In many cases, these measures do not require a large financial investment.

For example: to save 15% on your household energy usage, you could replace your old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, seal your duct work, repair any ceiling leaks and install a low-flow shower head. It's that simple.

Typical Household Electricity Consumption

For your information, the pie chart below shows how the average household uses energy.

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      Source:  ENERGY SAVER$: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home

More Details on Energy Savers

CFLs - The installation of compact fluorescent lights (CFL) in a home is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways for a household to reduce energy costs.  ENERGY STAR CFLs use 75% less electricity than standard bulbs and last ten times as long.  In addition, CFLs produce less heat than standard bulbs resulting in savings in cooling costs.  These savings are based on replacing 80% of all bulbs with CFLs in a home that previously used about 25,700 incandescent lamp-hours per year.

Wall Insulation - Almost half of the homes in Maryland are over 30 years old.  Older homes tend to be less well insulated than newer homes.  For homes with little or no wall insulation, blown-in wall insulation can result in significant energy savings.

Ductwork - In many houses, heating and cooling ductwork is run through unconditioned spaces like attics and garages.  If any openings exist in the ductwork, conditioned air escapes causing energy costs to increase.  By ensuring ductwork is properly sealed, household energy costs can be minimized.

Attic Penetrations - In homes, penetrations are often made into unconditioned attic space when recessed lighting, plumbing vents, and chimneys are installed.  If not sealed properly, these penetrations can cause conditioned air to draft into the unconditioned attic space, increasing heating and cooling costs.  By ensuring that attic penetrations are properly sealed, heating and cooling costs can be minimized.

Ceiling Insulation - Some older homes may not have the most effective insulation in their ceilings.  By upgrading ceiling insulation to R-38 or higher insulation, residents can improve the building envelope of their home.

Low flow showerheads – Low flow showerheads reduce water consumption and save energy by requiring less hot water to be generated.

ENERGY STAR appliances- ENERGY STAR appliances use less energy than appliances built to only meet the minimum federal standard.  In addition, consumers should look for the yellow and black EnergyGuide label when shopping for appliances.  This label indicates how energy efficient an appliance is in comparison to similar model appliances.                

References

  • American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.  Energy Efficiency: The First Fuel For A Clean Energy Future- Resources for Meeting Maryland’s Electricity Needs. Washington, D.C., February 2008.
  • Maryland.  Maryland Energy Administration. Refrigerators: Replace Old Models for Big Savings. 17 September 2008. <http://energy.maryland.gov/incentives/business/energy/ MEA_TrainingTool_08.swf>.
  • United States. U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  ENERGY SAVER$: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, January 2006.