Town of Stark Committee On Energy Planning & Information
There are powerful reasons to stop and consider your household electric bill.
Wisconsinites spend about 15% of our income on energy which sends about 18 billion dollars out of Wisconsin's economy every year. The cost of our electricity has risen 65% over the last decade. In 2011, 74% of the base-loaded electric power in our region was generated by coal. On average, the electric outlets in our homes are the largest source of harmful emissions in our lives -- about 33% compared to 25% for transportation, 24% for heating and 18% for the products we buy. Wisconsin would never have to add a single fossil fuel power plant or high capacity transmission line if only13% of ratepayers cut their use by 13%.
First, look at the amount of power or "KWH's" you consumed on a recent utility bill. In Wisconsin, average use is about 700 kilowatt hours per month. This amounts to 5.6 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. Permanently removing demand for power at your electric outlets is the most cost effective, direct means of lowering your negative impact-- considerably more effective than paying for "green energy." Reducing your use by 13% will save the average household about $140 per year.
One does not have to spend money on expensive gadgets to make a huge difference. For households that eventually installed grid-tied solar panels, energy efficiency efforts still had the larger impact.
Simply recording your use each month and watching the impacts helps you to remember to turn off lights and appliances when they are not needed. To these "behavioral" improvements, one can also use inexpensive count-down timers, replace filters, add pipe insultation and simple other steps. Most households find they can easily cut use by 13% with no loss of comfort.
For less than the $5 billion that utilitities want WI ratepayer to spend on waste-promoting high capacity transmission, ratepayers could be funding incentives for energy efficiency and home/busness-sited solutions like rooftop solar. Fill out a FORM to receive your tally sheet and start doing your part to create a better energy future for Wisconsin. Contact info@SOULWisconsin.org with questions.
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101 Efficiency Tips [PDF]