Solano County - Energy Audit (5-10 min.)
It's hard to imagine life without electricity. Electrical energy is used when doing every day chores, storing food, for entertainment, heating water and homes, cooling, lighting, and more. But the production and use of energy like electricity results in the release of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane gas, nitrous oxide, and more.

Earth is a giant greenhouse. About half of the light reaching our atmosphere passes through to the surface, where it is absorbed and radiated back as heat. Most of this heat (around 90%) is absorbed by greenhouse gases, staying in our atmosphere. As more greenhouse gases are released, more heat becomes trapped in our atmosphere and the planet's temperature increases. This is known as global warming.

By saving energy, we lower our costs, and at the same time, reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere contributing to global warming.

Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
HOW IT WORKS
Below are several Yes/No questions related to home energy usage. Each question is actually a recommendation for how you can improve your energy use and potentially lower costs.

Keep track of the questions for which you reply with a "No" and consider whether or not the suggestion could work for you. Skip the questions that do not apply. Happy Energy Savings!
PRIVACY NOTICE
Only your responses are being recorded. These responses will not be used for any purpose except to track the total number of users. We are not collecting or selling your personal information when you use this educational tool.
LIGHTS
Do you turn off the lights when you leave the room?
Can you install compact fluorescent (CFL) or low emitting diode (LED) light bulbs, both of which use much less energy than standard light bulbs?
Do you use natural lighting as much as possible?
Do you have mirrors and brightly colored walls to enhance natural light?
Do you control outside lights with a photo cell or timer to make sure that lights only turn on between dusk to dawn?
SMALL DEVICES AND APPLIANCES
Do you unplug chargers or small devices when they are not in use?
Do you unplug small appliances, such as blenders, toasters, curling irons, computers, and printers, when they are not in use?
Some devices, such as TVs and DVD/Blue Ray players, go into standby mode instead of turning off. They keep using energy. Are these kinds of devices plugged into a power strip so that they can easily be turned off?
Do you keep your appliances and their plugs clean and free of dust? Keeping them dust free helps devices run better and use less energy.
LARGE APPLIANCES
Do you keep your fridge and freezer full but not overfilled? Fridges and freezers work best when full but with enough room for air to flow freely.
Do you wait for a full load before running the dishwasher?
Do you let dishes air dry instead of running the heated dry cycle on the dishwasher?
Do you turn off the oven a few minutes before something is finished cooking? The food will continue to cook as long as you don't open the oven door, which decreases the temperature by as much as 25°F.
Do you wait for a full load before running the clothes washer?
Do you clean the lint trap on the clothes dryer before using it, which helps it run better and save energy?
HEATING AND COOLING
Can you adjust the temperature setting of your thermostat to save energy?
Is your thermostat programmable so it can automatically use different settings for day and night?
If you have an outdoor air conditioning unit, is it in shade most of the day? Sun and heat lowers the machine's efficiency and uses up more energy.
Do you regularly clean or replace furnace or ventilation filters to increase efficiency?
Do you regularly service your heating and cooling unit(s) so they run well and save energy?
Are trees planted around the house to provide shade and a cooling effect during the warmest times of year?
Is your attic space insulated?
Do you hang thick, thermal curtains or blinds on the sunniest sides of your home? These areas receive the most amount of direct sunlight, which can increase the temperature of your home.
Do you set ceiling fans to spin counter-clockwise during the summer and clockwise during the winter? This can lower/bring up temperatures by as much as 4°F.
WINDOWS AND DOORS
Do you use weather stripping and caulking to reduce drafts around doors and windows?
Do you have energy saving (double or triple pane, solar, or tinted) windows?
WATER
Is the water heater set to 120°F or less?
Does the water heater have an insulated cover to help save energy?
Do you wash clothes in cold water to help save energy?
Other Energy-Saving Practices
If you have an electric vehicle, heated pool, jacuzzi/spa or other high energy demanding features at your home, do you have solar panels or other alternative energy sources to lower energy needs and costs?
After completing this audit, what are three things you want to do to save energy?
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