CO2 Emissions Saving energy (Living Direct)

Published on April 28th, 2014 | by Sandy Dechert


Cut Home Energy Use, Save Money, & Help Re-Green The Earth

April 28th, 2014 by  

For Earth Day this year, Jeff Flowers of Living Direct introduced a detailed infographic showing a few things homeowners can do to cut energy use around their homes, save money, and help re-green the earth. Earth Day is essentially every day for us, so we’re just getting around to sharing it today.

A company called oBiz Media helped create the home energy chart. It’s called The Homeowner’s Guide to Saving Money & Energy. Almost 80% of the information comes from official US government measures and estimates.

The Homeowner’s Guide contains four sections. We’re going to break them down for you below the infographic, because the graphic is really designed for scrolling, and we’d like to discuss each of its main points separately.


In the first section, Living Direct discusses Energy Star, the government’s labeling program to certify products as energy-efficient for consumers. Over the past two decades, more than 4.5 billion of these products—appliances, lighting, home electronics, office equipment, and HVAC systems—have been sold. About one and a half million homes are Energy Star-certified. And since 1995, when EPA started labeling homes, owners have saved over $4 billion on utility bills and protected the world environment from over 39 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

Second comes “Saving Money.” This section singles out savings made with windows and doors, washing machines (including water savings), refrigerators (75% more efficient than in 1970s, top freezers more efficient than side-by-sides), and HVAC savings. The graphic also displays 2013 federal tax credits available for purchase of Energy Star products. Some of these (biomass stoves, for example) have received mixed reviews in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

The third block of the graphic concerns shopping and details energy savings in terms of watts saved by nine popular appliances.

Finally, “Saving the Environment” presents 2009 values (the most recent available?) of the carbon footprints in six consumer sectors. It also analyzes single- and double-pane replacement window savings in terms of dollars as well as pounds of CO2 and gallons of gas saved.

Since energy efficiency standards were developed, Living Direct says consumers have saved $2000 per household, numbers expected to double in the next 20 years. Finally, the graphic discusses water savings from efficient toilets and WaterSense faucets.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

  • John Zerbiak

    Great to see the boom in green construction. I had trouble finding a good contractor bc of the abuse the industry took during the recession. I used this book to build mine It focuses more on design and budget than the other literature that is primarily pictures. I highly reccomend it.

  • Michael Berndtson

    Heads up to all those getting tired of bad press about renewables. Here’s a bad example of the contrary from Gizmodo, a blog dedicated to selling smartphones and tech gadgets to fanboys and poseur nerds – with the occasional general science post to lure in the idiots.

    “The Price of Electricity In The U.S. Is About to Skyrocket”

    The level of silliness both in the article and comments is frightening, i.e. a tech PR chick as science journalists and nuke pushers in the comments.

    • Ugh, wish I hadn’t even seen that…

      • Michael Berndtson

        I enjoy Gizmodo and the Gawker Media blogs. Sometimes. Not all the time. I’m also a follower of tech blogs if I want to buy a smartphone or something. Renewables and any energy source for that matter are not “cool tech.” Cleantechnica does a good job making it clear that a lot of old fashion and boring thinking and experimentation are necessary in between idea and action. Much of the marketing of personal tech is based on selling cool right from the shop to the buyer, without a lot of feasibility evaluation in between. Product cycles are a lot shorter. And risk failure less dire. It freaks me out when personal tech marketing methods are used to sell things like thorium reactors or shale gas.

    • Ronald Brakels

      That is an awful article. Obviously it was far too difficult to actually check reality and look at some grids that do have high wind and solar penetration to see what actually happens. I mean, that would be like, reporting or something, and we can’t have that.

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