Archive | November 2016

Conserve Energy and Money in Your Home

The major energy users in your home are heating system, air conditioning, electric water heater, refrigerator, dryer, lighting – all contribute to your overall monthly electricity bill. Below are few tips to help you use them more efficiently, lower your energy use and save money on your monthly electric bill.

Kitchen Energy Savers

  1. Use cold water rather than hot to operate your food disposal. Cold water also helps get rid of grease by solidifying it, so it then can be grounded up and washed away.
  2. Install an aerator in your kitchen sink faucet.
  3. Never boil water in an uncovered pan. Water will come to a boil faster and use less energy in a kettle or covered pan.
  4. Keep range top burners and reflectors clean. They will reflect heat better, and you will save energy.
  5. Match the size of the pan to the heating element. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air.
  6. Turn off the oven five to ten minutes before cooking time is up and let trapped heat finish the cooking.
  7. When using the oven, cook as many foods as you can at one time.
  8. Get in the habit of turning off the elements of surface units on your electric stove several minutes before completing the allotted cooking time.
  9. Avoid opening the oven door repeatedly to check food is cooking. This allows heat to escape and results in the use of more energy to complete the cooking of your food.
  10. Use pressure cookers and microwave ovens if you have them. They save energy by reducing cooking time.
  11. Use small electric cooking appliances or ovens for small meals rather than the kitchen range or oven. They use less energy.
  12. Don’t preheat the oven unless absolute necessary, and then for no more than 10 minutes.
  13. Avoid using the broiler. Is is a big energy user.
  14. Thaw frozen foods before cooking. It will save time and energy.


  1. Be sure your dishwasher is full but not overloaded when you turn it on.
  2. Scrape dishes and rinse with cold water from the faucet before loading them into the dishwasher.
  3. When buying a dishwasher, look for an energy efficient model with air power and overnight dry settings. This can save you 10 percent of your dish-washing energy costs.
  4. Don’t use the “rinse-hold” on your machine for just a few solid dishes. It uses 3-4 gallons of hot water each time you use it.


  1. If possible, don’t place your refrigerator or fridge in direct sunlight or near the stove.
  2. Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers. Never allow frost to build up more than 1/4 of an inch.
  3. Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door on a piece of paper or dollar bill so that it is half in and half out of the refrigerator.
  4. Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures: 38 degrees F. to 40 degrees F. for fresh food compartments of the refrigerator; 5 degrees F. for the freezer component.

Hot Water Heater

  1. Insulate the outside of your water heater with an insulation blanket to reduce heat loss and save $10 to $20 a year.
  2. Turn down the water heater temperature dial to 120 degrees F. or less, or to warm setting. If you have a dishwasher, be sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions for minimum water temperature.
  3. Buy a high-efficiency water heater. When you need a new water heater, purchase a unit with a high Energy Factor(EF) rating. The higher the rating, the more efficiently the unit will operate.

Heating System

  1. Keep your heating equipment well tuned with periodic maintenance by professional service representative.
  2. Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans sparingly. You can blow away houseful of heat in just 2-3 hrs using ventilating fans. Turn them off when their job is complete.
  3. Turn down your thermostat at night or when you are away for more than four hours during the day. Do not turn off your heating system entirely as this may cause pipes to freeze.
  4. If you have a simple open fireplace, consider installing a glass screen, a radiant grate or fireplace insert. They will help cut down on the loss of warm air through the fireplace chimney.
  5. Maintain proper air circulation. Keep heating supply registers and cold-air return register clear of draperies and furniture.
  6. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees F. during the day and 60 degrees F. at night. You can save 3 percent on your heating costs for every degree you reduce the temperature below 70 degrees F. for the entire heating season.
  7. Clean or replace the filter in your forced-air heating system each month. Foam filters can be rinsed with water, but be sure they are dry before replacing.
  8. Keep draperies and shades open during the day to let the sunshine in; close them at night.
  9. Dust or vacuum radiator surfaces frequently. Dust and grime impede the flow of the heat.
  10. Don’t place lamps or television sets near your thermostat. Heat from these appliances is sensed by the thermostat and could cause your furnace to shut off sooner than is needed for adequate warmth.
  11. Check the duct work for air leaks about once a year if you have a forced-air heating system. To do this, feel around the duct joins for escaping air when the fan is on. Relatively small leaks can be easily repaired by covering holes or cracks with duct tape.


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

France Gears Up for Floating Wind

The emergence of floating wind power in France took another step forward earlier this month when the government announced two winners to a call for floating wind pilot plants.

Two pre-commercial pilot projects, each of 24 MW, will be built out under terms of the tender in independent locations.

One project — located in the Leucate zone of the Mediterranean — will be developed by utilities Engie and EDP Renewables, in concert with French bank Caisse de Dépôts et Consignations, Eiffage, Principle Power and GE. Four 150-6MW turbines from GE Haliade are to be installed.

A second project — within the Faraman area off the coast of Brittany — is to be developed by France-based power company EDF EN together with SBM Offshore and IFP Energies Nouvelles. Three Siemens 8 MW turbines will be featured there.

Industry players in France have broadly welcomed the announcement. The projects, alongside two other floating wind pilot projects announced in July, are expected to provide a key platform to demonstrate capabilities of floating wind and trial varying floating platform configurations. All four projects are of comparable capacity.

Jean Mathieu Kolb, the project director for ENGIE, told Renewable Energy World: “This project intends to quickly put floating wind farms on the map as a competitive energy source and part of the overall energy mix for France.”

He continued: “The objective is for this pre-commercial phase to provide key experience to help ensure the success of future commercial developments, not only for the industrial field but also for the many associated stakeholders.”

Kolb described the project as “a decisive phase that anticipates the floating turbine sector’s industrialization in France and abroad.”

Floating wind technology has been adopted by France as holding great potential for offshore development in light of the depths of waters around the nation. Engie has stated: “Floating wind turbines are an up-and-coming technology that can be installed in deeper, very windy water far from the shore. France’s Mediterranean coast is particularly well-suited to the development of this renewable offshore energy source and a perfect test platform for future international markets”

Engie plans to have the turbines commissioned in 2020.

Matthieu Monnier, Industry and Offshore Wind Advisor at the national wind association, France Wind Energy (FEE), told Renewable Energy World: “FEE congratulates the two new laureates and is happy that the state brings such strong support to the development of floating offshore wind energy in France. It means that the wind industry will be able to test and validate economical and technical hypothesis during the pre-commercial pilot phase; the fact that we have four awarded projects with four different technologies will show, in the future, which technologies will reach maturity and, consequently, which ones reach the commercial and industrial phase.

Reflecting on the fact that France has not yet installed any offshore turbines, Monnier said: “If the French offshore wind energy sector is late compared to other markets, the opportunity to lead this new market is real, and we will do it in a near future.”

Monnier added, “But commercial tenders are necessary for this, that’s why we are delighted that French Minister of Energy Ségolène Royal announced the launch of the commercial phase through a zoning process (that will start by the end of 2016), before the concrete launch of commercial tenders.”

Contrasting with this enthusiasm, however, were Monnier’s feelings towards aspects of the recently announced renewable energy targets for 2023 from the French government.

In particular, targets for offshore and floating offshore wind are not as ambitious as the wind industry should have liked. Monnier said: “The [floating offshore wind] objective is shared with other marine renewable energies and does not give a clear visibility [for floating wind target capacity].”

He added that FEE believes that floating offshore wind is the most competitive energy and that it should have the higher share of the 2 GW by 2023.

“If France wants to lead this market, we need commercial tenders with significant volumes,” he said.


Switch to Energy Efficient Home & Kitchen Appliances

Home & Kitchen Appliances Overview

Approximately 17% of your total energy bill comes from using major home appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers or washers/dryers. Furthermore, for every kilowatt-hour of electricity used or wasted, power plants release an average of 1.34 pounds of CO2 into the environment.* When looking for a new appliance make sure it has a federally mandated bright yellow and black EnergyGuide label on all energy efficient appliances which will provide you with the annual energy consumption and cost of that appliance so that you can determine which is the most energy efficient for you. When in doubt, you can also just look for the Energy Star label which is symbol of energy efficiency created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers save money and minimize air pollution.


It’s very important as a smart, cost-conscious consumer you make the correct decision when buying a energy efficient appliance, such as a refrigerator, because for the most part, you will have it for a while. In fact, on average a refrigerator last about 14 years. Consider a top freezer model as they are the most energy efficient and repair-free of the configurations offered, followed by bottom-freezer models. Side-by-side refrigerator/freezers, while more convenient, are more likely to need repair and can use roughly 7% to 13% more energy than top-freezer models. And when in doubt, chose an Energy Star rated refrigerators which uses about 20% less energy than conventional machines.*

Washer/dryers are some of the most inefficient appliances in your home, but the good news is that with the right model, you can save a substantial amount in energy and savings. When selecting a washer/dryer, select a washer with variable spin times as faster spin cycles rid clothes of more water and aid in drying times resulting in less heat and energy consumption. In addition, try to choose a model with a mini-basket which is a small tub that fits inside the regular basket so you can wash very small loads to minimize water and heat usage. Also, you can reduce your dryer’s energy use by choosing a model with a moisture sensor which can shut the dryer off automatically when the clothes are dry. Lastly, Energy Star washer/dryers are 37% more energy efficient and use approximately half of the water of traditional washers.*


Did you know that on average your dishwasher lasts 10 years? When looking for a replacement, look for models with several cycle selections (ie. light, medium, or heavy) so if your dishes don’t need heavy-duty washing, you can use a light or energy saving cycle and use less water. Also, try a model with an air-dry feature (as opposed to a heat/dry feature) as this will cut down on energy consumption. New Energy Star rated dishwashers can save you 13% on energy and as much as 1,200 gallons of water a year.*

*source: &

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