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Questions and Answers about Saving Energy

What is energy conservation?

Conservation means saving or using less energy. When we turn off a light, we're conserving energy.

What is energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency also means using less energy - but this term means using products that don't waste energy.

For example, the ordinary light bulbs you might use at home waste almost all of the energy they use - most of the electricity turns into heat.

Why is it so important to save energy?

Energy isn't free. The grown-ups in your house pay for the all the electricity you use. So wasting energy is the same as wasting money - and we know that's not a good idea!

Wasting energy isn't good for the environment either. Most of the energy sources we depend on, like coal and natural gas, can't be replaced - once we use them up, they're gone forever. Another problem is that most forms of energy can cause pollution.

So the more energy we save, the better off our pocketbooks and our earth will be!

What's the best way to save energy at home?

It takes a lot of energy to heat your house during the winter, so lowering the thermostat a few degrees can make a big difference.

During the summer, using a fan instead of turning on the air conditioner will save a lot of electricity.

Which appliances use the most electricity?

Of all the big appliances in your house, the refrigerator uses the most electricity. An older refrigerator that doesn't use energy efficiently might cost more than $200 every year in electricity.

Other big energy users are water heaters, clothes dryers, dishwashers and ovens.

If you like math, you can try these online calculators to see how saving energy can save money.

Is it true that computers and TVs use electricity even when they're turned off?

Yes! Computers, TVs, DVD players and microwaves use electricity to power the clock and remember all the settings you program into them.

For example, when you turn your television off, it still draws power to remember the last channel you viewed and to turn on instantly without a lengthy warm-up time.

Test your energy smarts!

Now that you're learned about saving energy, go through our energy-smart house.