Energy Efficiency Inside Your Home

changing a light bulbSwitch on a light, turn up the heat, take a bath, stock the refrigerator, throw in a load of laundry, toss something into the wastebasket that will end up in the municipal trash. Most indoor activities involve energy use.

The resources below will help you discover ways to reduce the dollar and energy costs of nearly any

activity of daily living.

General household energy efficiency

Heating and cooling

Water heating


Clothes washing and drying


Home electronics

Phantom loads

Household waste reduction


General Household Energy Efficiency

Rocky Mountain Institute Home Energy Briefs

Links on this page take you to a number of top-notch information briefs on space heating and cooling,

lighting, cleaning appliances (diswashers, clothes washers), electronics, kitchen appliances and more.

Heating and coolingfurnace

Heating and cooling account for almost half of most household energy use. Learn more about

keeping your home comfortable while reducing the costs and energy of heating and cooling it.

Home Heating Guide

Energy-Efficient Cooling


water heater

Water heating

The average household spends $400 to $600 per year heating water. Learn to make your existing water-heating system more efficient or, if you need to replace it, the models of energy-efficient systems available.

Energy-efficient water heating

ENERGY STAR information about water heating appliances




Need a new refrigerator? Tips on buying and maintaining home refrigerators for maximum energy efficiency.

ENERGY STAR-qualified home refrigerators and freezers Updated list; chart has information on volume, energy consumption, and more.

 laundry hanging on lineClothes washing and drying

Laundry Save energy and money washing and drying your clothes.

Best practices: clothes-washing and drying

Project Laundry List  Forget the electric clothes dryer. Let it all hang out! Products, laundry tips, fun! Home-grown New Hampshire organization.




inflatable light bulb in paradeLighting

Natural lighting Use windows and skylights to maximize daylight in your home.

Energy Star light bulbs or light fixtures save energy, money and time. They provide bright,

warm light and require 2/3 less energy than standard lighting, generate 70 percent less heat,

and last up to 10 times longer.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs and Mercury: What Consumers Should Know N.H. Department of Environmental services fact sheet on recycling CFLs and handling broken bulbs.

Introduction to LED lighting Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are small electronic components that

convert electricity into light, part of a comparatively new class of lighting called Solid State

Lighting (SSL). Learn more about this new, rapidly-developing technology expected to produce a

new generation of highly energy-efficient lights for many common uses.


Home electronics

Here's a consumer guide that will help you understand the various power modes:"on," "off"and "sort of on/sort of off," as well as how to buy and use cellphones, DVD players, TVs, computers, electric toothbrushes, and other electronic devices to minimize energy costs.

YouRenew Electronic waste is the fastest growing category of solid waste in the U.S. Get paid to recycle yours. Shipping for recycling is free, even if your device has $0 value. mess of electronic devices' wires



Eliminate "phantom loads"

Otherwise known as the "vampires of the household," phantom loads refer to the electricity used by appliances and electronic devices when they're turned off or left in standby mode. Eliminating these vampires can save as much as 10 percent of your electric bill.

Reduce household wastehousehold trash

A World War II slogan urged citizens to Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or go without. Think about it! Following that simple prescription, you'll save money, energy, and the community (property-taxpayer) costs of disposing of it.

Become more waste-mindful with these simple rules of thumb:

  • If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
  • If it's perishable, buy only what you'll use.
  • Seek unpackaged or lightly packaged products.
  • Buy the most durable products you can find and afford (home furnishings,

    appliances, vehicles).

  • Use non-toxic products (cleaning supplies, pesticides, etc.) whenever
    possible, avoiding the need to dispose of containers and surplus
    product as hazardous waste.
  • Buy it used.
  • Trade and barter.


Photo credits:

Changing light bulbs The Udall Legacy Bus Tour: Views from the Road Some rights reserved.

Washer & dryer somegeekintn Some rights reserved.

Furnace Andy Duncan. Used with permission

Water heater johncarljohnston. Some rights reserved.

Laundry line erix! some rights reserved.

Big light bulb Mark Paciga. Some rights reserved.

Home electronics cytech. Some rights reserved

Household trash Magic Madzic. Some rights reserved.