Thursday, December 29, 2011

Consider your power company your friend - Duke Energy package to save energy

Yesterday I received a package from Duke Energy with lots of useful things to improve the energy efficiency of my house. I had received a similar package several years ago, but the contents of the new energy efficiency package differ a little bit. I have a picture of the opened package below, but want to list the content here:
  • energy efficient showerhead - these a great and the box contains step-by-step installation instructions. This is an easy way to save money and do something good for the environment
  • kitchen faucet aerator - this is new to me. The revised aerator will save energy and water, again stepwise instructions on how to install it are included. 
  • two compact fluorescent light bulbs - I have these all over my house already and have noticed that they last much longer and my electric bill actually dropped when I switched over to these bulbs. They are a really good investment and Duke Energy actually has a program that gives you a coupon for several free packages of these energy-efficient light bulbs. I used the program to pretty exchange all ligh bulbs in my house and put in energy efficient CFL bulbs. 
  • energy-efficient night light - this is also new. The night light turns off during daylight and turns on automatically at night. It simply plugs into an outlet.
  • two switch and outlet energy seals - this are useful on switches and outlets to outside walls. In my old house, the insulation was worn and barely working, actually leading to droughts in the house. I put these on the outlets and switches on the wall towards the shady side to help with insulating the room. 
  • needle spray bathroom faucet aerator - same as the kitchen faucet aerator, it will help with saving money by reducing energy and water consumption. This is also a new additional to the Duke Energy package. 
  • hot water temperature gauge - this nifty little tool will help you to determine whether your water temperature is too hot. For most uses you only need a water temperature up to 130oF, if the gauge indicates a higher temperature you can adjust the thermostat on your water heater and save some money!
  • shower flow meter bag - this is the last item in the box. It can be used to determine how many gallons of water come out per minute when the shower is turned to full flow. You can use this measure to adjust the water flow in your shower or simply take shorter showers. Sometimes it is amazing to realize how much difference in water consumption 5 minutes in the daily shower can make!
Copyright Durhamonthecheap - content of energy efficiency package from Duke Energy


Haley McAdams said...

I've been reading a lot of issues about CFLs and the danger it may bring. I don't know if I already need to change my bulbs at home. All of my bulbs are CFLs. My contractor who took his Electrician Online Course said that LED is much better to use.

kratzy said...

Thanks for your comment Haley. As with all new technology, some long term effects cannot be properly ascertained right now. I do believe that the benefits for the environment of using CLFs outweigh the potential dangers that they may pose (and this is an area that requires definitely more study to be certain). I know that CLFs contain mercury and so disposal must be done properly, similar to that for electronics such as computers (that contain a lot more hazardous material than just mercury). I also believe that people with photo-sensitivity should talk to their physician about using CLFs in their houses. That being said, for most people CLFs will post little danger in my opinion and they will help the environment and the budget. For resources on LED bulbs, I would refer to the power company. I believe that white LED bulbs can cause retina damage, but the power company would know for sure.