Monday, May 23, 2011

Going Green - New Homeowner Tips to Save Electricity

During a recent house move, I came across two outstanding products that will greatly conserve energy and reduce your electricity bill immediately, The first product is the NUVO H2O MANOR Whole House Water Softener and the second product is the Utilitec R19 420 Lumen 40 Watt Equivalent LED Light Bulb (Sold exclusively by Lowes.)

Living in a part of the country where the water is extremely hard takes its toll on copper plumbing, water heaters, dishwashers and washing machines. It makes it that much harder to wash clothes and even getting a soapy suds out of bar and liquid soaps is nearly impossible with hard calcified water. The folks at NUVO invented a whole house water filtering system that does not require electricity, salt or the addition of chemicals, It uses a cartridge that strips out all of the calcification minerals out of the hard water by chemically interacting with beads in the filter. The NUVO replacement filter costs about $80.00 and lasts about 6-9 months. The NUVO Manor model we purchased cost about $800.00 including 2 filters and the plumbing labor cost to install the system was about $300.00.  We saw immediate results after this filter was installed. In fact, the water turned green for a while as the filtered water was dissolving the calcification scales built up in the internal plumbing.The whole filtration system and cartridge is very small and compact and can fit in tight areas in a house or garage. It measures bout 9 inches in diameter and is a bout 30 inches long. It has a bypass setting to allow you to change the filter without spilling water. This is a very well though out, well designed water filtering system that has been in use for decades at commercial restaurants and hotels so the technology is proven and reliable.

Buy the NUVO H2O Water Filtration System at Amazon

Check out the NUVO whole house water filter system at:

It really works as advertised and I give this home
product two thumbs up! Way Up!


LED Lightbulbs Are Affordable Now

The new house we moved in to has about 115 standard R19 Light bulb sockets and every single existing bulb was a 65 Watt incandescent. Yikes, that's about 6500 watts of electricity consumed if all of those lights were turned on. Instead of installing compact fluorescent bulbs, I decided to go with LED bulbs primarily because they consume only 7 watts of electricity to produce 40 watts equivalent of light with 420 lumens.We're looking at a total of about 800 watts total electricity consumption versus 6500 which is a huge savings. LED bulbs are much cooler and run at about 80 degrees. CFL bulbs hit 140 degrees and incandescents go up beyond 200 degrees. The current knock on compact fluorescent swirl bulbs is that they contain mercury and if they break, they release mercury into the air. There is also talk that they are linked to cancer but I have yet to see the actual scientific evidence or report to confirm this. Compact fluorescent bulbs cannot be dimmed and the color temperature is usually a cool color so it is not great for reading unless you buy a cfl bulb that is warm white.These Utilitech R19 Bulbs fit in the normal (Screw-in) socket used by standard light bulbs and those used by spotlights and most recessed lighting cans. The color temperature is about 27000 and although they are not as bright as an incandescent 60 watt bulb, they are pretty close. The other added bonus is that they are dimmable and come with an industrial strength heat sink to keep the heat down so the bulbs will last 3-6 times longer than CFL bulbs. Best of all I caught them on sale at my local Lowes Hardware superstore for only $9.97 per bulb. The normal price is $18.99 per bulb. In addition to installing these LED bulbs, I also installed Leviton PR180 Occupancy Motion Sensor Light Switches for the garage and all of the bathrooms and closets. This will also help reduce the electricity consumption as my kids almost always forget to turn off the lights in the house.At around $15.00 a switch, this is also an excellent way to cut your electricity bill and also to reduce the amount of heat generated in your home in the summer time.

Unless you are a skilled electrician, I would advise against installing these switches as a do it yourself project. A licensed electrician could install four of theses switches in an hour. Electricians usually charge $125-150.00 and hour for labor. I installed them myself because I did a lot of electrical work when I was working my way through college many years ago. Upgrading the LED lightbulbs is a no-brainer do it your self operation,. Just unscrew the old bulbs and install the the new LED bulbs and you're good to go.

Here's a Youtube video from Ecogeek that compares LED bulbs 
with incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs

With these two aforementioned green products, you can save a lot of money easily and effortlessly. Almost makes going green fun as you are saving money and the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. If a lot of people switch over to LED bulbs, I believe it will help us to reduce overall energy consumption and even dependence on foreign oil.

Money Talks Bull$%&@ Walks or The Proof is In the Monthly PG&E Energy Bill:

Prior to moving into our 3700 square foot house and in ground swimming pool, ( family of 4 ) the electricity bill on average for the last year was about $379.00 per month. The first electric bill after I made all of the aforementioned Green electrical-related upgrades was $160.00 for the month of June and the most recent bill was $159.00 for the month of July.


  1. Great stuff, thanks for post. My neighbor loves their nuvoH2O system.

    B. Williams

  2. Tips are very useful to save electricity and reduce the bill These tips are really valuable to save the energy Thanks for sharing these tips.

  3. You are quite welcome. If more homeowners followed this advice, we could reduce our dependency on foreign oil. It would also make it much easier and cheaper to switch to a solar panel electricity generation system as the kilowatt demand is greatly reduced so the generation system can be much smaller and thus (less expensive) to purchase and install.

  4. Being modern does not have to be costly, we just need the right ideas like the ones shown above. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how to conserve electricity.

  5. You're quite welcome. I am hoping that larger companies get the word out on these small but effective techniques in saving electricity. If we can get the numbers up on consumers and businesses making the switch to energy efficient light LED lightbulbs and occupancy sensor switches then we can make a larger impact on reducing the country's overall energy consumption. Our leaders of government and business need to make this a number one priority if we are really serious about reducing our dependence on foreign oil. It will also make it that much cheaper to convert to a smaller (and less expensive) solar panel hot water or electric generation system as the average daily kilowatt electricity load requirement will drop substantially. We're really not talking rocket science here but common sense with technology that is available off the shelf from hardware and big box stores today.

  6. Wes Lam,
    I totally and definitely agree with you that we can reduce the overall energy consumption by taking small steps such as switching to LED lightbulbs and sensor switched and the like. Wes Lam, Seriously, I always enjoying reading your posts.

  7. The other source of energy which will not only help in production of energy for our home but also saving our electric bill, is wind energy.

    solar panels

  8. Thanks for the article, I've been doing my research and the nuvoH2O system is looking like a great fit for my family.

  9. Not everyone has a particular interest with “going green”. However, looking at the ways it can help you save money, more should definitely look into other green and money saving alternatives. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Thank you for sharing your insights about going green to save electricity. By following a greener approach, homeowners can easily save costs on the energy bill while promoting a healthier and safe environment.

  11. You're welcome. If we home owners can all move the dial even a little bit towards more energy conservation, it will help reduce our dependence on oil from the middle east. As more people take steps to reduce consumption then we have a shot at making this type of conservation behavior more mainstream and setting the right examples for our children and grand children.

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  13. Hi friend how are you I want share with you some tips about how we can save energy because now days energy short fall to much so we can save energy for our future. Ceiling insulation is the most effective barrier against the summer heat and the winter cold. A minimum of R3.5 is recommended for most areas in Victoria. Keep the heat inside during winter and the hot air out in summer by sealing up any gaps and cracks in external walls, floors and ceiling. Seal external doors using draught stoppers or 'door snakes' at the bottom and weather stripping around the frames. Close blinds, curtains, windows and doors on cold days to keep the heat in, and in summer use outside shading to keep the sun off the glass. Dress for the weather – in winter, wear extra layers inside and lower your heating thermostat. By setting your heating thermostat between 18-20°C, you can decrease your running costs by up to 10%. In summer, wear lighter clothing and keep your air conditioner’s thermostat between 24°C – 26°C Your fridge runs 24 hours a day 365 days a year. This adds up and makes it the most expensive appliance to run. Make sure that the door seal is tight and free from gaps so cold air doesn't escape. If you have a second fridge, give it a winter break - just turn it on when you need it. Only heat or cool and light rooms you are using. Where possible, zone your lighting and ducted heating or cooling and close off doors to unoccupied rooms.
    Energy Advice Line

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