drbarnum asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 1 decade ago

Help on saving energy costs?

What are your ideas on how to save energy?

How can cities save money on energy costs?

Just looking for ideas.

The link below talks about how some cities are starting to save energy. Please read it and give your ideas.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Help on saving energy costs?

    What are your ideas on how to save energy?

    How can cities save money on energy costs?

    Just looking for ideas.

    The link below talks about how some cities are starting to save energy. Please read it and give your ideas. mmmmmmmmmm, let me think on energy saving techniques or energy saving methods which means to me energy efficiency methods.

    1) Using energy efficient light bulbs which save a lot of money from th electrical bills - museums, galleries, libraries, colleges, nurseries, civil service departments, police stations. bus stations or any other large building in cities throughout the world can start to save a lot of money.

    2) Teach children in schools to switch off the TV, radio, CD player, computers and etc and do not leave it on standby.

    3) In Sydney in Australia - they use doubledecker carriages in the Metro or Subway or underground for their transportation to carry more passengers instead having more underground train trips as well as cutting on the congestion of cars and trams which uses a lot electricity or fuels from the cars.

    4) In colder regions in the world - better insulation like double glazing or trible glazing windows to prevent heat loss as well as saving a lot of money on the gas boilers for warming the water for a hot shower or bath.

    5) Loft insulation in the roof areas in the colder regions in the country.

    6) Solar panelling roofing in every homes in the country to produce electricity for the National Grid.

    7) Hung out your clothes to dry instead of using the Tumble Dryer as welll as saving electricity and money as well.

    8) Using winding technology to produce electricity for laptop and charging the mobile phone which takes 5 minutes winding.

    9) Use Sunroof for natural lighting in the houses.

    10) When washing dishes by hand, fill a bowl with warm water and a little detergent, washing the 'cleaner' items first. Use cold water for rinsing.

    11) If you use a dishwater, wait until it is full before using it. Don't be tempted by the 'half-load' facility, as it is nowhere near as energy-efficient.

    12) Use the 'economy' or 'eco' programme if your dishwater has one. It will use less electricity and take less time.

    13) Switch your dishwater off completely when it has finished; it is still consuming electricity on stand-by.

    14) If you switch off the machine and open the door when the dishwater enters its 'drying phase', the dishes will dry naturally, saving a considerable amount of energy.

    15) wait until hot food has cooled down before putting it into the fridge.

    16) Don't keep the fridge door open any longer than necessary because the motor of the fridge starts consumes alot of electricity trying to remain cool.

    17) Keep fridges and freezers well away from heat sources such as cookers, dishwaters, and washing machines - proper kitchen designs implementation on building new homes.

    18) If possible, site fridges and freezers out of direct sunlights, as your appliance will use more energy trying to keep cool in the sun.

    19) Try and keep your fridge and freezer full; they will use less electricity.

    20) If you freezer isn't full, fill empty spaces with scrunched-up or bubble wrap to stop warm air circulating when it is opened.

    21) Defrost food by putting it in the fridge the night before you want to use it. This will cool the fridge down and reduce its power consumption.

    22) Keep the metal grids (condenser coils) at the back of fridges and freezers clean and dust-free, and not jammed up against the wall; this allows the air to circulate more easily around them, and makes them more efficient. Also a chest freezer uses less electricity than a front-opening model because the cold air doesn't fall out every time the freezer is opened.

    23) If you have a fitted kitchen with a built-in fridge or freezer, make sure there is ample ventilation to allow for air circulation around the condenser coils.

    24) Defrost the fridge and freezer regularly. If the ice inside gets more than 5mm thick, the appliances become inefficient.

    25) Consider buying an energy-efficient freezer to replace older appliances. You should recover the cost remarkably quickly.

    26) Check the door seals on your fridge and freezer: shut the door on a £5 note. If you can pull it out easily, or if your seals are damaged, they need replacing. Please also note that a new 'A' energy-rated fridge consumes about one third of the electricity of some of the older models.

    27) If there's nobody in the room, or the room is bright enough without having lights on, switch the lights off. Get into the habit; it costs nothing and is really simple and effective.

    28) Have Candlelit suppers for romantic occasions.

    29) Take control of your heating. Consider turning down the thermostat controlling the temperature of your room or house by 1 Celsius. You will have eithere a single control at a central position such as in the hall, or thermostats attached to the individual heaters or radiators.

    30) Turn radiators off or down in rooms you only use occasionally. please note warning - if you are elderly or infirm, try to keep your room temperatures at least 18 celsius, and your living room and bathroom about 21 celsius.

    31) You don't necessarily need to turn up the heating for babies; a room temperature of about 16 celsius - 20 celsius is ideal.

    32) Turn down the thermostat when you are going away on holiday: 5 celsius will prevent pipes bursting in cold weather.

    33) Set the timer for your heating system so that it comes on about 30 minutes before you get up, or when you come home in the evening. Switch the heating off about half hour before you leave in the morning or go to bed.

    34) If you use plug-in electric heaters such as bar heaters, oil filled radiators or panel heaters, use them sparingly as they are very expensive to run. Please note that just lowering the temperature of your thermostat by 1 celsius can reduce your energy bill by 10%.

    35) Move furniture away from any radiators or heaters, to allow heat to get out into the room.

    36) If you are too hot in your room, turn the heating down or off rather than opening a window.

    37) Rather than turn up the heat, put on an extra layer of clothes.

    38) draw curtains over windows at night; they provide insulation and help to keep the heat in the room.

    39) If your curtains over windows at night; they provide insulation and help to keep the heat in the room.

    40) If your curtains are thin, line them with thicker fuffy materials, such as brushed cotton, to help keep the heat in.

    41) Open the curtains during the day if the sun is shining on your windows, and let the sun heat your room. Keeping our homes warm during the winter months accounts for about two thirds of our household energy bills.

    42) Avoid covering radiators with curtains - they will funnel the heat out through the glass of the windows. Tuck them in behind, to enable the radiator heat to come into the room.

    43) If you do not have double-glazing, you can reduce your heat loss by putting cling film over each window pane. It works very well, will reduce noise coming through the window, and should last the whole of a winter.

    44) Keep external doors shut.

    45) Buy and fit a draught excluder to your letterbox. They only cost a couple of pounds, but make a big difference.

    46) Fit draught excluders to external doors and windows. Foam strips are cheap, but if you can afford it, buy the longer-lasting rubber or plastic systems. You may not want to do this in your bathroom or kitchen if you have problems with condensation. Make sure you still have sufficient ventilation. Please note - warning - Don't block up air vents or grills in walls if you have an open gas fire, a boiler with an open flue, or a solid fuel fire or heater. These need sufficient ventilation to burn properly - otherwise highly poisonous carbon monoxide gas is released.

    47) Stop draughts coming under skirting boards or through floorboards by filling the gaps with strips of wood, cork, or the correct sealant. Make sure you still have sufficient ventilation. Please note that about one quarter of all the energy we use to heat our homes escapes through single-glazed windows.

    48) If your walls are not insulated, put some radiator foil between the radiators and the walls. It's cheap, very effective and easy to install. Actual radiator foil is best; it has a layer of insulation behind the alumination foil. Ordinary kitchen foil helps, but is less effective. Stick it to the wall with double-sided sticky pads, with the shiny side facing into the room.

    49) Insulate your walls. If you have cavity walls, they are easy and quick to insulate, and in most cases it can be done in a day. Solid walls are insulated by placing cladding either inside or outside; it's more complex, but worthwhile, as solid walls lose more heat than cavity walls. There will probably be a grant available to help you pay for this.

    50) Insulate your loft. This is probably one of the simplest and most effective methods of reducing your heat and energy loss. Loft insulation should be a minimum of 270mm thick. You can do it yourself. There are some very user-friendly materials available, but whichever insulation type you choose, protect yourself with appropriate clothing and a face mask. There will probably be a grant available to help you pay for the installation.

    51) Fitted carpets with underlay will give you much more insulation than bare boards, and will stop draughts.

    Here are some ideas on energy saving. Alternative energy must be use, such as wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, biogas or biomass or biofuels can be turn into energy, hydroelectric energy and etc must be all use. More trams need to be put into use. More buses on the roads with cheaper fares. Congestion c

  • 1 decade ago

    Novel ideas, but the fact is that its a small amount saved and has to be tailored to the area your trying to save energy.

    For instance, if you want a "bike" patrol, then you'll have to limit it to around the malls or a business park. Lets see a bike keep up with a van full of fugitives hitting the highway.

    My city had a gas-powered lawn mower turn in for which you get a new electric mower. To be completely honest I wasn't deluded. electric engines are usually underpowered compared to gas engines but I deal with it to do my part, it is adequate, and maybe I have to reset the circuit breaker a few times...but eventually I get the job done. Problem being is, the polution that would have resulted from me using a gas engine to cut the lawn in less time might be less, equal or more than the use of electricity to charge my electric mower, which takes longer to mow with. I don't know the answer, but it isn't all a wash and as energy efficient as alot of people love to tout.

    How about not building foutains in cities ? That takes the running of an electric pump all day long. But are people willing to give up their nice business fronts ?

    There are many ways we "can' do things...problem is, are we willing to do it, and more importantly are we doing it under the idea of saving tax payer money by wasting less ? or are we falling for the hoax of global warming and want to reduce any supposed "greenhouse" gas ? Lets get real, its a "greenhouse gas" in the first place due to the greenhouse effect....and greenhouses aren't that big compared to the would outside. The planet hasn' t displayed this "greenhouse effect" as much as they keep reporting, temps actually fell 1/2 a degree worldwide due to less sunspot activity. There's a no brainer...the sun....warms our planet. Wow.....Brilliant.

  • 7 years ago

    Or you can also watch this simple video for a step by step guide on how to conserve energy and be green.


    Youtube thumbnail

  • Let me start off by saying we (my family and I) live completely, 100% “off of the grid and are completely self sufficient”

    The house is built utilizing natures natural elements, in the shape of an octagon with 8ft wide arch doors on every wall to catch every angle of wind (typical 4 sided homes have half the chance as one with 8 sides. A circle being the most efficient design). Woodburning stoves, solar chimney, solar AC, solar heating, solar water heating (pool and home), solar stove, solar power, wind power, hydrogen powered back up generator, hydrogen back up water heater, hydrogen stove, 2 hydrogen powered trucks, 1 EV (electric vehicle) and satellite internet.

    There are no utility lines, no water lines, no roads, tv, cell service, etc. on our ranch. EVERYTHING needed is produced here. All electricity comes from 27 solar panels, 2 main wind gens and a back hydrogen generator if needed (typically we can last 9 days with all luxuries of sunless windless weather, hasn't happened yet). Water is caught and storaged from the rain. Hot water is made with solar batch water heaters with an on-demand hydrogen hot water heater as backup. Even our vehicles use alternative energy (2 hydrogen trucks, 1 EV electric vehicle converted). Because of this we have no bills, no debt and no mortgage.

    The following steps were taking directly out of a DIY guide I offer to those who would like to run their homes on solar power safely, reducing their monthly utility bills or even selling power back the the electrical companies. The entire guide is available at www agua-luna com. Its pretty simple but if you have any problems feel free to contact me directly I can walk you threw the process.

    Materials you will need

    A sheet of copper flashing from the hardware store. This normally costs about $5.00 per square foot. We will need about half a square foot.

    Two alligator clip leads.

    A sensitive micro-ammeter that can read currents between 10 and 50 microamperes. Radio Shack sells small LCD multimeters that will do, but I used a small surplus meter with a needle.

    An electric stove. My kitchen stove is gas, so I bought a small one-burner electric hotplate for about $25. The little 700 watt burners probably won't work -- mine is 1100 watts, so the burner gets red hot.

    A large clear plastic bottle off of which you can cut the top. I used a 2 liter spring water bottle. A large mouth glass jar will also work.

    Table salt. We will want a couple tablespoons of salt.

    Tap water.

    Sand paper or a wire brush on an electric drill.

    Sheet metal shears for cutting the copper sheet.

    The first step is to cut a piece of the copper sheeting that is about the size of the burner on the stove. Wash your hands so they don't have any grease or oil on them. Then wash the copper sheet with soap or cleanser to get any oil or grease off of it. Use the sandpaper or wire brush to thoroughly clean the copper sheeting, so that any sulphide or other light corrosion is removed.

    Next, place the cleaned and dried copper sheet on the burner and turn the burner to its highest setting.

    As the copper starts to heat up, you will see beautiful oxidation patterns begin to form. Oranges, purples, and reds will cover the copper.

    As the copper gets hotter, the colors are replaced with a black coating of cupric oxide. This is not the oxide we want, but it will flake off later, showing the reds, oranges, pinks, and purples of the cuprous oxide layer underneath.

    The last bits of color disappear as the burner starts to glow red.

    When the burner is glowing red-hot, the sheet of copper will be coated with a black cupric oxide coat. Let it cook for a half an hour, so the black coating will be thick. This is important, since a thick coating will flake off nicely, while a thin coat will stay stuck to the copper.

    After the half hour of cooking, turn off the burner. Leave the hot copper on the burner to cool slowly. If you cool it too quickly, the black oxide will stay stuck to the copper.

    As the copper cools, it shrinks. The black cupric oxide also shrinks. But they shrink at different rates, which makes the black cupric oxide flake off.

    The little black flakes pop off the copper with enough force to make them fly a few inches. This means a little more cleaning effort around the stove, but it is fun to watch.

    When the copper has cooled to room temperature (this takes about 20 minutes), most of the black oxide will be gone. A light scrubbing with your hands under running water will remove most of the small bits. Resist the temptation to remove all of the black spots by hard scrubbing or by flexing the soft copper. This might damage the delicate red cuprous oxide layer we need to make to solar cell work.

    Cut another sheet of copper about the same size as the first one. Bend both pieces gently, so they will fit into the plastic bottle or jar without touching one another. The cuprous oxide coating that was facing up on the burner is usually the best side to face outwards in the jar, because it has the smoothest, cleanest surface.

    Attach the two alligator clip leads, one to the new copper plate, and one to the cuprous oxide coated plate. Connect the lead from the clean copper plate to the positive terminal of the meter. Connect the lead from the cuprous oxide plate to the negative terminal of the meter.

    Now mix a couple tablespoons of salt into some hot tap water. Stir the saltwater until all the salt is dissolved. Then carefully pour the saltwater into the jar, being careful not to get the clip leads wet. The saltwater should not completely cover the plates -- you should leave about an inch of plate above the water, so you can move the solar cell around without getting the clip leads wet.

    now place in the sun with the magnefied on top.

    The solar cell is a battery, even in the dark, and will usually show a few microamps of current.

    That’s it it’s that simple. If you’d a more detailed process and some pics (ouldn’t put them here) it’s available along with some other DIY alternative energy projects at www agua-luna com

    Hope this helped, feel free to contact me personally if you have any questions if you’d like assistance in making your first self sufficient steps, I’m willing to walk you step by step threw the process. I’ve written several how-to DIY guides available at www agua-luna com on the subject. I also offer online and on-site workshops, seminars and internships to help others help the environment.

    Dan Martin

    Alterative Energy / Sustainable Consultant, Living 100% on Alternative & Author of How One Simple Yet Incredibly Powerful Resource Is Transforming The Lives of Regular People From All Over The World... Instantly Elevating Their Income & Lowering Their Debt, While Saving The Environment by Using FREE ENERGY... All With Just One Click of A Mouse...For more info Visit:

    www AGUA-LUNA com

    Stop Global Warming!!!

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  • jeff m
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I think we should reduce speed limits, and allow bicyclists to use the side of freeways. Wind resistance increases with the square of your speed, and it's the main factor at highway speeds.

    going slow (or riding a bike) is too scary, with others passing at 70 mph. on a freeway, you don't have to stop so often, which makes cycling much easier. freeways often follow the most level, direct routes. i think a 10 mile commute on the side of a freeway would be easier and safer than a 5 mile commute , with stops at many intersections.

    lower speed limits around town would make bikes more competitive & reduce wasted energy, each time you brake. lower speed limits would make smaller, lighter, less powerful cars more attractive. I don't understand why our leadership isn't reducing speed limits - big gasoline savings, right now.

    regardless of how much oil is left, or what your opinion is of "global warming" (I'm skeptical), we should be conserving gasoline& diesel as hard as possible - it's BY FAR the most practical fuel for motor vehicles, lets leave some for future generations, even if we have to drive slower, and ride bikes, when possible. It saves fuel, its good excersise, its fun.

    i think large, high speed electric cars will always be only affordable to the wealthy, and hydrogen cars a total pipe dream - unless electricity becomes dirt cheap. electric vehicles will be more practical if they were small & low speed. As you say, the fuel is just burnt elsewhere, and it's likely less efficient, BECAUSE ENERGY IS LOST, with each conversion- usually a lot of it. This is an important, immutable fact that many seem unaware of. Here's a link;


    And roundabout intersections - if you've got a line of them along a side street, it makes a real good bike path. Cars have to slow down, but bikes can go thru at full speed, with less fear of getting run over. A well justified fear of cars, is a big reason people don't get the bike habit, I believe. And frequent loss of momentum makes cycling much more difficult.

    Another automotive thing -we should consider bringing back the high compresion gasoline auto engine. They're a lot more efficient - they provide more room for the hot gasses to expand. this is a big reason why diesel engines are more efficient, and motorcycles have high power ratings , for their size. Compression ratios were reduced in

    the 70s , for 2 reasons:

    1: to eliminate need for lead based "octane improvers"

    2: to reduce NOX (oxides of nitrogen) emissions


    1: I believe that ethanol added to gasoline could take care of octane enhancement. also, engines mostly have detonation/preignition problems (requiring high octane ) when they are driven hard . no lead foot= less octane required.

    Straight Ethanol fuel is often used in drag racing, with very high compression ratios.

    2:Perhaps we'd end up not increasing NOX emitted, If we simply burned less fuel, by driving slower, with decreased engine size reducing mass all thru the drivetrain and suspension. And burning the fuel as efficiently as possible, and with smaller cars more attractive (because large, or powerful cars would look even more stupid than now)at lower speed limits. big cars are more stable at highway speeds - reduce speeds, and only people with a lot of passengers will want big vehicles. reducing speeds also GREATLY reduces damage in a crash, and risk of crashes

    I feel that a good way to get people out of the automobile habit, is to change the cost structure.

    there are a couple of companys (zipcar is one of them) which have rental cars that can be used by customers with a "debit card". the cars have a card reader, they are parked at certain locations with the keys locked inside (like at convenience stores) very cost effective, for people who just want a car now and then - no need for all the up-front costs of a car - and once you've paid those costs, you may as well use the car.

    I'd love to find an INSURANCE COMPANY that could monitor my car usage, and charge by the mile. I pay 120$ per 6 months, but I use it so little, Insurance alone costs me 12$ every time I drive. Usually less than 10 miles. There are many people (retirees, urban residents) who likewise have little need of a car, and would drive less, if it were more of a "pay as you go" thing. Perhaps with a wireless GPS transponder, or simply a "seal" on my speedometer cable (so that it can't be disconnected, without damaging the seal). or a simple mileage meter, like some semitrucks have attached to one of their wheels. This could be a big idea, for some insurance company.

    Another idea - heat pumps - which can save money, depending on your climate, because they gather heat rather than just burning nat gas. A heat pump is like an air conditioner, with valves which can switch, so that it's blowing heat inside. TO MAKE A CHEAP ONE : basically, install an air conditioner backwards. If you had a table, at the same height as your window, and arranged your AC, so that it could be easily pulled inside & turned around, you'd have a heat pump, fully reversible, at much lower cost. set the temp at about the lowest setting - it should quit trying to pump heat, when it gets too cool outside (has to work harder, to get heat) . best setting will vary, depending on your local cost of nat gas/ electricity and climate - ask around. I think you'd want an AC which can be set pretty cool, maybe even as low as 55 degrees, which might be a problem, with digital controlled units. The unit will shut off automatically, when outside temp gets too cool for efficient heat gathering.

    To make it shut off automatically, when room is warm enough - you should be able to get a temp switch, which it could be plugged into. again, a digital unit may be a problem - temp setting may revert to default 70 degrees, each time your inside tstat. shuts it off. BUT - for best results, no need to leave it running all night, anyway - just use it on warmish fall/ winter days, to gather heat while it's kind of warm out, let your furnace take over otherwise.

    You'll extend the usefulness, if you have some kind of solar collector outside - and that can be as simple as 2x4 frames, with layers of plastic over them,leaning against the south side of the house. Create a greenhouse, to gather more heat, you see.

    And - thermal mass can be a big help. If you've got a basement, you've got a pretty good thermal mass. The concrete, with dirt outside can hold a lot of heat/cool. just open all the windows, on warm fall days, with perhaps a fan on a low setting. the solar collector can help a lot, the heat pump, too -if you want to warm it up as much as possible, before winter. as far as getting the heat upstairs, just let it rise thru the floors, open the basement door. but an extra vent hole might help it circulate.Try to gather & distribute the heat as passively as possible. And you can gather cool, on cold spring nights - cool won't rise, but it'll help a little, and you can skip the AC, and hang out in the basement when the hottest part of summer arrives. Adding polyiso board insulation to the above ground part of the concrete, will help hold in the heat/cool - it's R7 per inch, just glue it on, and paint it.

    The polyiso board makes excellent window covers, too - particularly on the north side of the house. cut a peice a 1/4" big, split it down the middle, wedge it in. add a handle, for easy removal - a peice of duct tape, or a coathanger wire, stuck thru and bent over. Alternately, bubble wrap can be stuck to the inside of your windows - just spritz a little water on, it'll probably hang there all winter. polyiso board is best cut by scoring and breaking it. don't use styrofoam - it has half the r-value, and it has to be sawn, a big mess.

    And- if you're going to use an AC- precool your house by opening the windows at night, SHUT THEM in the morning. If you leave them open all day, and then decide to use the AC - what you've done is gathered a house full of heat, and then made your AC pump it outside.

    Source(s): former ASE certified master mechanic w/AC certification. Now - mostly travel by bike, planning to change my house, as described Sorry it's so long winded - been thinking about this stuff a lot, like everyone else. interested in idea exchange- jfmoris110@yahoo.com
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