Reduce, part 1- put your life on a diet.

Those people who say that we will never be able to meet the current or future demand for energy with renewable sources, have a point. We use far more electricity than we need to, and if everyone used 20% less, the difference would be dramatic.

20% is one out of five. If you run the dishwasher 5 times a week, consolidate loads and cut that down to 4. (Tip from a pro: scrape but don't rinse. Apparently the detergent needs particles to cling to.). The same applies to the washing machine. Wait until you have a full load.

There are light bulbs, of course. Switching to LEDs reduces consumption enormously. So does turning off the lights when not needed.

Turn the thermostat down in winter and up in summer. Get a programmable thermostat so that you can adjust for when there is no one in the house, or when you're all in bed. Why heat a whole house to 68-70 degrees when there is no one home, or when only one room is in use? Get some nice, warm slippers and a few thick sweaters. (And maybe a moveable radiator or two for really cold days.)

Every kilowatt not used is money in your pocket. In fact, your monthly utility bill is a good measure of how much energy you are not using. What are you going to do with savings?

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