Plug In Your Questions: Energy Efficiency FAQs

There are so many elements of energy efficiency that it can be hard to keep it all straight! But it’s easier than you think to take small, simple steps toward energy efficient day-to-day living. Here are some quick answers to the most commonly asked questions we see about how to make your home as energy efficient as it can be.

Q: What makes an appliance energy efficient?

A: The amount of energy it uses compared to the amount of work it does.

In general terms, energy efficiency is something that is always measured by comparing the efficiency of one product to another, whether that is a product from the past or another contemporary model. Therefore, anything that allows an appliance to consume less energy and still do the same amount of work makes it more energy efficient.


Q: What is an energy vampire?

A: A device that consumes energy even when it is turned off.

Common vampire devices include laptop and cell phone chargers, TVs, computers, game consoles, cable boxes, DVRs and DVD players, and basically any device that can be instantly operated with a remote control or that has a standby light/clock.

To mitigate their energy-sucking ways, plug these devices into a power strip. Then you can turn off your power strip when you are done using these devices and ensure they don’t suck up unnecessary energy.


Q: Where do I buy energy efficient appliances?

A: Wherever you would normally buy an appliance!

The trick here is choosing an appliance that is energy efficient, given the options available to you. Check out our Bright Insights blog post to learn more about determining how much energy an appliance uses—this will be very helpful for picking a new appliance!


Q: How can I increase my home’s energy efficiency?

A: There are so many ways to do this!

There is no one answer to this question. Speaking broadly, the main ways you can increase your home’s energy efficiency are to invest in more efficient appliances and devices and to change your energy consumption habits. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out the residential energy efficiency section of our Bright Insights blog!


Q: How do I reduce my lighting costs?

A: Invest in more energy efficient light bulbs and adjust your energy consumption habits.

CFL and LED light bulbs are great choices if you want to spend less energy on your lighting costs. Also, if possible, you can try letting in natural light from outside so that you can keep that light switch in the off position!


Check out the rest of our Bright Insights blog to learn the answers to more frequently asked questions about energy efficiency and renewable