Tuesday, February 15, 2011

GE ecomagination

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and GE.

As a mom, saving energy usage in our home, and the financial savings that comes along with that, is always on my mind. Our first house was an older build and we learned the hard way about high energy. When we bought our current house, one of the top items on my list was energy efficiency. Our bills on this house are less than our old house, even though we nearly doubled the size.


Faith helps change out the light bulbs

Of course, like most families with two smaller children, we spent a lot of time saying things like "Turn off the lights when you're not in the room," and "Why is there a tv on upstairs when everyone is down here?" It has taken me large amounts of time to convince my children that just because they are in the family room, the kitchen and breakfast room lights do not have to be on too, or amazingly, that when it is sunny and the middle of the day, opening the blinds lets in enough light to do almost anything

Even so, we still look for little ways to save energy and lower our bills:
  • Since we live in Texas, running the a/c in the summertime is a must. However, we've switched to leaving the windows open for as many months as we can get away with it, probably March till May/June, and again by mid-September through November. In the winter, we shut the doors and vents in the rooms we don't use which also helps with the heating bill.
  • For dinner, we use the crockpot as much as we can. Not only is it more convenient for me (put the food on in the morning and leave it till dinner), it uses much less energy than our regular oven.
  • I run the dishwasher and washing machine at night. I read years ago that it is cheaper/more efficient to do so. We just had rolling blackouts in North Texas and it was on the energy company's list of things to do. I'm a night person anyhow, so this has always worked quite well for me.
  • I rarely use my dryer! The only things that go in the dryer wet are towels and sheets, socks and underwear. I hang all the rest of our clothes to air dry on hangers in the bathroom. It saves energy and prevents things shrinking in the high heat of the dryer.
  • Curly-q light bulbs! I'm sure these have a real name but I have no idea what it is. My husband discovered them when he still worked for an Energy Star builder and we've slowly been switching our house light bulbs to them. They make a huge difference in energy usage, they generate less heat than typical bulbs, and I am convinced they are brighter.
  • Sending the kids outside to play. It doesn't officially seem like an energy tip, but if they're outside, they're not inside using electricity. As an added bonus, they're getting fresh air and exercise in the process, which results in lovely quiet time for me.

GE is currently hosting the ecomagination Challenge: Powering Your Home, an open call for fresh thinking on eco-home technology and innovations that can effectively harness renewable energy for the home. This challenge is all about the power of networked ideas, collaboration and partnerships to accelerate innovation. What changes have you made in your home to make it more energy efficient? Do you have new ideas for solving the home energy issues you face? This isn't just the usual idea and tips that we all love to share, it's something much bigger than that! GE is looking for large-scale ideas from businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, students and every day people with breakthrough ideas for home energy creation, management and use. Do you have a game-changing energy idea? Share it with GE for a chance to win. You can also find ecomagination on the main ecomagination site, ecomagination Challenge Blog, Foursquare, Facebook, and YouTube.

And on this blog, I'm giving away two $50 GE energy smart LED light bulb that last 20 years and save you $85 in energy cost. Leave me a comment telling me:
Share with me what your energy use challenges at home are, for a chance to win a $50 GE energy smart light bulbs that lives 20 years and saves you $85 in energy costs.
The contest runs from 2/15/11 until 2/28/11, one prize will be given away each week.


To visit the other bloggers' posts, go here - Visit the Exclusive Offers section

Rules:
-No duplicate comments.
-You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
-a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
-b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
-c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
-d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
-This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
-Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
-You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
-The Official Rules are available here - Visit the Official Rules

54 comments:

  1. I use CFL’s in most of my lamps. I turn on the dishwasher when I go to bed, to run it when power costs are lower. I cover up with an electric throw in the evenings and use an electric blanket on my bed, so I can lower the temp in the rest of the house. In the summer, I use a floor fan and ceiling fans to supplement the central air system. When I walk around the house at night and see all of the little red lights burning, it reminds me to turn off all unneeded chargers, power strips, etc. I’d love to try this new LED bulb!

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  2. We live in a very old house, so we've been insulating with weather stripping and other things to try to keep out drafts.

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

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  3. I hate having so much garbage, and recycling is not offered in my town...so I try to resue things as much as possible. Any envelopes that mail comes in , I cut it up to use as scrap paper. I also wash out and reuse my ziploc baggies (until they get too gross, of course).

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  4. I wash clothes with cold water. I usually hang clothes to dry and the kids help by turning lights off when not being used.

    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

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  5. We turn down the heat at night in winter! Thanks!
    kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

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  6. We live in an all-electric home. Though we supplement with a woodburner, the heat pump/furnace also gets used, particularly at night or when we're out for the day and can't feed the fire. Just a couple of weeks ago, Hubby added 10 inches of insulation to our attic...this immediately made a BIG difference. Felt warmer in our home and our heat pump kicks on far less!! Woohoo...means less $ going to purchase coal-generated electricity and more $$ in our pockets!

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  7. Hi, one of our problems was air blowing through our patio doors on windy days so we put in new energy efficient patio doors recently. We also use a programmable thermostat and timers on our lights to save energy.
    maddiemb {at} comcast (dot) net

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  8. Tweet link: http://twitter.com/#!/shala_darkstone/status/39314837725134848
    maddiemb {at} comcast (dot) net

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  9. We unplug recharger cords when not in use.

    rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

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  10. unplugging items is great but the biggest energy saver so far is insulating sealing the windows- it amazing how much you can turn down the heat when everything is caulked and sealed and you open the drapes in the winter to let sunshine and light in and close it at night- some serious money saving

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  11. We are trying to get our electric bill costs down so we try to make sure everything is off when we leave a room. We are also replacing our bulbs with EF bulbs as the other ones go out so it’s not so expensive!

    hebert024 at aoldot com

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  12. my current energy savings challenge is my water heater. I want to change to tankless water heaters but have to work out the venting issues.

    carolmuth at insightbb dot com

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  13. We wash and dry a lot of clothes, so we switched to a energy saving washer and dryer. HUGE HELP!
    lenz.nicole(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. Our problem: having the most energy efficient appliances. We live in an apartment so we can’t buy and replace them. So I make them as efficient as possible. I use only cold water in the washer. Clean the lint filter and the back of the dryer regularly. We open the curtains wide on sunny days for light and close heavy curtains to keep cold out.

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  15. I'm saving up to replace the windows. It would really help with energy use.

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  16. Tweet:
    http://twitter.com/clc408/status/40032868465909760

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  17. I dont have an idea that hasnt been mentioned already :( I am conserving and using ideas I have gotten her
    whit1966@gmail.com

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  18. Biggest challenge in our almost 100 year old home is keeping it warm with no heat upstairs(no vents). We keep the doors closed in the unused rooms and have installed an energy efficient gas fireplace to help since heat rises! We have been changing to the new lightbulbs for awhile including in our ceiling fans!

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  19. My energy challenge is my teen daughter! She doesn’t turn stuff off… lights, tv, stereo, chargers, water…. the only thing that’s seemed to help with tv/stereo is that if she leaves it on and leaves the room, it’s OFF for the rest of the night! She doesn’t like that, and is a bit better about turning off, but so far to go! You'd think, since she's doing a class project on saving water that she'd bring it home, but no luck so far, but I keep hoping!

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  20. My challenge is three kids who can't turn off a light to save their life. I am queenesperfect at yahoo.com

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  21. I unplug appliances, use curly lightbulbs, keep the thermostat low, use a heat pump, recycle and repurpose. However, it wasn’t until I found a triple window leaking cold air that I was able to lower our out-of-control heating bill. I covered the windows in plastic, and the bill dropped dramatically. I’m still amazed at how much money and warmth one sheet of plastic managed to save.

    Thanks for the chance to win an energy-saving product!

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  22. Tweeted you!
    http://twitter.com/Ida_Sessions/status/40876362931773440

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  23. We discovered this winter that there's cold air seeping in through several windows and doors. DH will be doing some Spring "housekeeping" work. mcgillrmcgill(at)charter(dot)net

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  24. We have a problem remembering to turn off everything we're not using... lights, power strips, etc.. but we're trying to be conscious!

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  25. completely turn off the heat in your bedroom and keep the door shut after your done in there in the morning. Open the door a couple of hours before bedtime and buy an electric mattress pad.

    Do same thing with the dining room if you can.
    Why heat a room you are only in part time?

    gandolina(atsign)hotmail(dot)com

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  26. Our biggest challenge is our house itself - an 1883 Eastlake Victorian. Not exactly energy efficient and I will not rip out the original windows.

    ky2her ea tmsn dot com

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  27. Here's my tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/ky2here1/status/41328011743727616

    ky2here at msn dot com

    (see, i got it right this time!!!)

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  28. My challenge is getting my family to compost everything that can be composted. I am always taking stuff out of the trash that could be composted
    s8r8l33 at yahoo dot com

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  29. tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/s8r8l33/status/41388276195667968

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  30. Recent studies have shown that the "curly" light bulbs do not last as long as advertized..contain mercury & carry a bio-hazard warning when broken..got your haz-mat suit ready..you're told to dispose broken bulbs with hazardous material! If you read the warning you'll be scared to death.

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  31. our house is surrounded by trees, which block out the sun. our options are lights on at all times or live in darkness. :(

    ferriza2(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  32. Our latest thing is that we are unplugging everything that we aren't using at the moment.

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  33. I try to get everyone to turn off lights and unplug stuff they aren't using. I usually have to remind them but we're getting there.

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  34. Tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/kittycardero/status/41937137309847552

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  35. We have installed faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads to cut water heating costs, but the biggest problems is that all of the members of my family REALLY love taking long showers. We occasionally indulge now, but most of the time we limit our time in the shower.

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  36. We compost, reduce, reuse, reuse again, and recycle! We also reduce heat in winter and unplug items we dont use regularly. I also limit hot water use. OUr biggest energy problem is the a/c in the scorching summer. It HAS to be on.

    ReplyDelete
  37. our energy use challenges are old appliances we are working on replacing them with more energy efficient items
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

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  38. I need a more energy efficient dishwasher, and my refrigerator is old enough that it probably is not as good as it could be. But the first thing I want to get is one of the new power strips that will leave items like the DVR on while turning off the other electronics plugged into it. I have been replacing my light bulbs as they burn out, and most of them now are CFL bulbs. About the only ones left are the high ceiling ones and a few smaller wattage ones that haven't had appropriate CFL replacements up to now.

    cgclynsg0 @ gmail dot com

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  39. We have leaky windows that we have put plastic sheeting over-we installed power strips to turn off our computers and TVs. Thanks!

    dwellenstein at cox dot net

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  40. our biggest challenge is using too much hot water. We lowered the hot water temp a few degrees and save a lot of money

    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

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  41. tweet
    http://twitter.com/#!/Ardy22/status/42298346957836290
    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

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  42. My biggest challenge is air seeping through the windows and doors that are too thin or not sealed well enough.

    lazybones344 at gmail dot com

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  43. Even though we are extremely conservative in our energy usage (all lights are CFLs, turn lights off in all rooms not being used, keep thermostat set to 65 in the winter, etc.), our power bill is still over $100 this month. I would love to see how this new light bulb helps. I can't wait until the price comes down!
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

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  44. I tweeted here: http://twitter.com/#!/FotoMacro/status/42329426763071488
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Shut off lights when you leave a room, use daylight rather than turning on lights at all when possible, wash all your laundry in cold water when possible , line dry your
    clothing when possible, set your thermostat high in the summer and low in the winter,
    use energy efficient appliances and light bulbs, unplug things that are not in use, etc. We do all of these things and wish the whole planet did! Our power bill is still high to me, but to other people its insanely low. I wish I could afford solar panels for my roof!
    Scott
    nynekats at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  46. keeping house costs to a minimum is important when one is unemployed.
    I turn the thermostat down to save on fuel & $$! And I turn it lower when we are not home.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    email in blogger profile.

    ReplyDelete
  47. tweet: http://twitter.com/js22222222/status/42335845906268160
    email in blogger profile.

    ReplyDelete
  48. tweet
    http://twitter.com/#!/RePurrPussed/status/42332410842595328
    Scott
    nynekats at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  49. My biggest problem is getting the kids to turn off the lights when they leave the room.
    donna444444@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. our biggest challenge is our very old paper thin windows, my house gets very cold in the winter. We are slowly replacing them, but it's very expen sive. Now we have plastic on them.
    Diane Baum
    esldiane@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. My biggest challenge is my husband. He can't turn a light or a TV off, despite loudly proclaiming to the world what an environmentalist he is. I've given up - I just turn them off whenever he leaves a room.

    Email address is in blogger profile

    ReplyDelete
  52. I tweeted http://twitter.com/bsw529/status/42387115568406529

    Email address is in blogger profile

    ReplyDelete
  53. we use the crockpot as much as we can. Not only is it more convenient for me (put the food on in the morning and leave it till dinner), smart night light

    ReplyDelete
  54. You may be eligible for a new solar energy rebate program.
    Click here to find out if you are qualified now!

    ReplyDelete

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