Energy remains relatively cheap in the US, compared to other countries around the world. We use more energy than most countries (only 10 countries use more on a per capita basis), so we have lots of opportunities to save energy … and contribute to the global crisis in Ukraine.
|Per Capita Energy Consumption
|% Oil Produced
|% Oil Consumed
|20% (18.61M barrels)
|20% (20.54M barrels)
|12% (10.81M barrels)
|3% (3.18M barrels)
|11% (10.50 barrels)
|4% (3.70M barrels)
|6% (5.23M barrels)
|3% (2.51M barrels)
|5% (4.86M barrels)
|14% (14.01M barrels)
|Not in Top 10
|2% (2.35M barrels)
|Top 10 Countries
|72% (67.49M barrels)
|60% (60.69M barrels)
Save Energy by Driving Less
Rather than complaining about rising gasoline prices, GlobalPetrolPrices.com indicates that US gas prices average $4.46/gal, which is lower than the world average of $4.89/gal … and much lower than other rich western countries like Canada ($5.61/gal), England ($7.72/gal) or Germany ($8.62).
It's easy to talk about Ways you can save gasoline to reduce overall US demand for gasoline. You'll also save money because we spend more than the cost of gasoline when we get in our cars.
- Eat at home one or 2 extra nights each week. With a little more planning, you can eat healthier meals at home. Make it fun by inviting neighbors over for dinner, something I remember doing more as a kid. Save cooking time by preparing three meals – one for tonight and one for each family to eat another evening.
- Start carpooling more to work and school. For parents driving their kids to school, maybe it's time to let kids take the school bus? Carpools will save you time and gas money, especially when you arrange carpools with children that share the same after school activities as your kids.
- Work at home several days a week to save energy. The pandemic demonstrated working from home works … But you might have to remind management how much time and money commuting now costs, and that you'll be more productive by working at home.
- Combine and/or share errands so you're going to three or more places each time you go out. With more schedule flexibility, I do the Costco runs for myself and daughter-in-law while she picks up our Walmart grocers which we order online.
Global Oil Production & Consumption Facts
Oil production and gasoline costs are big topics in the news today … but how much do you understand? Russia delivers 11% of the worlds oil but only uses 4%, instead earning 40% of it's income selling gas and oil to the rest of the world.
Europe is most vulnerable to losing it's energy supplies from Europe. Countries like Germany (read more about Nord Stream 2) have been shutting down their nuclear power plants and moving to gas and sustainable (solar and wind) energy sources. As the Ukrainian invasion continues, we know the impact will be felt around the world … because of our global economy.
As the US is one of the top 3 energy consumers, it's clear we have opportunities to save energy to contribute to the energy shortage resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Save Energy by Using Less Electricity
I'm at a loss for words … really!
My goal with this article is to motivate Americans to save energy at home, so collectively we can reduce the world's dependency on Russia's oil and gas. At the same time, I'm feeling conflicted because of all the articles I've written to help homeowners use more electricity?
We're adding more technology to every aspect of our homes like smart lighting, which increase use of electricity. We're spending more time using electronics from laptops to TVs and games, which all use electricity. What I can't tell you today … is how we can balance these increasing energy demands with solutions to reduce energy consumption.
For now, here are lots of ideas to help you save energy today. If you leave your ideas below, I'll review them and add to my article, 44 Homeowner Electrical Tips Checklist, to share energy reduction solutions.
- Rethink the lighting in your home and find ways to use more natural lighting.
- Turn lights off when you're not using them. Motion-activated light switches and smart bulbs offer more energy savings.
- Put holiday lights on a timer (indoor or outdoor) so they don't stay on all night.
- Save more energy by switching out old light bulbs to LED bulbs.
- Turn electronics known as energy vampires, off when not being used. Power strips save time with a single switch for multiple devices.
- Upgrade to EnergyStar appliances (read: Buying Appliances: When & Where). If you kept your old refrigerator, make sure you really need it & whether you could upgrade this too.
- Use your microwave instead of your stove (works for me, LOL).
How Using Less Water Will Save Energy
- Turn water off while you brush your teeth.
- Take shorter showers to reduce the energy used to heat hot water.
- Only run the dishwasher when it's full. Turn off long drying cycles.
- Wait until you have full loads, to run your washing machine and dryer. Washing with cold water will save you even more energy.
- Consider drying your clothes outside … of your HOA allows this.
- Wear clothes more than once before washing, for even greater savings.
Check Heating & Cooling Systems
- Install a smart thermostat that makes it easy to adjust your home's temperature settings to save energy.
- Wear a sweater during chilly days, to keep your house a few degrees cooler.
- Use ceiling fans so you can raise/lower your thermostat's settings a few degrees.
- Use a thermal imaging camera to find air leaks making your HVAC system run more than necessary. Add caulking, weather stripping or insulation to stop the leaks.
- If you've got single pane windows, replace them with dual pane windows.
- Replace your HVAC system's air filters periodically, to make your system run more efficiently.
- Update your HVAC system for a more efficient system, if your old one is approaching end of life?
- Install solar panels (read: Are You Ready to Install Solar?) to generate most of your home's electrical needs.
New Habits That Can Save Energy
- Schedule family activities that don't use electricity. Indoors it's time board games and outside, a small ball or one of these backyard games can provide hours of fun.
- Use reusable items when possible, as they waste energy during the manufacturing process.
- Recycle what you can, like aluminum cans, to save energy and raw materials.
What did we miss? Please tell us and …
we'll update this checklist … so thanks!