Energy Saving Programs
An energy audit's purpose is to identify places in the home where energy is being wasted and prioritize the projects needed to fix them. The end result is intended to reduce the amount of energy the home needs to operate and keep occupants comfortable. You'll start saving money on your energy bills as soon as you identify and fix energy wasters.
Check out a Kill-A-Watt monitor from your local library
Since 2009, EEA has helped its customers understand and potentially reduce their electricity usage with the use of Kill A Watt™ electricity usage monitors, available on loan through five area libraries.
These plug-in energy monitors are leaving the shelves at public libraries to help assess how efficient appliances really are. The monitor comes with basic instructions and some helpful hints from library personnel. It displays the power consumption in kilowatt-hours which is how EEA reports energy usage on customers' monthly bills and can assist in household budgeting.
With the increasing cost of electricity EEA wants to help customers save energy and dollars. This program provides a “no cost” way to reduce energy usage and identify the real energy abusers. Customers are reporting that they "unplug appliances when not in use to save energy."
Participating libraries located in Monticello, UT, Cortez, Mancos, Dolores, and Dove Creek, have a limited number of Kill A Watt™ monitors available for loan, similar to checking out a book or video.
EEA offers free recycling of household compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in our main office. We cannot accept tube-shaped fluorescent lighting. Other CFL recycling locations sponsored by EEA include: Town of Mancos, Town of Dove Creek, Town of Dolores, Choice Building Supply, Carharts, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Bright Ideas, Monticello Mercantile, Dolores General Store, Dolores Food Market, City of Monticello, Montezuma County, Slavens, and the City of Cortez.
Home Depot and Ace Hardware stores also offer free recycling of compact fluorescent light bulbs. Please check with your local store on program specifics.
Switching to CFLs is a simple way you can help lower your energy use at home and help to prevent greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, if every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR® qualified CFL, it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars annually.
What makes these bulbs use 2/3 less energy than a traditional bulb is a small amount of mercury — an average of 5 milligrams, which is roughly equivalent to an amount that would cover the tip of a ball-point pen. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact or in use, and the energy efficiency of CFLs actually presents an opportunity to reduce mercury emissions. However, proper disposal or recycling of these bulbs can result in even more environmentally friendly energy savings.
More information on clean up and proper disposal of CFLs from Energy Star and the Environmental Protection Agency:
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) combine the energy efficiency of fluorescent lighting with the convenience and popularity of incandescent fixtures. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, every light bulb that you change to an ENERGY STAR® rated CFL will:
• Use 1/3 of the energy of a standard incandescent light.
• Last up to 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb.
• Save an average of $30 or more in energy costs over the life of the bulb.
• Prevent 450 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime.
• Help preserve our energy resources.
CFLs are available in a variety of styles or shapes. Some have two, four, or six tubes. Others have circular or spiral-shaped tubes. The size or total surface area of the tube(s) determines how much light it produces. CFLs are designed for areas where lights are on for long periods of time and because CFLs do not need to be changed often, they are ideal for hard-to-reach areas.
Light Emitting Diode (LED)
As your incandescent bulbs burn out, it’s a good time to switch to LED bulbs. The LEDs are still considerably more expensive, but the impressive lifespan of 20 years or more helps justify the purchase. As a guide, switch to LEDs in locations that the light is on three hours or more a day. Remember, EEA offers rebates to encourage members to upgrade.
It’s not about watts anymore! Get a sense of brightness in lumens. The higher the lumen light output, the more light emitted. Compare wattage in the bulb to be replaced with the LED lumens to get the equivalent light output.
LEDs can display different hues – a color range from warm reds to a spectrum of cool whites. To replace the light of a typical incandescent bulb in your home, look for “warm white” or “soft white” on the packaging. Bulbs labeled “white light” or “daylight” produce a whiter light often used for outdoors, shops and task lighting.
Most LEDs can be dimmed; however LEDs consume such a low wattage, many existing dimmers may not function well. Use the LED manufacturer recommended low wattage dimmers or find LED bulbs compatible with traditional dimmers.
Thermal Management: Don’t enclose LEDs! They do produce a small amount of heat, so if placed in an enclosed housing, the heat will have no place to go except back to the bulb, thus reducing the life of the lamp. Look for LEDs designed for enclosed spaces or those built into the fixture.
Since 2007, EEA has provided an annual refrigerator/freezer recycling campaign for members to turn in an inefficient unit and receive a $60 credit on their electric account. EEA pays the recycling costs at Montezuma County Landfill, Bob’s Place and the San Juan County Landfill where certified recyclers remove the Freon from the units.
This event is for one week only and is scheduled around Earth Day in April. Members are required to come into EEA’s main office and receive a certificate that will accompany the unit to be recycled when they deliver it to the recycling center of their choice. For a sample of certificate, click here.