Energy Conservation

Five Ways the Consumer Can Reduce Electricity Consumption, Reduce Electricity Bills and Reduce Harmful Air Emissions from Power Plants

Replace a 1970s refrigerator with a new EnergyStar refrigerator. This can save over 2,000 kWh per year and over $290 in electricity costs every year. This will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 2,000 pounds every year.

Increase Air Conditioner thermostat by 3 degrees. This can save over 900 kWh per year, over $100 annually and over 900 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Depending on the size of your home, you can save 3% on your cooling costs for every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer. Raising the thermostat from 73 to 78 degrees can reduce cooling costs by 15%.

Replace the five most frequently used incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. This will save over 500 kWh per year, $75 annually and over 500 pounds of CO2.

Make sure your air conditioner is the proper size for the area you are cooling. An air conditioner that is too large will use more electricity than needed, an air conditioner that is too small will have to work harder to cool a space.

The Department of Energy recommends the following:

Area To Be Cooled (sq. ft.)

Capacity (BTU/HR)

100 to 150


150 to 250


250 to 300


300 to 350


350 to 400


400 to 450


450 to 550


500 to 700


700 to 1,000


Conserve Energy! Don’t keep lights on in empty rooms. Only run the washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher when you have full loads. Cool only the rooms you use and utilize fans when the temperature is moderate.


Electricity Savings, Electricity Cost Savings, and Carbon Dioxide Emissions Avoided For Implementing Efficiency and Conservation Measures in One Household and in All New York Households


Conserve Energy!

Household Measure

Electricity saved for one household (kWh/yr)

Electricity saved for all NY households (MWh/year)

Money saved for one household

CO2 avoided in for one household (lbs/yr)

CO2 avoided for all NY households (tons/yr)

Replace a 1970s refrigerator w/a new EnergyStar refrigerator


14.9 million




Increase AC thermostat by 3F degrees for cooling


6.3 million




Replace 5 incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent


3.8 million





Electricity Savings: Incandescent vs. Compact Fluorescent Lights


Do the math! Investing in energy efficient products will save you money and will reduce emissions from power plants.

The following table shows the result of replacing one incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb in one household and in each of the 6,766,000 households in NYS.

Bulb Type

100 watt incandescent

23 watt compact fluorescent


Purchase Price




Life of the Bulb

750 hours

10,000 hours


Number of Hours Burned per Day

4 hours

4 hours


Number of Bulbs Needed

about 6 over 3 years

1 over 6.8 years






Total Cost of Bulbs




Total energy used over 3 years

438 kWh per household

2.964 billion kWh if all households

100 w (4 hrs/day)(365 days/year)
(3 years) = 438000 watt-hours or 438 kWh

438 kWh(6,766,000) = 2.964 billion kWh

100.74 kWh per household

682 million kWh if all households

23 w (4 hrs/day)(365 days/year)
(3 years) = 100740 watts-hours or 100.74 kWh

100.74 kWh(6,766,000) = 682 million kWh

337.26 kWh per household

2.282 billion kWh if all households

(equivalent to the power generated from an 86.8 MW power plant, 24 hours every day.)

Total Cost of Electricity for 3 years (avg price in 1999: 13.4 cents/kWh)




Total Cost over 3 years
(cost of energy + cost of bulbs)

$63.19 per household

$427,543,540 if all households

$24.50 per household

$165,767,000 if all households

$38.69 per household

$261,776,540 if all households

Total CO2 emissions over 3 yrs (avg emission rate: 996.7 lbs/MWh or 0.9967 lbs/kWh)

436.56 lbs per household

1,476,882 tons if all households

438 kWh (.9967 lbs/kWh) = 436.56 lbs

436.56 lbs (6,766,000)/2000 = 1,476,882 tons

100.41 lbs per household

339,687 tons if all households

100.74 kWh (.9967 lbs/kWh) = 100.41 lbs

100.41 lbs (6,766,000)/2000 = 339,687 tons

336.15 lbs. per household

1,137,195 tons if all households

Total SO2 emissions over 3 yrs (avg emission rate: 5.1 lbs/MWh or 0.00511 lbs/kWh)

22.38 lbs per household

75,711 tons if all households

438 kWh (.00511 lbs/kWh) = 22.38 lbs

0.52 lbs per household

1,759 tons if all households

100.74 kWh (.00511 lbs/kWh) = 0.52 lbs

21.86 lbs. per household

73,952 tons if all households

Total NOx emissions over 3 years (avg emission rate: 1.9 lbs/MWh or 0.0019 lbs/kWh)

0.83 lbs per household

2,807 tons if all households

438 kWh (.0019 lbs/kWh) = 0.83 lbs

0.19 lbs per household

643 tons if all households

100.74 kWh (.0019 lbs/kWh) = 0.19 lbs

0.64 lbs. per household

2, 164 tons if all households


Useful Links to Other Energy-saving Recommendations and Services 
EnergyStar is a voluntary partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, manufacturers, utilities and retailers. Partners promote energy efficiency by labeling qualifying products with the EnergyStar logo. EnergyStar-approved products are 10-75% more efficient than the federal efficiency standard. This website lists all EnergyStar products. 
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) web page provides a wide range of information on making your home or business more energy efficient. 
The Long Island Power Authority web page includes tips on energy conservation and a catalog of efficient products available to LIPA customers at reduced prices. 
The Rocky Mountain Institute web page provides extensive recommendations on making your home or business more energy efficient. and 
These web pages sell energy-efficient products online.

Be sure to visit your utility’s web page to see what they are doing to promote energy efficiency and conservation.

Con Edison (ConEd):
Orange and Rockland (O&R):
National Grid / Niagara Mohawk (NiMO):
New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG): 
Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E): 
Central Hudson: